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Pretty cold and had to hike in from the road because Ravine Lodge is closed. We used micro spikes until we switched to snowshoes at the trailhead. Great hike. Too cold to hang out at the summit though.. It was truly stunning.

Hiked this on 1/15/19. Cold day - 10F at bottom at start, with 15-25F mph wind forecast. Started up Falling Waters route based on advice. Due to previous cold weather the streams were low and not a factor. Waterfalls were frozen over in veils of ice, like bells - but neither of our phones worked due to cold temps, so no pictures. Hike to Little Haystack is challenging and steep, lots of switchbacks and was fully snow or ice covered. Off the packed part of trail in snowy areas you can post-hole up to mid-thigh. Ridge hike that day was tough - wind gusts to 50-60MPH or so and steady at 30-40, and hard to stay on trail! We pretty much flew through the ridge - very brutal and exposed in those conditions. We were layering up right below treeline on the way up and two hikers passed us. They came back 5 minutes lighter with wide eyes and started layering up!! Trail is very well marked along ridge - with rocks on either side or frequent cairns. After Lafayette on the way down we did have a little difficulty keeping track of the trail and got a little off the path for a while a couple times - be very careful. It was like being on the moon that day - above treeline was a whole different environment. Once we got below treeline on Bridle Path the hike down was quick and easy - clear and calm conditions. It took us 6 hours without much stopping - just snacks, water, etc. No time wasted on the Ridge Trail - so on a clear day with time for gawking I'd budget 7 hours. Micro spikes were essential and worn from lot to lot. Great hike, quite challenging - my dogs are barking today.

As others have said, this is also one of my all time favorite loops summer or winter.

Please take note that sometimes the streams on Falling waters trail can be very treacherous and sometimes raging so much that you cannot, or should not cross.

In the winter if you're planning on doing a loop, I would suggest starting up Falling waters so you can choose to turn around if the streams are too much. Either that or hike for 8+ miles up Bridal, down falling waters only to have to bushwack to the highway to get over the last stream and back to your car.

I hiked this about a month ago and stream crossings were not possible due to heavy snow/rain/melt so we went up and down bridal path which is not ideal but still fun.

This is one of my all-time favorite loops in New England, White Mountains. I approached from the Falling Waters/ Haystack side, walked the ridgeline over Lincoln, and Lafayette. Don't get half way to Garfield before realizing that the Greenleaf Hut Trail goes down the front face of Lafayette.

There are a couple of risky river crossings with minimal markings on the approach. Nice steady climb up with some steep stuff in the last 3/4 mile to Haystack. Once on the ridgeline, there no little to no cover as you are above the trees for the entire time your hiking over Lafayette and even .6 miles down the face. Winds can pick-up out of nowhere so be prepared for anything.

At the Greenleaf Hut going down, starts the gradual incline picking up to some steep sections .7-1.0 mile down. Near vertical rockfaces are frozen with ice in the winter so microspikes/ crampons are necessary in areas, during the winter. The rest of the movement down is at a moderate grade.

This trail is super fun in the winter, just be prepared. Its not easy, and anything can happen.

lovely day hike. did on 1/5/18. definitely watch out for the upper section of old bridle, super icy in a few spots. broke out my crampons for that. fantastic views. I did the loop clockwise, which i would reccomend, although I think it would be great either direction!

11 days ago

One of my fav hikes in the Whites.
I was even lucky to see a moose on the top.
The view from the top is stunning. You should be able to see the presi’s if it’s a clear day.

Started late with my friend at 9:30AM and wasted a lot of time taking pictures. Wouldn't mind doing that again, mad views. The ice was pretty thick and the microspikes were not really holding on at some places. Would definitely advise crampons. Went up falling waters and down old bridle, but old bridle IS REALLY ICY at some places. So climb up that rather climb down.

Anyways had a beautiful sunset at Lafayette, and descended in the dark. Was fun.

Epic hike! Hiked on 12.27 solo and took 3:57 for the entire loop. Other reviews recommended to go at it counter clockwise so I went up Falling Water and then down Bridle. Microspikes were definitely essential. The cold killed my phone while I was taking pictures before Lafayette so I must come back! I regret not bringing goggles because it was so bright with sun/snow and the wind.

Falling Waters - good workout, be careful at the first water crossing. Looks a little sketchy and the ice isn’t too thick in some places. Take your time to cross.

Little Haystack to Lincoln - gorgeous views, super windy when you make it out of the tree line.

Lafayette to Hut - follow the cairns! With all the wind and snow there’s no telling where the trail is and not much footprints to follow. Look for the cairns to guide you.

