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This trail was beautiful! Nice short hike in the cold and we used sleds to ride down. Trails were nicely packed and the weather cleared up when we got to the top. Would definitely do this again :)

hiking
snow
6 hours ago

Yes the hut is open despite the shutdown!! Went on a foggy day and couldn’t see the view much, but still a great hike and the hut is so cool! Definitely need micro spikes, but didn’t need snowshoes as the trial is very packed down. Saw a few other friendly folks too! First mile is steep, then evens out nicely. Will have to go back to see that view on the lake!

Really enjoyed this hike as an intro to snow hiking in the white mountain. Micro spikes were absolutely necessary. Be prepared with extra layers and freezing temps. Amazing views and fun trail. Looking forward to this hike in warmer temps.

Beautiful hike during winter! The views from the top are phenomenal; some of the best we've seen on the east coast. With several feet of snow, we sledded back down which was incredibly fun. Nice short hike.

nice trail in winter. snow was well packed 13 jan

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.

hiking
5 days ago

Anyone know if the hut is open right now due to the govt shutdown? Thanks in advance.

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!

Xmas morn 2018.. 9 degrees in the parking lot and brisk wind blowing meant we started bundled to the eyebrows. Once in the trees, however, I was able to drop to single layer for the moderate climb. Just shy of the treeline, the dense low trees allowed me to change my wet clothes (in total comfort) and prep for the sustained 20mph winds slashing across the peak. Brutal progression to the peak meant we had to abandon hope for bagging Eisenhower, but once back in the trees the wind vanished and conditions became temperate by comparison. Water froze almost solid, even the one with salts. Note to self: get insulated sleeves for the nalgenes!

We used micro spikes the whole way, dodging postholes made by others. Snowshoes would have been overkill, though.

Beware the grey jays: they expect to be fed and will attempt to steal food from your hands as you eat. One landed in my open backpack and started going through my food bag, despite presence of curious dog.

A good hike, will do it again some day.

thankful for the hut on windy winter days!

Beautiful views from the top, worth the steep climb. Not many views on the way up, but once you get on the ridge, it is breath-taking. Only had to use traction, snowshoes weren't quite necessary.

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!! Trails are hard packed with ice, traction is a must!. My hillsounds made easy work of the ledges. Some mixed conditions (ice and rock) going up Welch. I did run into a group that turned around because they couldn’t get purchase safely with their traction (yax and katahoulas).
The saddle in between the 2 is packed nicely. Beautiful views!! Will be hiking this again.

I have always LOVED this hike! Great views.

A quick stop to see something special. Bring your camera because you can get some great shots of people there!

Super gorgeous but extremely popular. It's a quick walk from the parking lot with stairs the whole way. Still, it was gorgeous to see and I got some great pictures of the kids!

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 :)

on Franconia Falls Trail

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked this with my dog on Dec 30th. Wide trail, hard packed snow, river to your right and gorgeous sunny day. 22 degrees F in the morning and rose to 31 degrees. Hiking boots were okay, but microspikes were needed to approach the falls. It became too icy without spikes. A few people were on XC skis, but would not recommend without edges.

Beautiful views and an easy walk !

hiking
16 days ago

Great hike! A little dicey this time of year without good footwear bc of all the ice on the ground. But all in all it was quick and easy with great views.

Parked in the cannon parking lot and hiked the loop counterclockwise. The way up to the viewpoint was not nearly as icey as the way down.

Parking can fit at least 12 cars. Trail begins with a gradual incline that crosses over many streams, in winter micro spikes are necessary, snow shoes if it has recently snowed. Trail takes a slight left and runs across the mountain for a bit more than up it. After that section the trail turns again and brings you right up the mountain, that last section to the intersection with carriage road is very steep and the hardest part, easy with right equipment. From there it’s a very gentle incline to the summit which has great views. 3.5 hours up. South peak is also a great spot to check out and is only .1 miles of a hike, worth it.

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.

Great hike for those looking for a shorter outing in the Whites. The trail was mostly moderately graded with a few steep sections here and there. The snow was packed out well when we went, so only microspikes and poles were needed. Great views at the top for the effort. It took about 1:10 up and 40 minutes down.

on Sabbaday Falls

hiking
21 days ago

A nice, short hike to a pretty waterfall. The snow was well packed but microspikes were helpful. Unfortunately the lookout path over the falls was closed for the winter, but you can still get a good view from the top and bottom of the falls.

hiking
22 days ago

We hiked the Crawford Path up and back. The trail is easy to follow and a fairly steady incline to the peak of Mount Pierce. There is not much in the way of views until you approach the peak, which provides a stunning view of the surrounding mountains. The snow is well packed—no need for snow shoes, but highly recommend crampons or microspikes.

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