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Did this loop on Wednesday 9/19. The first four miles are easy and the actual loop of the Hancocks is hard but short. Can’t say much about the views since it was cloudy and foggy when I summited. I saw an alltrails review about a bear towards the end and a reminder to make noise while hiking- well let me tell you, I did not make noise and I also ran into a bear about two miles from the trailhead. The bear was the best part.

I would advise going up south first (I didn’t). It has a lot of loose rocks and it was very difficult to descend that route. Including breaks the whole hike took me 6.5 hours.

Great Hike with awesome views !! Must go ..

Ma plus belle randonnée !!!

Ian not a experienced hiker but I did it in 9 hr it was great day I enjoyed it views were not great we were in the clouds but I will do it again can’t wait

So many rocks and boulders climbing toward the sky forever (ok or maybe for just an hour ¯\_(ツ)_/¯). Not great views but a nice clear shot of Waterville.

The first 2.3 miles was a brisk walk then starts increasing its incline steadily for the rest of the way. Going to the observatory was a little foggy because it was cloudy, but there was still a beautiful view at the summit.

Loved it. Very strenuous. So worth it. Bring more water then you think you need.

hiking
3 days ago

Fantastic hike. We followed the directions listed in the description. The views off of WhiteFace were great. This would be a great trail to break up and spend a quiet night in one of the great tent spots we found along the trail.

Awesome views and not too difficult. Took my 12 yo daughter and her friend and we did it with no problems. Really fun hike.

Actually breathtaking views. My girlfriend and I were able to finish the loop in about 8 hours. It was tough but it was one of the highlights of my year. I am from Jersey and the huge plus was when we camped out the stars were absolutely unbelievable. Great way to end the night! Us Jersey people are not used to seeing shooting stars and such view able sky's. If you are even considering this hike I would recommend pulling the bandaide and getting the plans together, you will not regret it.

hiking
6 days ago

Nice, pretty uneventful hike. Went up South first, which is a nice leg workout after having a very easy start. Plenty of places to step and hold onto on the way up. Not much to look at from top of South, so we kept going. Fast and easy connection over to North and we had a snack on the overlook ledge with some fantastic views. Heading down from north was very steep and loose, however it was not difficult as there were plenty of handholds and trees strangely in just the right spots. Slowly levels out then there’s a dip, a water crossing and back uphill to close up the loop. Took us 4.5 hours with a 15 minute lunch break.

Awesome experience and will definitely be going again!

Such an impressive and gorgeous trek. This hike is no joke, it would be very challenging to do without physically preparing yourself. Well worth it! Once you summit, you are exposed to some truly marvelous views for miles along the ridge. As was suggested to my group, ascending via Falling Waters was a good idea since the rocks were slippery, and descending Old Bridle Path was more comfortable considering our tired legs. That way, too, you can stop at the Green Hut to refill on water (bring plenty!!!) and grab something to eat if you need. Overall, one of my favorite hikes to date and plan to return!

What a great hike. Waterfalls and outstanding views. Yes, the hike was difficult but very rewarding once you reach the top. I’m 45 and my buddy is 44. We took rests along the way and spent some time at the top. In all, we took about an hour in rest time. The hike itself took us around 5.5 hours. We were hiking at a descent pace. I was thankful to have hiking poles. The trail going down (after Lafayette) was aggressive and tough on the legs after a while. Overall, a great hike. One of my favorites.

Beautiful hike with an outstanding 360 degree view from the top. The piper trail offers diverse terrain - from a nice shady walk in the woods, to scrambling on boulders towards the top. I will suggest to keep an eye out for the yellow trail markings as they become pretty difficult to follow/ see once you are close to the summit. We had to turn around a couple of times because the safe way up was not extremely clear! Overall - one of the best hikes I have done this year! I saw many dogs on the trail, however, my older pup would not have been able to navigate through the steeper rocks towards the top easily, so I’m glad I left her at home!

hiking
7 days ago

like others have said, over 18. Maybe closer to 17 if you do the bushwhack. I enjoyed this hike. Weather was calm. No buggs. water crossings were managable. Brook was nice to follow. Scramble up produced some great views. Meet some nice people. Definitely hard going down after the long hike in and walk out seemed to drag a bit but that was it. I wont be running back to this one but im glad for the experience

Fun run into the loop intersection. Fun run out. It’s the white mountains so expect roots and rocks. Up north mtn was steep but good footing. Down south mtn was a bit sketchy with loose scree. The view points were close to each summit and gave nice long views. Fun trail run.