Greenleaf - all down hill from there!

amzing and tough hike did on 12/30/18 counterclockwise. Waterfalls going up Falling Waters Trail were AMAZING as were the views on the ridge. Busted ass to make up for a late start. 5 hrs 15 min. Going up FWT almost made me question my sanity. Microspikes the whole way, snowshoes went for a ride. Going down from Lafayette was a little tricky to navigate...pay attention to the cairns. Look out for a sharp left, steep section of packed/crusted snow was very slippery...had to dig in really hard with microspikes...crampons would have been ideal especially w/ tired legs going down but managed ok.

Ditto to all those before me :)

Parking can fit at least 12 cars. Trail begins with a gradual incline that crosses over many streams, in winter micro spikes are necessary, snow shoes if it has recently snowed. Trail takes a slight left and runs across the mountain for a bit more than up it. After that section the trail turns again and brings you right up the mountain, that last section to the intersection with carriage road is very steep and the hardest part, easy with right equipment. From there it’s a very gentle incline to the summit which has great views. 3.5 hours up. South peak is also a great spot to check out and is only .1 miles of a hike, worth it.

Went up on 12/27/18. Highly recommend going up falling waters trail and down old bridal path. Spikes are a must if you intend to tackle this in the winter. Weather was clear and the snow was well packed. Slid down many of the steepest parts coming down the mountain. Water crossings were tricky but doable.

Climbed the weekend of 12/16. Trail was hard packed and easy to follow. Conditions were great albeit frigid and windy. I saw a man going up OBT In ripped jeans and no traction, don’t be that guy. Make sure to bring microspikes or snowshoes and dress appropriately. Amazing views, this is a must do if you’re local.

1 month ago

Snowshoed this trail. 2-3 ft of snow. Not packed. Super hard...

Beautiful views from the fire tower at the top. Did this hike back in November, rainy at the bottom and all snow at the top. Neat cabin at the top that provided a bit of respite from the wind.

Did this during the winter storm on Nov 27th. The snow got deeper as we kept getting higher in elevation. You definitely need to make sure you have the proper gear if snow is on the ground. 2nd time I've done this trail and always amazing!

Super snowy and beautiful. Lesson learned: if you are debating about wether or not to carry snowshoes the answer is probably carry them. Left mine in the car, and my legs are feeling all step kicking and postholing through 3-4 foot+ drifts. Well worth it for the views at the top.

1 month ago

I did a large part of this trail during deep snowpack, clear skies, single-digit F temperatures. I would not recommend doing it during the winter without crampons and a friend or two to watch your back. It is quite treacherous (particularly near the top where the snowpack is quite deep) and it is necessary to jump across some partially-frozen creeks. You would be doing it at your own risk. Also monitor weather conditions to make sure it is not windy or snowing.

I did this hike back on 10-05-2018 as my first real hike. I made the first peak with out too much trouble. After that I knew I was over my head. Be that as it may it is an excellent experience and awesome hike. The views at each of the 3 peaks and even in-between were great. I went up the waterfall side and down the hut side. Highly recommend this hike. Look forward to doing it again in the winter

Absolutely breathtaking! One of the prettiest hikes I’ve taken on a cold, but sunny, clear day, completed November 12th 2018. Definitely go up the falling waters trail in winter and come down the old bridle path. It’s incredibly icy and much safer to climb up than go down the falling waters path, and still the several river crossings are a bit of a challenge. Microspikes are a must! But so worth the views! It was pretty cold up on the ridge, and quite windy, so be sure to dress correctly.

Peak bagging is what sent me to Moosilauke, and I'm really glad it did. It was about 31* at the trailhead (Gorge brook trail). about 2 miles in i had to stop and put on my micro-spikes. From there to the summit it was ice/snow. Really perfect fall hiking in my opinion. The Gorge brook trail was a steady easy to light moderate ascent. The summit is exposed and was windy when I was there. I only had about 30 meter visibility due to the clouds but the hike was great. I made my way over to South Peak which was an easy add on using the Carriage road trail. I continued down the Carriage road trail which offered some views below the clouds. To get back to the Gorge brook trail I took the Snapper trail. Which creates a nice little lollipop loop.

Tips: Park up by the ravine lodge as close as they will allow.

There are 2 trail entrances. One is down in front of the lodge. The other is at the end of the dirt road...which redirects you to the other entrance. Either method will get you to the trailhead.

Be careful after crossing the bridge to the Gorge brook trail. It is not marked but you will need to make a right turn to stay on the Gorge brook trail. If you continue walking along the river you are going the wrong way.

