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Beautiful and very challenging hike. Contrary to what the listing notes, this is a better point to point hike than an out and back. I would recommend doing it as a day hike over backpacking after doing it both ways.

Skipped the Mizpah loop and just took the Crawford path up to the summit and back. I'd describe the hike as unrelentingly moderate. It's never very steep or challenging, but once you get on the Crawford path it's up and up and then up again. . Excellent views of the Eisenhower and Washington and an exposed alpine zone just before the summit.

hiking
2 days ago

Take Bald Face Cirlce Trail clockwise to South Baldface, followed by North Baldface (note: do not take the trail counter-clockwise). The majority of the ascent is a consistent 1000 ft./mile up until the last bit prior to the “false summit” of South Baldface. This particular stretch of “trail” is on “The Terrifying 25” list and would be better categorized as rock-climbing than as hiking. Every three steps up places the entire climb before it out of view, but also brings more and more of the surrounding area into view. This stretch of trail is a bit sketchy, but it is manageable with some caution and good tread. It would be ill-advised to traverse these ledges while wet, or with poor tread. These ledges are not well marked and require you to zig-zag quite a bit to complete. After completing the scramble up the ledges you will arrive at the first major scenic point which is the false summit of South Baldface. Looking away from the ledges, you will see a vast landscape of mountains and lakes. We took this trip shortly after the peak of foliage in mid october and the sight was fantastic. Visibility was as far as the horizon and the colors were gorgeous, views are 180 degrees or more. Looking forward along the trail, (in the opposite direction) you will see most of the trail up to South Baldface, and to the right of that would be South Baldface. The climb up to South Baldface from here is quite steep and features some bare rock scrambles, but none quite like the ledges. As we reached South Baldface, Mount Washington came into view. It was immediately obvious that this particular mountain was Washington as the snow covered caps had a striking contrast to the surrounding shades of green, orange, yellow, and purple. The views on this summit are 360 degrees at the trail sign itself, and 270 degrees or more at any point around the perimeter. The trail between South Baldface and North Baldface is somewhat up and down and relatively mellow compared to the rest. You’ll poke in and out of the forest onto various outcroppings, from which Mount Washington will be visible at numerous angles along the way. The North summit is just as prime as the South, with Mount Washington still visible and has similar views. The first half of the descent is very similar to the trail between peaks, popping in and out of tree lines and along outcroppings. The middle of the descent down is a bit rough and slow at times, while the last 2 miles are quite mellow, gentle, and go by fast. The route we took is identical to the one featured in the alltrails link above, with one exception; at the junction of Baldface Circle Trail, and Bicknell Ridge Trail, we took Bicknell Ridge Trail to hit a few “points of interest” that were marked on a more detailed, physical copy of the trails that were not present on the outer loop suggested by the website. While there were a few of these (a couple of cascades, a few streams, etc.), we were well spoiled and too impatient to spend any time at them. Personally, I would call this hike the highlight of the season and would be more than willing to go again.

hiking
9 days ago

Can't say enough about this loop... great views and a nice overall challenge. My Garmin came out to 9.6 miles, 3600 ft gain, and took us just about 5.5 hours. Beyond that, you get 360* views of peaks and valleys, with Mt. Washington glaring in the distance.

As with all other reviews, always start on the south and work your way clockwise. There is a section between 2-3m just passed the shelter that gets tricky... took up about 40 minutes to get through that .2 and trying to descend would have taken at least twice as long.

Last Tidbit: You are on a ridge line and there is not much water from miles 2-8.

Great loop trail! We followed the advice given in the comments to do the loop clockwise (Avalon, Field, Tom). Beautiful hike with plenty of stream crossings and little waterfalls! Up to Avalon was very steep, but nothing compared to South Twin. The view was very rewarding, Crawford Notch is gorgeously decorated with an array of fall colors this time of year. Mt. Field had another great view as well as some very friendly Canada Grey Jays! Mt. Tom is quite wooded at the top but there is still a view if you travel on the trail to the edge of the mountain and stand on some rocks. It took us 4.5 hours with breaks and our total mile count was 7.2.

A fun, moderate hike with nice views, especially on a fall day like today.

A good rewarding, moderate, hike. Today was my second time climbing it. The views going up and from the scenic outlook were amazing. Cloud cover prevented most of the views from the top.

