Explore NH 48 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

NH 48 Map

Challenging near top but so fun. Try for a dry day, larger slick rocks.

Very nice hike. Trail is a bit confusing and under marked. Stayed our first night about a 1/2 mile up on left AFTER the suspension bridge. 2nd night we stayed at the #3 Dry River Hut. 3rd day we followed dry river up to lake in the clouds and took Crawford path, then took Eisenhower down to another campsite on the Dry River trail.

A little over 20 miles. Bring a map and altimeter.

3 days ago

I did this hike on July 28th with my wife, daughter (3 years old) and 2 dogs. Pretty muddy due to rain the previous night, but the trails are marked well and an amazing view at the top! The scramble at the top is worth the work! overall a great hike!!

I hiked it 25 years ago and it started to storm. It was a very strenuous hike but very rewarding at the same time. Once we got to the top the clouds came in and we had to descend fast . Never be on a mountain during storms! However a blue sky can change fast and you will least expect it.

From Tripoli Road to Osceola Summit and back to Tripoli Rd. Parking lot. Started early at 7 am and were back at the car just before noon. Great hike. Like others have said watch footing because there are many rocks in the first half of the hike up. The rest of the way was slick wet rock. Awesome view at the top. Highly recommend for anyone looking for another crazy but still fun. Good for family hike.

8 days ago

I did from the Tripoli road out to East Osceola and back. I’m almost halfway with my NH 48, and would say this was (sorry for some) one of my easier hikes. Out to Osceola itself was pretty tame, although not fast. You have to pick your way among the rocks for footing. East Osceola was a fun trek, with some steeper sections including the chimney. There were some muddy pieces, but nothing you can’t pick through. I have a short steady stride, but still made it in about 5.5 hours total. Views were nice, but I hike for the work out. Not bad for a 4000 footer!

8 days ago

This trail starts off super easy before the north-south split. I went south as suggested, but it seemed like everyone I met along the way was descending south. South was a difficult ascent with lots of boulders and trees. The trail between the two was decent, but if you go south to north be prepared to climb again! South decent was miserable. I don't use poles, so it was basically a shale slide with trees to cling to like George of the Jungle. Honestly, either side would've been a miserable decent. The whole loop took me 6 and a half hours, with a 30 minute break at each peak and numerous stops on the way up South, for panting and whining.

Mount Jefferson is tough for newbies. I hiked Mount Jefferson, then walked over to Mount Adam's via the Gulfside Trail and had lunch, then back to Jefferson, round the Cornice Trail and then back down Cap's Ridge to the trail base parking lot. That was too much and took me almost 11 hours and I broke my glasses. Don't do that.

But Jefferson all by itself via Cap's Ridge is still a challenge for those new to the Whites. Have good boots and plenty of food and water. There is some rock scrambling needed, but not too overwhelming.

The trail is beautiful yet pretty muddy since it rained the day before. The first part of the trail is very flat but then there's a short, hard steep to the top. At both peaks there was a lookout which provided some great views. The trail was pretty busy but overall a fun hike :)

10 days ago

As others have noted, this is actually a 5.2 mile round-trip, not 4.4. It's a small difference, but worth correcting.

Regardless of the distance, it's a very good trail. It's fairly short but decently steep and technical. It was a warm and humid day today, but the trail is largely very shaded, so it wasn't overly hot, despite temperatures in the high 70s or low 80s. Perhaps the thing most worth noting is the top of the trail, which does indeed have quite a scramble. It's very do-able, just something to be aware of. Once you get up, there are tremendous 360 degree views, which are well worth the effort.

Be sure not to miss the waterfall just off the Webster-Jackson split, 1.2 miles in. We found it on the way back, and it was a great way to cool off near the end of the hike. The water was more than a little frigid, but it's a pretty little and a lovely little pool. It's definitely worth the detour.

on Hancock Loop Trail

11 days ago

Hiked the Hancocks after a downpour. Muddy, lots of stream crossings, but a fun hike. Mostly flat until the very last mile. When you see the sign for South Peak, 0.5 miles, it's time to work and sweat! Good views but crowded. Would suggest going up south peak and down north as others have said on here but it's pretty comparable.

Very rocky and lots of roots. The view at the top is well worth the climb though!

21 days ago

...did this trail as an extension of the Lafayette Loop. From all the reviews it sounds like this was a much less strenuous way to bag this peak.

