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Trail somewhat uneventful, but great views made it worth it! Not too strenuous of a hike.

Great mountain for a day hike with great views! Beware- there are a lot of false summits when you get near the top- that craggy looking thing in the distance? year- that's where you're going!

Good if you want to do a high peak without a ton of hiking in and ease of access. Snowshoed up cascade in March, was pretty cold at the top and it ended up being too blustery for good views, so we skipped Porter. Will probably do again in nicer weather.

amazing views!

I had the mountain to myself on this particular morning. There was plenty of granular snow on the trail given the persistence of winter weather we've been having in mid April. There were some icy spots on the way up but nothing that poles and microspikes couldn't handle easily. The summit of Cascade was extremely windy and the cloud cover obscured all views so I didn't spend much time at the top of either peak. Had a blast with some controlled slides and running on the descent. Started at the registry at 5am and was back at the car by 7:20.

Nice hike, we did this in about 4-5 hours late September 2017. The trail was in good condition and easy to follow. The ridge part is great. This can be a longer day hike if you do a bigger loop including mount Flume (start with mount flume) and walking down the valley back to your car.

I did this hike in mid-April 2018 in winter conditions. Spikes are a must. The trail is difficult. We ascended via Falling Waters. There are stream crossings, so wear waterproof boots. Near the summit, the trail becomes especially steep. Views from the summit are spectacular, my favorite in the Whites. We encountered high wind gusts and freezing rain as we crossed the range. Thankfully we had goggles, and these saved the day. What is special about this hike is that you keep these beautiful views across the whole range and as you descend via Greenleaf trail. I can’t recommend this hike enough.

One of the best and most memorable hikes I’ve done.

We arrived at the trailhead at 9 am. We were equipped with poles and microspikes, both of which proved to be crucial in making it to the top. The trail was covered in compacted snow with many ice patches. We did not need snowshoes at any point - the microspikes handled the ice patches easily. The steepest ice patch occurred about 25-30 minutes from the peak of Cascade. We chose to hit Porter before summitting Cascade. The trail was not very well marked on the way to Porter from the junction on the Cascade trail. We were able to follow the previous tracks of a few hikers who had already made it to Porter, but even without tracks the trail isn’t too hard to see. We weren’t sure if we had made the summit of Porter because it is just small clearing surrounded by trees. Only after venturing about two tenths of a mile past the summit did we confirm that we had reached the summit. Next we summitted Cascade, which was bare and very windy with amazing views. It took us about three and half hours to get from the trailhead to the summit of Cascade with Porter included. The hike back back down only took about an hour and fifteen minutes. Overall the hike was moderately strenuous, and very enjoyable.

Was at the top on March 25th under the sun and with lots of snow. Wonderfull trail with 360 degrees view at the top. Not too crowded but trail was walked on so did not have to use snowshoes. 10 spikes crampons can be usefull.

Did it with my son last October.Rain and fog made for limited visibility but still worth the trip.Hit RockyPeak Ridge while there.Clearing skies made for outstanding fall views.

Fabulous! Would happily do it again!

This review is specifically for the Caps Ridge - Castle - Link loop... It was a beautiful day, and all I can say was that this route is among the most dynamic, scenic, and downright enjoyable ventures I've had the pleasure to experience. Once you ascend past the timber line (very soon after the trailhead), the views of the valley are phenomenal. Once the views come, you're in for scrambling nearly the rest of the way to the summit. Once past the largest of the rocks and close to the summit, we were enveloped in fog. ... but the great thing about the fog is that you already know that soon starting the descent, you're in for some more stunning valley views - and that's exactly what we got with Castle Trail. The views from Castle are just as mesmerizing as those from the Caps Ridge ascent, and yet still decidedly their very own. Truly phenomenal.

