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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!

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!

Great hike! Our only problem was, as we just started on mile 10 a nasty storm rolled in and the group decided to head back down. An hour later it was clear again! I guess that’s mount Washington weather! We had a great day of it though and I recommend the hike to anyone.

Soooo many wonderful memories at this site!!! I recommend it to everyone who is looking for a great hike that lets you get wet while hiking!!

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 :)

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.

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.

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

hiking
2 months ago

Went up and back from 112 on the north (Greeley Pond trail to Osceola trail to Mount Osceola summit and back). Went on Sunday Oct 11. Cold and clear day, and 6 to 12 inches of hard pack on the trail. Definitely needed spikes. Hard climb but well worth it. Took 5.5 rountrip with plenty of stops.

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.

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.

Nice hike after a 5 hr drive from NY. THe chimney/by pass was nowhere near as hard as I expected. Definitely need traction now and about a foot of snow above 3k feet. Some nice views. Would rate this as moderate.

Went up clockwise and going down was much more difficult and if wet would have made more difficult. Regardless of how you do this, the hike up top along the ridge is awesome. Great hike. Can't imagine one better in the Whites. Came from Cleveland and can't wait to go back.

Did this trail on October 3rd in 7 hours 45 minutes. I spent 30 Minutes on top of Mt Lafayette, because the view was amazing... A hard hike but it was worth it.

Great Hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Completed this hike on 10/19/18 as the weather looked much clearer on this day. Some parts were super icy so was cautious rather than fast, took 8 hours total (including a nice lunch break and chatting with others along the way). I like how it's a loop and is broken up into unique sections because it breaks up the hike nicely (3 mi on Falling Waters up, 2 along the ridge, 3.5 Old Bridle down). It was hard and my muscles are sore but it is a great experience!

Hiked this beast of a mountain October 16 2018. Quite strenuous hike 3 quarters of the way. The view makes it all worth it. With several waterfalls on the way we started at falling Waters and down to the bridle path. Hiked at 11:30am took us about 7 1/2 hours to complete with few breaks. Last hour was in the dark which I'd recommend avoid doing that, we heard a cougar near by (very deliberate chirping noise) which I later read online is to find their young .. Fed wild red squirrels some nuts by hand. It was a little icy towards the top and very windy at the summet. I probably wouldn't do this hike again personally because it was a lot of work and I was also a little under dressed. I brought 3 bottles of water only drank two. great hike for experience hikers. Also the hut on the way down was a life saver offering warmth, tea and hot cocoa and corn bread. Only asking for a few dollars we left a $20 and they also gave us a head light for the way down which barley worked but of course very appreciated.

By far my favorite hike in New England. My best friend and I have done this hike every way possible in every different season and somehow it amazes me every time. A definate must on your trail bucket list!!

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