22 days ago

Mount Osceola was my second 4000-footer in the Whites. Hiked in from the Kancamagus Hwy. The first 1.2 mile was through the Greely Pond area and was basically flat. The next 1.5 mile to the top of East Osceola was grueling and offered few views. The next mile to the top of Mount Osceola was pretty easy and offered a stunning 180 degree view.

A great strenuous hike with a lot of fun rock scrambles. The view from the peak is wonderful.

Beautiful hike, get above treeline very quick and most of hike is on large rocks. Came down off gulfside trail for less steep descent. One of most scenic hikes in all of NH

29 days ago

This trail from the Kanc is incredibly difficult. Very very steep rocks the entire way. A cool rockslide halfway up is a great break to cool off your burnt out legs. The wooded summit you hit first is still cool, a small lookout gives a little view. The trail to the second is fun, especially the famed chimney section. Views from the summit are absolutely incredible. Trip down is almost worse. The amount of rocks and boulders make it very tough to descend. No wonder why there aren’t many hikers on the trail. Great mountain, but ascend from Tripoli road.

Gives some good swamp ass but good view

Hi Alltrails.com,
Dogs do not have to be on leash on this trail and most other trails in the WMNF. Leashes are required for dogs in developed recreation areas and interpretive trails. (In a campground, or Guyot campsite for example). I've seen this caveat for other trails on your site and it just isn't true. In fact the forest service dogs and AMC employees with dogs are off leash all over the presidential range in all seasons. Everyone has to act responsibly and manage their pooches however the information at the top of the page is erroneous resulting in occasional conflict for pet owners. Literally hundreds of off-leash dogs travel the Whites in all seasons including the spring during Tuckerman Ravine season.
Please update this information for accuracy so that everyone has the correct information.
Thanks for hosting a great site.
Steven Cooney

1 month ago

A fairly difficult trail even for a seasoned hiker like me particular on a hot and humid day. It's easy going on Lonesome Lake trail but once you get to Hi-Cannon then comes it gets steep all the way. And once you get to Kinsman Ridge it gets steep and scramble all the way.

The Cannon Mountain cafe is full service with all kinds of food and even beer but the view is dissapointing.but the view from the observation tower is much better. I had a pulled pork sandwich which was bland the chili was tasty but gave me stomach pain later. The most scenic view I think is from the various scenic overlooks.

On the way down I decided to take a detour to Lonesome Lake via the Dodge Cut-Off trail and enjoyed a swim there and friendly chat with AMC hut staff there. I think this trail has to be done with a pit stop at Lonesome Lake otherwise all that steep climbing and scramble will be hard to justify. It does add to the mileage but it's an easy flat hike to the lake.

Very mild until the steep .7 up the north. It is steep but there’s no rock scrambling or anything that exciting. The woods between the 2 peaks are nice. Nothing to rush back for but it’s checked off the to-do list

1 month ago

This hike has it all, including class IV scrambling near the top to finish off the hike before the spectacular views of Crawford Notch, Mt. Pierce and Mt. Washington at the top. Did this hike with my wife, 3 kids (11, 8, 6) and dog.

Don't let the first third fool you - the trail gets vertical about a half mile before the peak. Someone else suggested up South, down North which I will also suggest. Getting down south would be a bit more challenging. Views at the top aren't 360° but they're gorgeous regardless! Only gave this 3 stars because there's really nothing outstanding or memorable about the hike up. (it's also way closer to 10.2 miles than the 9.1 listed)

The weather couldn't have been more spectacular and the Caps Ridge Trail was quite crowded. I did this hike knowing it would be a physical and mental challenge for me. I'm not in the greatest shape and I've recently developed a bit of a fear of ledges, but I'm a lifetime hiker -- including a fair bit of experience in the Whites -- and the point was to do something special to commemorate my 50th birthday. (The last time I did this hike, I was 26 years old, wearing a 50 lb external frame pack.) Anyway, the birthday hike exceeded expectations. I found the uphill extremely challenging, but largely because of my not-stellar conditioning and, when I get nervous, I hyperventilate a little. And climbing up the Caps sure made me nervous. Though it took me 4 hours to get there, I made it at long last. My friends are far more athletic but only moderately experienced hikers. They kicked my a** on the way up, but they found the descent much, much more scary and difficult than I found it (though, admittedly, I did have to overcome some panic in two different places). It took about 2.5 hours to get down. With pained knees and ankles, they cursed me much of the way down. Then again that was Saturday. By this morning, it seems the consensus from the group is that they had a great day and, like me, are quite proud of themselves.