In retrospect, The Link was likely my favorite part of the entire loop. Though it's a relatively brief stretch, it's a challenge to visually pick out where the trail actually is - so wherever your foot lands might as well be considered it! I'd recommend taking it slow and soaking in as much of the scenery as possible for two reasons: 1) the entirety of this section is what comes to mind if I had to imagine what an enchanted forest looks like, and 2) there are myriad unstable/slippery/otherwise dynamic surfaces upon which you'll tread, and there's no shortage of spots where a misstep is a risk that you can't afford to take.

This loop is not only an excellent physical challenge, but also an unforgettable experience (particularly so given the exceptional bang for your buck given the overall modest distance involved). We completed it in roughly 6 hours (which includes roughly 30 minutes spent enjoying the summit). I've been wanting to give this another go ever since this first time, and will do so again this year. There's a great many hikes yet on my list, but out of all those I've done up until now, this one holds a very special place for me.

Enjoy!

Did this loop last week. Crossing-over Avalanche Lake saved a lot of time. Very nice hike with nice viewpoints.

Lots of ice. Did the whole hike in crampons. Took about 6 hours with stops and 1/2 hour at the peak.

One of the most difficult day hikes I've done in my life. Particularly loved the section on the Franconia Ridge Trail. I was glad to have ascended on Falling Waters.

Still lots of snow lingering on the trail, but microspikes were sufficient as we haven’t had new snow in quite a while. Cascade was a large, epic, open summit and Porter was just a clearing on a ridge line. I would suggest tagging Porter first, then coming back and going up Cascade and taking a break up there. Windy once you reach the rocks on the summit push, but from there it’s only a few minutes to the top. Snow is still pretty deep, so watch out for postholing in the warmer afternoon weather. Took about 3.5 hours to hit both summits, take a break, and come back. (March 28, 2018)

We liked it sooooo much! We went on the 25th, and seriously, it was amazing. We were all beginners, so it was a feat for us, but we fell in love with the peaceful landscape at the top. What a fulfillment! I would suggest this one for anybody that would like to start hiking.

The trail condition was somewhat difficult today, the snow was semi hard and the path has been trampled, so hard with snowshoes. Was a beautiful day though and not too windy nor cold ! Long walk from the winter parking to the beginning of the trail. Will try again this summer !

Started at 1030am - lots of people so snow spikes were best since the snow was so packed down. The Lady and I bought two snow hiking sleds from LL Bean last month and finally tried it out on these two - it was SUPER awesome! Probably 75% of the downhill descent from the split was by bum sled! If anybody has ever thought of doing it, this trail was PERFECT for sledding down (carefully though!). Best first high peaks experience ever!

Great view! Totally worth it.

Started 9am at trailhead and it was -4 degrees, about 15 when we returned. Trail was packed down really well but still wore snow shoes all they way until reaching summit where we switched to crampons. Summit of cascade was very windy with strong gusts but clear blue skies and sunny. Couldn’t be up there longer than 5 min with wind chill. Headed to porter where the views were just as spectacular with heavy snow on trees. Less wind on porter. Used snow shoes all the way down back to trailhead by 3pm. Winter hiking a LOT more physical than expected but well worth the experience and views.

My dog and a few friends did this trail in late August of 2017. The trail was very difficult but immensely rewarding. Bring plenty of water and supplies, Views are stunning throughout the trail. Great hike for experienced and well trained dogs.

it was a gorgeous hike and decently challenging just take your time on the way down I sprained my lcl going to quickly

Took nearly 7 hours on snowshoes. Had to break the 2nd half of the trail.

Good winter hiking as heavily travelled, did hike in crampons.
Nice view from the top!

Your legs will burn. But it is so worth it!!! This is the first "true" hike I did! I was supposed to do it with my bro, but at the last minute, his job called him, so I went alone! What an adventure it was! Who could have known that it was only the beginning of a bigger adventure! Two years later, I was in Nepal facing the Mt Everest!

Difficult climb chose to do it the other day after a snowstorm. The hike was beautiful with the snow covered trees but unfortunately we had zero visibility at top but we still enjoyed the loop. Would like to revisit in the summer!

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