This was a very nice hike I would say 4.5 stars. To have the description say very steep is a bit much. We started at Ammanousac or however it is spelled and then hiked up to the lake of the clouds hut. Then went up Monroe which I highly recommend because the top is great and not that crowded. Then we hung at the lake a bit and went up to Washington then down the Jewell trail. The only reason this is getting 4 stars is the top of Washington is horrible. It's a big tourist trap and really stinks. The Jewell trail coming down was amazing and something you should definitely take. Great waterfalls on the trail, great leaf peeping. No real scrambling which was a bit of a disappointment. compared to Katahdin or the Hellbrook trail on Mansfield this was a breeze.

hiking
10 days ago

WOW! JUST! WOW! Love this hike, especially in fall. One of my favorites in ME/NH. First hiked it in 1993 and again in 1994. Definitely follow everyone's advice and take the south leg of the Baldface Circle Trail going uphill, not downhill. An easy to moderate hike form Route 113 to the intersection with the Emerald Pool diversion. (Take that diversion on the way up, by the way, because you will not feel like it or not have the time to do it on the back end of this hike.) Still an easy/moderate hike to the Gorge diversion. (Take that little-traveled diversion to an even better, more private pool than Emerald for swimming.) The rest of the Circle Trail from there to the tight elevation lines on the map is easy/moderate. THEN, it gets REALLY fun! Steep rock climbing with sections requiring close attention to pick the best route up the open, steepish rock faces that are too slick to traverse straight up. Not for those fearful of heights or of falling. The spectacular views for which this trail is known start at the steep stuff, so take advantage of those breaks while trying to find a way up to look behind and take some pics. This section took so long to cross with our group of six, that we had to cut the itinerary short and skip going all the way to the summit of South Baldface or Eastman Mountain. Darkness comes early this time of year. Good news is that you need not go all the way to the summit to have unsurpassed 360-degree views. The "Lunch!" waypoint was a beautifully open and scenic spot, rewarding enough to make it easy to conceded the summit and hike immediately from there to the intersection of Baldface Knob Trail and begin our descent. Hiked Slippery Brook trail down as the last leg of the Boldface loop to make for a shorter loop and an easier trip. Slippery Brook is a pleasant, yet still scenic-at-the-top, contrast to that steep section of the Circle and highly recommended as a way down if you want/need to shorten or ease the last leg of your hike. Great lookout spots for lunch on the Baldface Knob Trail after the intersection with Baldface Circle Trail. Dogs on Slippery Brook Trail? Yes, very manageable. BUT NO WAY ON THAT STEEP PORTION OF THE SOUTH SECTION OF BALDFACE CIRCLE TRAIL. Way too steep and too many smooth, slippery expanses of bare rock face to navigate safely with a dog. This loop has a number of nice brook crossings, by the way, some of which do not appear on the map. See my reviews at "Slippery Brook Trail" and "Baldface Circle Trail to Emerald Pool."

Incredible. Just hiked this on Saturday October 6th. Absolutely beautiful. Ran into only two other hikers the entire hike. Must have spent an hour at the top. Took me 3.5 hours counting that and didn’t find the trail strenuous at all, and I’m not in the shape I used to be!

Overall nice hike. Was my first hike since having surgery and being out of hiking for a few months so we decided to only do Avalon and field since I was too tired to do Tom. A little tiring in parts but I was able to do the two mountains despite being a little out of shape. Avalon has some great views. Field does as well but there is only one spot and it is slightly blocked off by trees. Would say this is fairly dog friendly. Took my 50 pound hound mix and he did fine. There were a couple parts that were a little steep but he made it without my help. There were a few other dogs on the trail as well. Definitely do Avalon first as it is steeper going up like people said. The hike up was very pretty, lots of little water falls and spots where you have to cross water (plenty of places to step without your feet getting soaked). If you can do both 4ks it’s a great way to check two off your list!

Great day hike with killer views of the Presidentials from Jackson and over Crawford Notch from Webster. Including the trip to Elephant Head and to Webster’s summit will bring this trail closer to 7 miles, not the 5.2 listed here.

