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One of the prettiest hikes I’ve ever done. A quintessential northeast hike, should be on everyone’s list. Well worth it.

My husband and I did this as our first hike in New England. Extremely challenging, but very fun. Very crowded day so couldn't see too much, but the ridge walk was a lot of fun and a nice reprieve from falling waters. Definitely start up falling waters. Will do again on a clear day!!

GOOD GRIEF is this trail beautiful. Is it hard? Yes. Did I get about two hours in and start to huff and puff and wish I’d stayed home? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. But when you clear the tree line and see the ridge that awaits you, it actually does take your breath away. I did this hike without trekking poles (I personally don’t like them) but most people I saw had them, so something to keep in mind. There is also the AMC Greenleaf cabin on your way down— great place to pee and grab something to drink. Bring tons of water and snacks, that’s a given. It took me about 6 1/2 hours with lots of little breaks, but no big ones. Descent is very rocky and slippery in places— hard on the knees. Don’t be afraid to slide on your butt. All in all, this was absolutely gorgeous, exhausting, rewarding, and I’ll be back for more.

Amazing trip with my brother and son (19). Hiked up falling waters to Haystack and camped at Liberty. Day 2 we walked the ridge to Lafayette (Mt Lincoln is just as beautiful) and down Bridal. 13 miles total. It was great to break up the trip in 2 days to enjoy the experience and hike roughly 5 hours per day.
Tip - Liberty Springs campground is 2 miles from Haystack and mostly downhill, which means 2 miles uphill the next day. Check the elevation. There are only 10 campsites, first come first serve and if you get a large platform you might have to share your spot. Cost is $10 per person.
One Love.

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.

Perfectly challenging and rewarding hike! I’m in pretty good shape and was able to complete it in 6 hours, with short breaks at each summit. I would not suggest this hike for inexperienced hikers, parts of it are technical. Make sure your hiking boots are waterproof. You have to cross the river and there is water on parts of the path. Overall, it was a great day hike and I would absolutely do it again. Take Falling Water trail up.

My favorite hike in New England so far. Finished in about 6 hours. Beautiful 360 degree views along the Alpine zone make this difficult hike 100% worth it. Make sure to bring lots of water, snacks, and a jacket. It can get windy along the ridge.

I've done a lot of hikes, which are more than 5000m but I must say that Franconia ridge Trail is one of the most difficult hikes i've done, lots of steep climbing and rocky footpath. It was a amazing hike though! We started late at 2:40 in the afternoon and took us a total of 7 hours. Plenty of food, water and trekking poles are a must.

Came all be way from Pittsburgh PA to do this hike.. we were NOT disappointed by any means. We went up falling waters and down old bridle path, as the reviews told us to do so, and this was for sure the way to go. We started the hike at around 10:30am and ended about 6pm. Bring plenty of food and water! If you run out of water, however, there’s a hut coming down old bridle path that offers free COLD water!!! Also, I don’t know how people hike this trail without trekking poles. We found that poles were a must to get through this rocky trail. The views at the top make it seem like you are in a different country!

Amazing hike with never ending staircases and boulders. Not great visibility on the notch, but lots of fun traveling through the alpine zone. Sun finally came out during our descent down old bridle, and we got to see the ridge line we had just traversed. Bring lots of water, hiking sticks and rain/wind gear. Hopefully your in shape.

Beyond gorgeous views once above the tree line. If you’re planning on doing the entire 8.5 mike loop, and you’re not in shape, be prepared for a long day. Plenty of great opportunities to take beautiful photos of the waterfalls and mountains. Make sure the weather is going to be nice because it’s a lot of climbing to not get the views that make it all worth it.

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.

One of the best hikes in NH. Not for beginners! Make sure you check high peaks forecast before climbing. There are good views everywhere. Falling Waters trail on the way up has nice waterfalls. The exposed ridge gives you views in all directions. Old bridle path on the way down gives you a chance to stop at the AMC Greenleaf Hut for a rest and refill on water.

Did the loop yesterday starting out with Falling Waters trails as others recommended here (thanks all!) and then onto old bridle. Falling waters trail was slippery and consecutively steeper each hour so I'm glad we started with that. I think it took us 2.5ish hours to get out of the tree line. It reminded me of 4 mile trail in Yosemite but without switchbacks. It was certainly exhausting and a bit monotonous after the waterfalls but we were glad that the ridge for the most part is easy walking for a few hours. The ridge was certainly the highlight of the hike- great sweeping views and being in the clouds. The thing that got us was the downhill on the way back as it was all rocky so we had to watch every step on the way down. We had some slips and falls though it seemed like a lot of other people were flying down the mountain with no problem. 2+ hours of rocky descent was really a bit much especially being in the tree line. At least there were some outlooks after the hut. Speaking of the hut, it's a great place to refill water bottles. We ended up drinking about 4-5 bottles each for the day (80 degrees and cloudy). Start at 9:20am, finished at 5:05pm. 4 stars for the amount of hours we were stuck in the tree line on slippery rocks. 5 stars for the ridge.

I went up and back down old bridle path. Didn't take the loop. Started too lat- around 11AM. Extremely difficult. Definitely wasn't a good choice for a first time hiker. (But do-able!) got back down around 7PM (with lots of short breaks and a 45 minute lunch break.) But can see why more experienced hikers love it. Lots of rocks that were tall that you had to climb up. Was beautiful at the top. Also thank goddess that there was the hut up old bridle to eat/go to the bathroom/refill water bottle/ rest. Would happily do it again once I become more advance. Would also start earlier in the day.