A few tips: 1 Only hike this trail in good weather. 2. If you're not into hands and feet scrambles with ledges, or boulder hopping (the last 0.4 cone to summit), don't do this hike. This isn't the typical pretty walk in the woods. 3. Don't assume that you'll be hiking at your normal pace. While I'm sure some do this, i found things took a lot longer than expected. 4. Don't wear very thin trousers if you plan to slide down any rocks on your butt. I completely shredded the entire back of my pants.

Did up and back at Mt. Osceola. Made it up in 2 hours flat with 2 inexperienced hikers. Views are spectacular at the top. 1 hour, 44 minutes down from Mt. Osceola. Angled slabs of rock were a little slippery. Path well marked and view was worth the moderate hike.

I'm a pretty in shape person and avid hiker and this trail kicked my but in the best way! Went up to Liberty than over to Flume than back. Amazing views would do again.

1 month ago

As my lone hike involving 4000-footers, Franconia Ridge was my baseline going into this one in terms of difficulty (*weird* comfort zone to have, I know, but it was still my comfort zone). I'm in my mid-20s, and don't consider myself to be in great shape, but I hold my own just fine. That said, I found Mt. Osceola by itself (from Tripoli Road) to be perfectly tame. Despite all the rocks you have to navigate, the grade throughout never gets too steep, and even levels out here and there for generous distances. The most precarious section, that I can think of, involves the stretch of slabs closer to the top that essentially have you planting your feet at an angle. My friend and I found this part a bit tedious even in mostly dry conditions. While there aren't many views to speak of on the way up, the summit is close enough to treeline that you can appreciate the tree cover thinning out somewhat the higher you go. In roughly two and a half hours, we reached the summit and enjoyed amazing views of the Sandwich and Presidential Ranges as we sat down to have lunch.

I dock a star based on our decision to go out to East Osceola and back. I read ahead of time that the col was going to be more difficult than anything we'd see up to this point, but I still figured I wasn't in for too much of a surprise. Wrong!!! I can now say this is the most difficult two-mile stretch I've ever hiked thus far, and I was amazed that it only ended up taking us about two hours altogether, as it sucked enough energy out of me that I could've sworn it felt like much longer. For the majority of it, I was either on my butt going down or using my hands, knees and elbows to pull myself up boulders. Doable, but tedious if you're already tired. At the spot where you have a choice of two different routes to take, we took the rock slide going down and the chimney climb on the way back up. There were one or two instances where I froze up on the chimney and wished I had more reach, but overall, it offers plenty of hand and footholds, and I'm proud of myself for pushing through it! When we got back to Osceola proper, the descent from there took us about an hour and a half, and we were grateful to be navigating manageable grades again.

All in all, my friend and I are in no rush to go back to East Osceola, as we both felt it was way too much work for a fully wooded summit. Still, it was worth crossing off my list, and I appreciated the opportunity to expand my comfort zone (yes, even beyond what Franconia Ridge threw at me). This hike truly has something for everyone. If you're looking for a moderately challenging hike that will reward you generously without you having to exert yourself too much, stick to Osceola alone. If you want more of a challenge, continue to East Osceola.

(Side note: I still find the two hikes difficult to compare, as each one is hard in its own unique way. If you're yet to do Franconia Ridge, still do your research before you go.)

1 month ago

starts flat and picks up all the elevation in the last mile. the view from both the peaks is incredible. we did South then North, and it worked out well, although it seemed like North-South is a more popular direction. there were as many as 7 river/steam crossings, not all of them straightforward. perhaps that's the effect of early spring, but expect them.

This trail kicked my butt! Not sure how much of that was the 90 degree, 60% humidity weather, but from mile 2 to mile 4 I was begging for it to be over. I’d agree with the other reviews... “stairs on steroids!” The view from the summit was not great for me, and even though there weren’t many people out, it felt too busy at the top because it’s a small summit. The description doesn’t tell you, but the map takes you past Mount Liberty to Mount Flume. I couldn’t make it that far that day! I am looking forward to hiking up Flume one day though, because it seemed like a serious scramble! I prefer scramble to stairs any day

1 month ago

Nice loop trail with some steep climbs at the end. The views are great but limited, they are not 360 you only have a couple of overlooks. Recommend going up the North and coming down the south.

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