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This is a really nice hike in Franconia. Although the incline is steep at parts, it levels off shortly after. Definitely less strenuous than the trails up the ridge across the highway.

At the lake is a lovely dock that gives views to Franconia Ridge and Cannon. This is a great place to stop for lunch. Curious and friendly resident ducks on the lake may come up to you, but don’t feed them! They are fun to watch though.

It can get a bit muddy around the lake, but bog bridges help mitigate that.

I took the Dodge Cutoff Trail back down. It was less developed than the LL trail up. No staircases on Dodge. Less people though. I’d recommend going back down the way you came though.

Really nice hike, a good way to pass a few hours.

Granite lake is such a beautiful lake. The reflection of surrounding trees on the green-blue water was spectacular. The extra hour or so hike from granite lake to Maggie's peaks was also totally worth it because from the top, I could see Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay, Granite Lake, and two other lakes. We also saw an eagle fly upwards what we hiked for 2 hours in 10 seconds. This was overall a very impressive hike. Definitely elevation gain involved.

Beautiful hike and well worth it. can't wait to do it again.

very easy hike with wide trail. great views of the salmon swimming up stream.

Hiked with my 6 and 10 year olds.

I did not consider this a moderate hike and found it quite easy. Neither of my kids found it difficult either. The only "steep" sections are found in the staircase around the falls and these are short.

The trail is about a mile to the falls and is fairly flat with a gradual incline. There is a stream crossing immediately after the trailhead we managed in the rain to avoid getting wet.

You've reached the falls when you hit a fork in the trail with a sign. The right continues on to Mt. Chocurua and the left heads towards the falls. They meet again after the falls to create a loop. I would avoid the loop by going up and down the staircase. If you head up the left the first or second side trail leads to a wide waterfall with a huge squarish bolder in the middle of the stream. Keep heading down the gorge another 200' to see a tall 50' waterfall. There is also a cut out in the canyon with a large overhang in which you can shelter. We ate lunch here out of the drizzle and dried off our gear.

Although we come to summit Chocorua this was a nice plan B. Had conditions been better and we summited I probably would have by passed the falls and missed out completely.

hiking
3 days ago

This is a great beginner hike to get in shape.

Great for all ages, easy 1 mile hike if parked in the designated water parking lot. Must have and reserve pass ahead of time.

hiking
3 days ago

Well worth the hike. I’d recommend going up the hard route (right) and reward yourself by coming down the easier side (left). The views at the top were breathtaking. Took about 35 minutes up with water breaks and had the summit to myself. If you have the time, continue along the ridge to Black Tail (another must do).

My 6 and 9 year old kids made the entire trail and I couldnt be prouder since it is strenuous for an adult. Views are spectacular and I really enjoyed the wildflowers. So much I bought an identifying guide book.

Very easy to get off the main trail! We were off track for about 30 minutes. If you ever question “is this the trail?” You’re not on it!! The main trail is about 3 ft wide the whole way. Pretty easy to cross the creek - need some balance at some parts. Would recommend wearing hiking boots and bring plenty of water!

Tough uphill, a little muddy at the top. Nice views.

Whew!

On our first visit to Mount Lafayette we were greeted by a thunderstorm, strong winds, and cold. We made it to the Greenleaf Hut, then turned back around. We couldn’t wait to do this hike again under better conditions.

Of course on our return it absolutely poured. We once again did the whole hike from the trailhead up the Old Bridle Path to the Greenleaf Hut in the soaking rain. We decided to continue on, and we’re thankful we did. By the time we got to the summit of Mt. Lafayette the rain had stopped and the clouds broke for us. The views were spectacular.

We crossed over the ridge, and the down the Falling Waters trail, but unfortunately the clouds moved back in obstructing some of our views. The waterfalls on the way down the trail were amazing, especially after a rainstorm. There are some really small stream crossings, but we were soaked already so they weren’t that big of a deal. Some people recommended removing shoes and whatnot to do the crossing.

I would recommend doing the Falling Waters section of the hike first if I were to do it again. I would have preferred the steady incline of this section. It’s all personal preference, though.

I cannot understand anyone rating thus hike, beliw a five star. Excellent condition. Amazing canyon walls. Beautiful.

hiking
6 days ago

It isn't too smokey to hike here (Aug 2018) but views are not what they are when it is clear. We just spent a couple nights by Rock Lake and Jamison which are both nice. The hike into the lakes from the mine is uphill, hot at mid-day. and rocky, but with nice forested areas, a waterfall, small streams, interesting geology and good views. Nice stars at night despite all the fires to the north and south. It took us about 2 hours to hike in, and 1 hour to get out. We really enjoyed hiking up to Mt Washington from Jamison - it is an exposed, difficult rock scramble at the summit, but beautiful!

hiking
6 days ago

Great hiking trail but also quite populated. We started hiking at 12:30 on a Friday. Couldn’t finish the trail due to needing to meet up with family in town, but we will be back to do exactly that on another day. There is a $10 fee to get in to the parking area.

