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Between the waterfalls and the ridge it was an easy to rate this 5 star...awesome. Be prepared for winter conditions during the spring months. Check out my write up along with some other things to look out for.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/lafayette

Challenging and quite epic along the Franconia Ridge.

Great Workout. Not an easy hike by any means, but the payoff with the views all along the ridgeline are amazing, and make it all worth it.

Hiked July 14, 2018 via Crawford path out and back to Mount Pierce (didn’t do loop with hut). Heard the hut is cool though and has food. Took us about 4 hours. 6.5 miles. Well kept trail - we saw a lot of people working on the path. Trail was a little wet/moist with some water and moss. Coming down was a little tricky on the rocks, especially when wet. Gibbs waterfall was worth checking out. Very pretty hike but didn’t get many views because cloudy. We saw a good amount of people on the trail. Parking lot right near trail right off the highway.

A quintessential northeast hike. Amazing views. One of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done.

hiking
5 days ago

My Eisenhower was terrific. However Mt Clinton road and parking area is still closed. Adds round trip of 5 additional flat miles The summit was misty and high 60’s. Edmands trail was in good shape, a little wet, and one of three footbridges was unusable. Lots of wildflowers.

Crap was hard. Almost died.

AMAZING views with clear skies! I went up Falling Waters trail which was very steep at times. You will be walking up boulders about 90% of the way almost immediately. I would suggest descending from this trail if you do not consider yourself “in shape” or an experienced hiker. I hadn’t done more than a six mile hike in two years and this trail kick my butt!! Brindle path and Greenleaf trail offered spectacular views most of the way down. Brindle path seemed a bit more level as well for a good mile towards the beginning of the trail. All together this trail took me 10 hours to complete with PLENTY of rest time in between. If you have time, stop at the hut on Greenleaf trail! They offer free water, restrooms, large tables to sit at, and board games galore!

This was a really awesome, rewarding hike. Three of us did it together and we are all upperclassmen in high school. We completed the hike in about 5 1/2 hours with multiple breaks going up falling water and down old bridle. Highly recommended!

awesome.
up falling waters , down bridle. good lemonade at the hut

I love this trail. Make sure you check the weather at the top before going for it and be prepared to need a hat at the top because of the winds. Absolutely amazing views!

I ended up hiking up Liberty Springs trail and not Falling Waters, so I could easily bag Liberty as well as Little Haystack, Lincoln and Lafayette. Stayed at Greenleaf Hut for two chill days. This trail is a DREAM. Try to get up there on a weekday. I was up Thursday, and had the ridge to myself which was GLORIOUS. So incredibly beautiful. Friday puttered around on Lafayette and just past it (not sure the name... going North of Lafayette Summit.) The range was MOBBED with people. So if you're looking for beauty AND more solitude, go up on the off season, or during the week. So much fun and very memorable. OBP on the descent had LOTS of gorgeous viewpoints.

Awesome hike. Strenuous but worth it. Experienced but slower hiker here, took me 8 hours round trip to do the loop including stops to enjoy the various summits. Steady incline up to the ridge, then you ascend and descend each of the three peaks until a finally steady but gradual descent past the hut back to the parking lot. I did Falling Waters up and Bridle down, which I recommend as bridal is a more gradual and Falling Waters steeper. My favorite hike in New Hampshire thus far.

Great hike and would recommend. Most of the trail is rocky and some parts were slower to maneuver up (and down) with the dog, but she’s the superior hiker out of the 3 of us and was fine. Took about 2.5 up and 1.5 down.

It is incredibly busy.... almost two lanes of traffic on all legs of the trail. I went up bridle and down falling waters and may have been the good choice on a busy day. However - falling waters is relentless on the knees and never really levels out until the end. Going down there are a lot of trees/roots in the right or down side of trail for balance. Left side was for people going up. Poles were helpful.

Windy at top and required a jacket. I should have had gloves.

I went up early at 5:30 and people were already coming down who had gone up at 1:00 am to catch sunrise or were trail running.

It is incredible for the views in the ridge.

Hike - Saturday July 7 a beautiful day

hiking
10 days ago

We hiked from Mt. Washington Cog Railway (starting point is right behind the station, meets the Ammonousic trail) and up to the summit of Mt. Monroe and back down; took us a little over 5 hours. If you do your research on weather conditions, should be manageable; rocks can get slippery at a few spots and it does get windy in the alpine zone. Would recommend using hiking boots on this trail. The views from the summit are beyond spectacular.

backpacking
11 days ago

Took the Valley Way up, which is about 4 miles, this ascends the entire time with no switchbacks. Terrain is pretty easy for the most part. At about 4 miles is the Madison Springs hut. We dropped our packs there and took the 0.5 mile trail to the summit. This was a rockier trail with lots of boulders to navigate on. Took about 3.5 hours to get to Madison Springs hut and 1 addition hour to get to summit and back to the hut. We did not descend Madison, but continued onto Adams.