Amazing views but the hike WAS as difficult as previous reviews say. Probably one of the most difficult hikes I’ve ever done. Very rocky trail and pretty steep in parts but it levels off a lot once you get onto the ridge and that’s also when the views open up and are beautiful for about 2 miles. GPS watch clocked it at 8.8 miles total 4,000 ft elevation gain. It took us 6 hours but we didn’t take many breaks. Definitely worth the effort. Come prepared with food/water and the ridge was windy and pretty chilly when we were there so I was happy to have brought a jacket. Poles would have helped but we didn’t bring any. We were able to get great parking in the lot at the trail head when arriving at 7:15am on a sunday.

Beautiful hike but very challenging. Start early and be prepared with PLENTY of water and food. I drank about 3.5 liters on my own.

My girlfriend and I went up Old Bridle Path. I know its less popular but I would do it again that way. We started around 7:00 and the viewpoints in the morning sun were absolutely serene. It's the quieter trail at that time so we got to enjoy the views mostly by ourselves and our legs were a little more fresh than had we gone up Falling Water. Doing the loop this way means your descent is much steeper which was admittedly tough after an already long day. But Falling Water is now quieter by the afternoon and the waterfalls made for a great treat and a beautiful change of pace, in terms of scenery, at the end of the hike.

All I can say is wow! And ouch! I didn’t expect to do the loop but I ended up doing it counterclockwise on the suggestion of the park lady. Glad I did - what a hike! The worst part imo is hiking up to the ridge. Once you’re on the ridge it seems easier to me - maybe it’s just because the view is so amazing that you forget your hiking. Plan on a full 8 ours though - it will take you that long! This was the second hardest hike I have ever done - the only one harder so far was Mt. Washington.

nice trail lots of people

Absolutely wonderful hike. We are somewhat but not super in-shape, so the hike was challenging, but doable. We took Falling Waters up and Green Leaf down. It had rained heavily the night before and one of the river crossings was a bit tricky with the powerful stream on Falling Waters, we were glad to have waterproof shoes and wished we had brought a hiking pole. Breathtaking views for miles once you clear the tree line. It took us about 7 hours with a number of short breaks and a stop at the top of Lincoln for lunch. We went through water pretty quickly but refilled at Green Leaf Hut, and had some refreshing lemonade there as well. My legs were sore for days but it was totally worth it.

great workout beautiful views

hiking
9 days ago

Plan on rewarding yourself after this trail, because the Hancock’s offer none. The long flat first section tests your ability to not trip over tree roots- the steep 1/2 mile(s) will challenge your leg strength and stability, and there are no views at the top. These have been ✔️’d off the list.

Interesting hike. If you are scared of heights I would not recommend because there are some parts on whiteface where you need to do some free climbing (my dad said he hiked this when he was a teenager 40 years ago and there were ladders but there are NO ladders at all now). We went up whiteface and down passaconaway, completed the whole loop in 7 hours and 48 minutes.. including breaks. We did take a long break at the top of whiteface (maybe half hour to 45 min long). Started at around 11:30ish and finished by 7.. just minutes before sunset! We weren’t paying attention to time at the beginning of the hike but once we left whiteface we sped up to beat the sunset. Also if you have bad knees I wouldn’t recommend unless you have the time to descend carefully and some type of support.

My new favorite hike. Definitely would recommend Falling Waters going up and Green Leaf coming down for the best views. Fraconia Ridge is beautiful and has some nice challenges. Great hike.

My wife and I did this hike last weekend on Sunday and it was absolutely amazing! We started counterclockwise and it was definitely the right decision as ending off by the Hut was a great rest stop. The hike up we were warm but at the top we put on our pullovers. This was the second weekend in September. At the top we were able to see all the vistas and take in the beauty of the White National Forest! Notes: Bring a lot of water. Have cash only for the Hut. Take your time. Walking sticks for your way down.

I grew up in Jim Thorpe, PA but this was definitely the most difficult hike I have ever done.

Once again absolutely beautiful and so worth it!

10 days ago

What a delightful hike that doesn’t try to kill you yet keeps it interesting. However, Challenging portion was the ascent / descent. Went south as suggested, and am glad about the choice though both were rough. Not sure there’s a clear best option? Steep, 1/2 mile up, and then on the way down just tons of loose rocks everywhere. Shout out to the trees lining the trail that literally saved my butt.

hell ya was really fun hehe

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