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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.

Incredible hike but only made it as far as the hut. Beautiful views of the Ammonoosick along the way then once you get to Gem Pool it’s a real slog uphill - not made any easier in early November by the tough snow conditions - lots of holes, water running beneath the snow. Once we got above the tree line the wind really started to whip around and I had water in my boot. Changed socks once but it happened again. Eventually we just had to turn around - not enough daylight left to make it to the summit and back. Still loved this hike. Amazing views back toward Vermont the whole way up.

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.

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.

hiking
23 days 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!!

I hiked this trail on 10/16/18. There was a wind advisory in effect when I left the parking lot around 6:30. I hiked up Falling Waters, which is delightful. Very aptly named- there are multiple waterfalls. The wind was roaring in the treetops above me long before I ever reached the exposed area on Little Haystack. I had packed multiple wool layers and a Gore-Tex jacket, but I didn’t have appropriate cold weather gloves and I thought my fingers were going to freeze. I was not prepared for the temps on the exposed ridge. It was utterly, bitterly COLD on the ridge. The blasts of wind were so strong that I didn’t even dare take my phone out to take pictures at times. However, the sky was clear and the views were completely gorgeous, especially the frosty pines. Crampons would’ve been helpful, but I managed fine on the icy rocks with only hiking boots. I was very thankful for my trekking poles. The hike down Bridle Path was lovely. I’m a slow uphill hiker, and stop incessantly for photos. So the loop took me just under 10 hrs to complete. I met a number of other hikers- all great people. I would definitely recommend this hike!

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike! Went to north peak then south- descend was tricky as the first and last .5-.7 are very steep and there was ice and snow making it slick! Would recommend trekking poles! Happy trails :))

10/15/18 Great hike up Falling Waters. Trail is marked very well and easy to navigate. Plenty of waterfalls and water crossings. Very strenuous climb, so we packed lite. Unfortunately weather was not cooperating. Rain came in after the first mile. Up on the ridge winds picked up to 55 forecasted to hit 75 in another 2 hours. Visibility was poor. Me and 3 buddies decided to turn back once we got up to Little Haystack. We did meet up with a 76 year old solo hiker named Ward. He said he was going for it! And he passed us and disappeared into the fog. Amazing experience and we will regroup for another try. Going down falling waters was challenging with all the rain and mud on the rock scrambles.

Great views, easy to follow trail. Very strenuous climb up. Only one restroom at the Green Leaf Hut 5 hours after beginning the loop (so come prepared).

My brother and I did this hike and we really enjoyed it! It was windy on the ridge and many people went back down Falling Waters Trail. We had determination and we went for it. We were in nothing but fog on the ridge and it was windy but what an adventure! It is a long hike but my brother and I hike about every weekend therefore it wasn't very challenging. The hardest part was the winds on the ridge therefore, if you don't like winds and exposure I would suggest to bring trekking poles if you go back down Falling Water Trails. Even though we had no views, this hike was definitely an amazing experience and we'll be back for a clear day to see the views next time!

Falling Waters killed me. I hike often but hours of climbing up rocks just killed me. We got within 30 minutes of the summit and turned back because there was so much ice on the rocks. Next time I’m going up AND down the bridal path. Going down Falling Waters was one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life, two days later I still have vertigo. I did enjoy talking to the other hikers, everyone was so friendly and had great attitudes and nice things to say.

Completed this hike 10/14/18 — began around 8am, finished at 5:30pm with some stops for snacks and to enjoy the views at the summits.

Crampons/microspikes were a life saver on the icy/slushy rocks. I wish I had poles with me.

This was my first long day hike, and first hike to go beyond 2000ft of altitude gain. Challenging, but not impossible; a few tricky spots, mostly because of steep inclines, ice or melting snow.

The views at the summits were unreal. We got autumn and winter all in one.

Loved the camaraderie on the trails and positive attitudes of all hikers. Truly a wonderful experience and highly recommended. Can’t wait to come back.

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful hike, next time we bring the tent. Trail is was a little wet but well marked. The tent area is great. Who ever maintains this area ,,, thank you,,.

hiking
1 month 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.

Did this trail on October 14, and started it at 8am, finished about 6:30pm, and that’s with quite a few stops along the way, and about a 30 min lunch break at the summit. We took the Falling river trail up, and bridal path down. The hike is challenging(mostly because it’s a long hike) but if you are in decent shape, you should handle it ok. Id recommend waterproof hiking boots and gloves, especially if doing this trail in the autumn months, because it may be snowy/icy (near the summit especially) and muddy (like it was for us).
Breathtaking views at the top for sure, well worth it.

October 14. Started at 8am. Got to the first summit at 12pm. Started to go down at 2:30 pm. Finished at 6:30 pm. 10,5 hours non stop hike.

great hike. all the people at the top are annoying

It was very challenging but worth it! An 8.5-mile loop trail in Franconia, New Hampshire took a total of 7 hours. As I was hiking to the top, I saw ice and snow. Yup, snow in the middle of October! I got autumn and winter all in one. This hike reminded me of the moment when I was hiking to Annapurna Circuit Trek in the Himalayas, Nepal back in 2010.

Did this hike 10/13. Snow became sleet on the ridge. Whiteout. No views and slippery. Even without snow, I recommend hiking poles as this trail is a real class 5 boulder climbing trail. Go up Falling waters and down Bridle. And, guide said this is an 8 hour hike but most take 9 BUT everyone I spoke with said give yourself 10 hours or you will never stop to eat! VERY challenging trail. Not for altitude, but for elevation gain and very boulder strewn “trail.” Bring crampons if snow is even a remote possibility.

What an amazing hike. My friend and I only had one full day in the White Mountains and this is the hike that we chose. It was a perfect choice. We lucked out with clear skies at the top. It was a little rough with 100 mph gusts of wind, but we had hats, gloves, and layers so we were good.

My 9 pound dachshund made the hike as well, so don't doubt your abilities. It's definitely a hard hike, but you can definitely do it as long as you keep going.

Everybody talks about how hard the climb is, but do not underestimate the descent. It is hard on your knees and seems to go on forever. Don't forget...what goes up will go down!
Enjoy the hike and views, it's absolutely amazing.

I am literally the slowest walker ever and not in the best nor worse shape and this hike kicked my butt. It took approximately 9 hours and there was a blizzard on the top. Still was super fun but now I’m in recovery for about 3 days.

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