We went up falling waters and down old bridle. Falling waters is a beautiful path with plenty of waterfalls, plus the bonus of the water keeping you cool. Old Bridle was just rock after rock. Suggest going up falling waters to enjoy the view on the way up. Walking the ridge is just glorious and every bit worth this hike. Finished in about 5 hours and 45minutes with 10-15 minute breaks at Mt Lincoln and Mt Lafayette. Highly recommend, it’s a great workout and worth every drop of sweat. Recommend to everyone want to battle for a beautiful view.

Definitely five stars for both views and difficulty. Took us 7 hours, with a few breaks. Amazing hike, even when it was hard it was so beautiful that it totally made it worth it. We started pretty early, so it was not too busy. However by the end there were quite a few groups. If you go, make sure to bring A LOT of water!

Hiked on July 3. Was very hot, all the sweat was well worth the views. Was a great hike!

Incredibly difficult hike for this out of shape 41 year old, but well worth it.

Was a great hike. Beautiful views. Lots of rocks but this is NH. Kicked my butt.

Hiked the trail on July 2 with my grown kids (in their 20s). We're all generally fit but haven't hiked much recently. Took us 6 hours and 20 minutes with about 45 minutes of stops. We went up the Falling Waters trail and down Bridle Path, which is the best way. The trail down Bridle Path is generally less steep although it does have its steep sections, and much of the trail is wet and slippery. There really is no easy way. This is one of the most beautiful trail imaginable. There are many water falls along the Falling Waters, and some great look outs on Bridle Path, and the trail along the ridge is spectacular. There's little if any exposure to steep drops although you have to be careful almost every step. We stopped at the Greenleaf Hut for water and to take a break. We each started with about 64 ounces of water which was not enough. Temperature was in the 80s at the bottom of the mountain and in the 60s on top of the ridge

Wonderful views. The only hard part was getting up to the ridge, the actual ridge hike was wonderful. Highly recommend ! One of my favorites in NH

Mid 20s in shape and completed in roughly 4 1/2 hrs with some picture and water/snack breaks. Started at the trail head and headed up falling waters. Most of the terrain was dry besides areas close to the waterfall. The bugs weren’t too bad on the way up but coming down to the hut/old bridle had a lot more moisture which lead to more bugs. Was 85 and humid until you hit the tree line then a very refreshing breeze rewards you your hard work. I used roughly a gallon(3.87L) total but ymmv. The views were spectacular as always.

Certainly the best hike in the White Mountains I have done to date. We started our hike around 8:15AM, ascending up Falling Waters. It was fairly hot and humid at the trailhead, but waterfalls made for some nice cool spots along the way. Aside from a few steep stretches, we found the ascent to Little Haystack pretty manageable. Hiking along the ridge provided some magnificent views. My 4.5 year old retriever seemed to have no issues, and met many other 4 legged friends along the way. After a short lunch on top of Lafayette we started our descent down Old Bridle path. We stopped at Greenleaf hut to refill the water and made our way down to the trailhead. The descent had a fair amount of moisture and loose rocks which made it difficult at times. Aside from a short 15 min detour after taking the Greenleaf trail north, we got back on Old Bridle and made it back to the parking lot at 2:30pm. Overall hike time of 6 hours 15 min. Highly recommneded!

Did this on Sat. June 30 with a group of 3 other persons between 40 and 50 years a bit out of shape. Beautiful weather but the trail was pretty wet for yesterday fell a heavy rain. Took us from 10AM to 5PM from the starting point on the road up to Mount Jackson and back (didn’t make the loop with Mount Webster). At the fork, take 30’ to see the big and beautiful waterfall! Nice views but pretty extenuating for our lazy group. Many unleashed dogs on the trail and some of them not the friendly kind! Lovely experience after all and really glad we gathered the strength to go to the end of it! For your ankles ‘s sake, don’t go on this trail without boots because muddy and very slippery after/during rain!

We hiked this loop counter-clockwise (ascended on falling waters trail, descended on old bridle path). It was a very strenuous hike, but totally do-able by most average hikers if one is prepared. We brought in 2 liters of water each, sandwiches, and snacks (and ate/drank every last bit). We started 9am and finished 3:45pm. I’d recommend starting even earlier than we did in order to beat the heat!

It took us 7 hours to do the loop. I recommend staying at the campground at the bottom of the mountain. Bring good shoes because there are a lot of rocks. Hiking poles recommended.

Best day hike in the east, no doubt.

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