This is a great hike with interesting terrain and views. That being said, there are some things to point out! This hike is pretty consistently steep. It's a shorter trail so of course you need to gain that elevation quickly. I took Hi-Cannon up and Lonesome Lake down. There was snow on the majority of the trail and ice for the majority of the upper half of the mountain. I brought spikes and they would've helped but I managed to do it without them just fine - my hiking poles assisted me enough. The trails are technically marked but the markers must be very old and worn away because I only saw a handful the entire time, but the trail is easy enough to follow where you shouldn't get lost. There are also signs at every intersection.
Kinsman Ridge trail is extremely steep going down towards Lonesome Lake trail. You have to use your hands in a lot of places and if you have a dog with you it may be difficult, although I did see a Golden Retriever on the trail but the owners said he had some trouble.
The ladder section is fun as you are on the side of the mountain and have spectacular views for this segment with a couple pull-offs for breaks/photos.
At the top there is a look-out tower and a lodge (this is a ski mountain) that has a snack bar, bar, bathrooms. On my trip this was not yet open for business for the season but the doors were open so we could at least warm up and take a break. There is also a tram that you can get a one way ticket for at the top if you do not want to hike down, although this too is only open in season (not when I was there.)
There are plenty of spots to enjoy the lake especially if you decide to take the trail around it instead of just by it, probably adding a little less than a mile.

I had some trepidation leading up to this hike, as this was our first early winter hike in the White Mountains, and we were taking my son to celebrate his 10th birthday (this marked his 6th 4000 footer!). That said, I did my research and made several trips to REI to ensure I had the right equipment. Layers were definitely required and we wouldn’t have been able to complete the journey without microspikes. I’m grateful to the employee at REI who talked me out of the Yaktrax brand and insisted we needed the actual spikes. The journey through the trees covered with ice and snow made for an added degree of difficulty but is doable. The entire loop, and short trip to South Peak took us about 5.5 hours, allowing us time to take several short breaks. The only reason I’m not giving this 5 stars is simply because we had no visibility at the summit. But thats not the mountain’s fault! The cold whipping air and frozen over summit marker just added to our memories of a great hike!
As an aside, I’d highly recommend staying at the Ravine Lodge and getting some warm food and rustic comforts!!!

What a fantastic day of hiking! I've done this hike 20+ times in my life and it's easily my favorite hike in NH. It's is a long loop, and it hard on the body if you're not ready for it and even if you are.

A bit of advice, if you're planning on doing the loop in winter months, I would suggest you start up falling waters and go down Old Bridal path. Sometimes dry creek is impassible and you have to cross it multiple times on falling waters trail. If you hiked up Old Bridal Path and down Falling waters there's the potential that you would need to turn around and go all the way back over the ridge, or bushwack to the highway and follow it back to the parking lot.

The parking lot was about 30 degrees, summits in the clouds. We knew there was snow and ice so came prepared with microspikes, poles, goggles and many layers. The clouds cleared mid-day and the views to Mt. Washington were beautiful.

There were FAR too many people on this hike that really should not have been there. Many people in sneakers, no gloves, and cotton sweatshirts.

Please don't be one of those people. This is a serious hike, particularly in the winter months from October to Feb/March. With the windchill on the ridge, the temp was about 7 degrees F. People die on this hike when they underestimate the weather.

Here is an example :
http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13200507400/Failure-to-Turn-Back-Failure-to-Follow-Route-Inadequate-Clothing-and-Equipment-Weather-New-Hampshire-Mount-Lafayette

Stay safe, go prepared or don't go. Hope everyone made it down safely yesterday. There were still a lot of cars in the parking lot when we left after hiking out with headlamps for the last mile or so.

this place offers a difficult hike. the hardest part of the hike is the whooping 8.5 miles. it just takes all day. if you plan on hiking this loop, be sure to come prepared. bring lunch and something to nibble on and water is essential. Need the waterproof hiking boots. be sure to dress breathably warm. a hiking stick will be very useful. bring gloves. and last but not least, a portable charger! start hiking as early as possible because by the time you finish the loop, the sun sets and darkness invades. oh yes, darkness, bring a flashlight just to be on the safe side. you may or may not need it but you'll be grateful to have it in case you need it.

my friends and I started to hike pretty 130pm late. we ended up descending in the dark with flashlights from our phones. got lost a few times. slip and slide more often in the dark. our feet were all soaked from descending the falling water trail. altogether, a great hike. would absolutely do it again. early and more prepared next time!

please wear all wheel drives shoe haha.

Fantastic early winter hike! The hike itself is definitely more on the moderate than difficult level but the winter conditions added a degree of difficulty. Required spikes and layers - would not attempt without. Completed the loop in just over 4 hours including a beer break:) would stay at the base lodge next time!

challenging and rewarding

Hike to Smarts Mt is an excellent about 8 mile loop going up the AT to the summit and down the old Ranger's trail. Views from Lambert Ridge are very nice but the 360 degree views from the fire tower on top are fantastic. The Ranger trail is an older trail that isn't well blazed but isn't hard to follow normally, but could be in snow. Both trails are pretty steep. I'd rate them strenuous.

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