It’s a great hike with great views. This trail has quite a bit of rock climbing. Even if you hike slow it’s still worth doing- bring a headlamp and finish in the dark. If you don’t like rock climbing there is a great waterfall about 1.5 miles in that’s easy to get to.

If you go to the top watch the weather report and be prepared for different types of weather. A few days ago we had sleet on the way up, sunny and 65 at the top, and heavy clouds on the way down.

Ive done this hike a number of times. It is short but challenging at times. The view from the tower at the top is worth the effort. Avoid going after a rain

I personally loved this trail. We did the ascent up Lions Head and then down Tuckermans. I was in awe of the views the whole way down in the ravine and it was much less steep I thought. Would definitely do this hike again!

Amazing hike. Beautiful trail next to a river following upstream. Great views. We hiked through the clouds which was a great experience. Last 1.5 miles are super steep to a point that we had to go down on all 4 to make it. Last part took us almost 1.5h. Nothing for kids or dogs. Requires proper hiking boots and good stamina.

Solo hike on 9/6. Went up the eyebrow trail to Appalacian and the to firetower on summit. Returned via Appalachian trail to parking lot. Would not want to descend on the eyebrow trail if trail is wet. Had a great time even though I got drenched. Only met 6 folks, all solo. Two were thru hikers.

Love the trail. A lot of good mushroom pictures. Wish there was not high winds the day I was there was not able to go to the peak. Definitely worth the hike

23 days ago

I would like to do half star but can't!! NH what a rip off! To get to this trailhead you have to pay a$31 fee to drive the auto road to the trail. Have a passenger? Well that's an additional $9 per person!! Skip and do something more fun and less expensive

This is my go to trail and I have done it many times both as a day trip and a two day endeavor. Either way you cut it it is great I am always looking for a challenge and this trip always fits the bill strenuous but far from impossible. I am actually recommend people go up lionshead and down tuckermans rather than vice versa. That being said both ways are fine. Lionshead has some ladders and a few spans of a couple yards where you might need to use your hands but I wouldn’t call it bouldering. Tuckermans on the other hand is just steep. View wise lionshead is better in my opinion because you get to look into the bowl.
All in all this is a great hike but as with any other in the white mountain area always be prepared for the worst. That means always bring rain gear and first aid because things can change in an instant out there. Good luck and have fun :)

hiking
1 month ago

Do not hike this after a rain. It isn’t a family
Hike - can be difficult for some up top. It goes through boulders and wet rocks covered with moss. The view is nice, but it is too busy.

This is a great hike but people need to be aware that this is not a 6.6 miles, nor is the description above accurate when it says its an easy mountain (this seems to relate to finding the trail). As people note, its more like 3.8 in (so closer to 8 total), and a fairly challenging hike, though the trail is well maintained. Top is not totally clear, which is disappointing, but there are nice views on the way up, and from the fire tower at the top (if you are ready to climb a 40 foot ladder). As many note, if you can handle a steep initial climb its nice to do the eyebrow trail up, and the AT down. Some good views on the last part of the eyebrow trail. Overall a nice hike! Maybe not my favorite ever, but nice.

I really enjoyed this. To get views so quickly on Avalon was a nice reward went Avalon, Field, Tom. The forest in between all was beautiful. even got to see some Grey Jay's on top of Tom on a bluebird day! excited to do this loop in the winter! also - fantastic job by the people maintaining the trails!

It is a tough hike but with rewarding 360 views. Much better and secluded than the busy Mt.Kineo.

rock climbing
1 month ago

We had a 7 year old who scrambled up the trail with no problems (he’s low to the ground) but there are several steep rock faces to tackle as you near the top. I’d say the trail starts out easy, moves to moderate and becomes challenging at the top.

This is only for folks who are in great shape. You essentially climb Maine’s most difficult peak twice. There are easier ways to do this; the rangers at Baxter State Park do not recommend this “loop”.

Did the single day point-to-point with 2 staged cars. The weather and wind is no joke, even if all seems calm at the trailhead. Beautiful views, especially along Monticello’s lawn. Perfect time to do it, first weekend of August. Started at 5am.

hiking
1 month ago

Quick and fun hike with lots of parking at the trailhead. I went up the AT portion to the top, but I hear the full loop is fun if you're game for scrambling. Did the hike with a 4 year old who walked the whole way (with several breaks).

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