A great trail with a wide variety of things to see. We started out counterclockwise, heading towards Falling waters trail, weaving back and forth across a stream, up fairly steep rocky terrain. Once we got to Little Haystack Mt, the cool breeze and views were fantastic. The ridge walk to Mt Lafayette was magical and fairly technical. The walk back down towards the hut and lot (3.9m) is all downhill and will keep your eyes down at the feet. The trails are marked out well. We took 3L of water for 2 of us and finished it all. Total of 6h45m even with lunch on ridge line.

Great trail. We walked with our 7 and 5 year olds and a toddler in a carrier. It took us almost 5.5 hours as we walked super slow and made a lot of stops along the way. We lost the trail twice - near the same location on the way there and back but found the trail again quite easily. I highly recommend.

Hiked up Bridle on a dreary Friday to stay at the Greenleaf Hut with my 3 kids (ages 12, 10, and 5). We had a great time! The trail wasn’t packed which was wonderful. Some rocky sections were tough for our youngest but he channeled his inner mountain goat and scrambled up. We left at 10:30 and arrived at the hut at 1:30. We took another hour to get to the summit and at that point the rain was starting to come down. The rocks were very slippery so it was slow going.
The next morning the rain was driving so the hut crew suggested we head back down Bridle path because falling waters was too treacherous.
The trail was a river with all the rain fall! The kids loved hiking down in the rushing water. Overall, an awesome hike with beautiful views even in not so wonderful weather!

it's really really hard

love this app. it keeps you on the trails.

This is truly a beautiful hike! We started early in the morning at about 6am. We went up Falling Waters and down Old Bridle. The ridge is worth every moment of the hike!!! It is absolutely stunning. We finished around 3pm, but we took a long break at Lafayette for lunch.

I had a great time on this hike yesterday! It was pretty well trafficked, even on a Tuesday. I'm getting into hiking more on my own, so I was sort of looking for a trail where I wouldn't be totally alone. I'm in OK hiking shape--this was my first longer hike this year. The hike up Falling Waters took me about 2.5 hours with several breaks. The whole loop took almost 7 hours including lunch. I took 2 liters of water with me and refilled at the hut. Bridle Path is a pretty easy path down. Don't forget cash if you want to buy some lemonade! All in all a great day hike. Well worth the drive from Boston.

Absolutely breathtaking. The view along the ridge will knock your socks off. Nothing like it. Definitely recommend doing the counterclockwise route - falling waters on the way up, and old bridle on the way down. Altogether, just like others have said, it was really hard especially on the way up, but so worth it. Went up with my boyfriend, came down with my fiancé!!! Took us 8 hours total! Hope this helps. Would def do it again.

This was not a bad hike, however, as with other reviews, the trail is barely marked with many water crossings. It got to a point where we just didn't care if we got wet. We just waded through. At some points, the water was over my knees but I'm short. There was not much elevation for about the first 3 miles or so, after which it became very steep. We hiked after a week of rain, so this steep rocky part of the trail was very challenging both up and down. We did Middle Tripyramid on this hike. I still need North Tripyramid but am not looking forward to doing this trail any time soon. Some in my group hiked Pine Bend and tell me its worse.

Beautiful hike despite both peaks being in the clouds. Our first time up but wont be the last. Thinking this would be a great early Fall hike. Old Bridle Path is a bit of a pain but does offer some nice views. Hike took us longer because we lingered at both peaks hoping for the clouds to disperse.

First time hiking this trail. A beautiful day on a Sunday morning Started at 10:30 ended at 5:30 pm. Recommended by the park rangers to travel up water falls and down bridle. Highly recommend this as the rocks are wet and slippery, far better going upward! The ridge is breathtaking!

My favorite hike! Amazing views once you break through the treeline (which took my buddy and I about an hour and a half)

Great workout. Up Falling Water down Old Bridle, suggested by ranger. This way is more workable when the trail is wet, however you might have more traffic towards to the same direction. Bring rain gear and also at least one pole to support the rocky trail. We had lucky weather, all clear at top on Jul 28th.

I have done a lot of hikes, Pikes Peak, Grand Canyon, Mount Katahdin, Angel's Landing The Narrows and various places in Yosemite. along with various other climbs throughout the country. I will say this is one of the top 5 most difficult times that I've done. the views were outstanding, and it was quite an accomplishment upon the completion of the hike. We started at 7 a. m. and ended around 2: 20 p. m. I would strongly suggest if you're going to do the loop to take on the waterfall Direction first because it's most difficult climbing up and that was very arduous to say the least long strides and stepping upward rock to rock. however I could not see coming down that way safely if the path is wet. I would suggest starting early in the morning, because many people arrive late and the trail gets fairly populated. it's so was worth driving from New York to do this hike with my son Eric....

By far my favorite trail out of the numerous I’ve hiked in New Hampshire so far, I see why the parking lot is always over flowing!! Contrary to other posts I’ve read about this loop I highly recommend going UP falling waters and down old bridle path and here is why...

The falling waters hike is beautiful, especially if you hit it right after a rain storm like I did. There are multiple stream crossings which can leave your boots wet and at certain spots it’s very steep but the views of the water distract you from the burning in your quads. Once you break from the water it’s a grueling mile to Little Haysack Mountain but from there the ridge walk over to the other two peaks is breathtaking.

The incline is much more gradual this way leaving plenty of stamina for the four mile descent from Mt. Lafayette.

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