Beautiful scenery and not a terribly tough hike but it's incredibly dusty and pretty crowded..lots of fun crossing the creeks but there are a lot of other trails that have views just a beautiful without all the dust and crowds. Wear waterproof boots and expect to wait to cross the creeks as others will probably be lined up to go across as well. The trail is almost completely shaded as well so really nice on a hot day. Very family and dog friendly. If you're looking for solitude this is NOT the hike for you. I suggest hiking poles as there are a lot of crossings and it can get slippery in spots.

hiking
6 days ago

We did this with our two children age 3.5 and 5.5 y and it was a big success. The young one was in my back for the first half and then he wanted to climb on his own. It was a lot of fun. I recommend this trail for any family with minimum experience. Hiking boots are a plus since some sections are somewhat rocky.

hiking
7 days ago

Awesome, quick post-work hike with the hubby and two bullmastiffs. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we had amazing views for minimal effort. We did take the longer, but easier, route from the paved parking lot (on Google maps it’s the “north” trailhead; at the Butte it’s the “west” trail).

Classic Arizona hike that all should do at least once. Well marked, great valley views and a good workout. We completed in less than 2 hours and that’s including breaks to admire the view. Go in the morning, when at least part of the trails are still in some morning shade.

hiking
7 days ago

Nice trail. Some steep sections. Beautiful lakes at the end of the trail. Couple of good view points. Places to camp

Easy trail with amazing views of the mountains and glacier.. lots of super cold running water.. beautiful flowers along the way..

hiking
8 days ago

Steep steep to the top, but so worth it! Went down the easier way, and that helped a lot.

If you're physically fit, this trail is challenging and beautiful. There is some scrambling across granite slabs and lots of boulders with quick elevation gain.

If you're not in shape, it's going to be very hard. I would recommend that you try hiking just to the first viewpoint, as the viewpoint is breathtakingly beautiful and it is a shorter distance than to the hut or the summit of Lafayette.

I went on a sunny, humid, 92-degree day and suffered heat exhaustion about .4 from the hut. I was so, so disappointed, but made the right choice to turn around once the dizziness, nausea, and stomach cramps set in. This type of thing can happen on any hike on a hot, sunny day, but I just want to remind you that this hike in particular is hard and you need to bring an appropriate amt of water. I had 2 bottles and started well-hydrated, and this wasn't enough. And when I turned around to go back down (looking really ill and uncertain if I could make it), two saints gave me their water, a walking stick, and walked the whole distance down with me. Hikers are just the best people in the world.

We did this trail North to South with three nights used camping outdoors below the treeline. If you're coming down from Canada, or from far away, starting at the North and using the free camping site not too far from Mt Madison is a good option. You will suffer the first day regardless getting up past the treeline into the mountain range but it will be worth it.

Q: Which mountains should I do?
A: Is it extremely cloudy? Then you should just stay to the path. If not then Mt Madison has the best overall view of the North to South range and you can even see Mt Washington on a good day. Mt Adams is a pile of rocks (I would skip), Mt Jefferson is a yes on a clear day, Mt Clay is a nice windy spot to relax before you climb up Mt Washington, anything past Mt Washington is really dependent on how quickly you need to get back to a shuttle/car (Eisenhower has a pile of rocks on top... up to you).

You cannot reserve a shuttle seat the day of. You must book in advance or wait around in line to be sure to get a spot. Do not rely on taxi services as they are far and few.

Gearwise you should expect wind, rain and sun with the change dependent on the time of the year you go. If you are hiking in the summer expect a neckburn if you don't wear sunscreen or a hat during the peak sun hours. There are streams that I would risk not filtering before drinking but there are larger stretches after Mt Washington that have still water that need more than just tablets to make it consumable. Hiking poles are not needed but shoes with proper ankle support are. You will be on very rocky terrain once you're above the treeline and you could easily roll or strain something without proper footwear.

Please double layer socks in your shoes. Blisters out here will suck. Thin layer first then a thick wool sock so that you don't have as much friction with your shoes leading to blisters.

The cabins take credit cards. If you want to stay in them go for it but you aren't exactly roughing it. Sometimes if you arrive there off usually eating times they'll have free food to eat or coffee to drink. They also will let you fill up on water there.

Parking is 5USD a day at the centre (South). I would recommend dropping people off at the North trailhead, driving to the centre/parking and then taking the shuttle to regroup. This will allow you to come out of the trail right beside the parking lot on your last day.

The most incredible views ever. Super steep hike so bring poles and be prepared to work hard, this is a tough hike and will take longer because of the steepness. Blueberries along the way, gorgeous wildflowers, and stunning views of Kenai Lake the whole time.

Beautiful hike, best time would be in the morning this time of year, around 8.

overall I'd give the challenge a 4-5 views and the adventure factor 8 was a fun trail. Check out the ostrich farm while down there.. who woulda thought that would be way out there.

My favorite part of this hike was the top of the cliffs section. Great views of the glacier and very lush at the end of July. We decided to end our hike with about 20 minutes left to the end of the trail due to crummy weather.

hiking
10 days ago

Best in the afternoon. The shades of light really enhance the experience

Awesome begginer hike to get you fitted for more bigger hikes. Trail gets steep for a ways. Beautiful lake and hut. Recommend doing the full trail around the lake. Great views!

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