Explore the most popular camping trails in White Mountain National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Did this yesterday it was a beautiful day and it be moms day saw several moms and daughters hiking it! A number of women trail runners as well. You go girls!
Wanted to visit Camp Penacook as this is a wilderness leanto and like many of its kind wont be around for ever. It’s an longer then expected difficult hike up and away from the piper so I opted to bushwack to the main trail doable lots of cool ledges but not recommended! I descended traditionally so I could check out the whole trail. Beautiful.

Perfect day for a hike. The trail is dry down below but at about 1,000' elevation gain you get some ice and compacted snow (12May18). It gets heavier as you go then you have more stretches of "monorail" compacted snow and some risk of slipping and post-holing. I had spikes with me but never put them on (I also had my poles which helped). The trail conditions were a bit annoying but fun "skiing" your way down! The views from Starr King were awesome and with all the blow down there's a 2nd spot just past the Waumbec summit with views. Enjoy!

hiking
7 days ago

Hiked this trail for the first time yesterday. Great weather super windy and cold at the summit but was prepared for it. Was hoping the summit wouldn’t be as crowded as it usually was but was surprised how many were up there.

Brought my spikes just in case, wasn’t sure since it was my first hike in the whites this year but didn’t use them once.

hiking
7 days ago

Moderate climb. Clear but muddy at the bottom, icy (monorail most of the way) and mashed potatoes. Bring your spikes. No view on Mt Waumbek but Star King was beautiful.

Great trail

hiking
13 days ago

Great views at the top, make sure to take the extra 0.2 miles to the cliffs, definitely worth it. Not a beginner trail because it does get steep but it's a great short hike and not too crowded.

Much fun, much slipping & sliding. The snow was slushy, used microspikes, pretty easy hike. Spent about a solid hour on the peak. If you wanna start trail running on mountain trails after a long time, this is a good place to start.

IMPORTANT: Great views of the snow capped Presidential range are available only on the spot beyond the peak. There would be finches on the ledge.

Happy Hiking. Stay safe.

Great views for a short hike.

Perfect weather and the view from Starr King was splendid. Wonderful fairly early start made it so the mud was not an issue on the way up. The top is still very snow covered but packed so no post holes. It was in the 40's when we reached the top of Waumbek and in the 60's by the time we got to the bottom of Starr King. Unfortunately the Spring thaw has started so from the time we left the evergreens, through the hardwoods and down to the parking lot was quite slushy, muddy, and slippery. We only met two other men on Monday but when we went by on Sunday the parking lot was filled. It really was a nice weather weekend for getting some climbing in.

scenic driving
24 days ago

Fall is always the best time to visit. Hoping to someday travel on the motorcycle. Lots and Lots of views and scenic lookouts. Pack a lunch and pick a nice quiet spot to enjoy the views and mountain air.

hiking
27 days ago

Great hike still icy on top, views are really sweat.

Nice loop, great views.

hiking
1 month ago

one of my new favorites! this view is probably one of the best for the shorter moderate hikes in the area. my phone clocked in 3 miles for the whole loop. we went up counter and hiked back down clockwise. it is doable for even a beginner in my opinion as it only gets steep for a short time right before you reach the summit. hiking up was a little muddy but hiking down there were lots of icy spots - was thankful I packed crampons because I needed them - very slippery. can’t wait to hike this in the warmer weather! great trail for dogs - our pup loved it. would highly recommend this trail! A+

Tried to go up through the Liberty/Brook trails in early April, the 3 mile dirt path to the start was completely snowed in and couldn't get the car through. I recommend taking the Champney Fall Trailhead route from the North, parking is right off the highway—its not marked for Mt. Chocorua at the start, but about 2 miles into the hike you will start to see signs pointing towards. Near the summit you intersect with with Liberty/Brook trails. About 7.5 miles there and back using this route. Really beautiful moderate hike and nice scenery during the drive. A little icy at the top, spikes wouldn't be a bad idea.

Gorgeous day up this mountain. All the hard work on the way up lead to a nice pay off. Great views from Starr King and they aren’t bad from the peak either. The jay hawks love the visitors. Did this in spikes today, mashed potatoes on the way out and lots of friendly hikers.

love love love. beautiful winter hike

Not steep at all (Do Liberty, that is steep). Easy to hike. Trail is well packed but I still recommend snow shoes so you don't destroy the trail. Good views on Starr King, nothing much on Waumbek. Not worth sacrificing a whole day for and getting only one 4000 footer. Glad to scratch this off the list.

In my opinion, this hike is overrated. The ledges are surrounded by mountains that are much higher, so the view–which is the hike’s main attraction–is not that great.

It’s a very unique hike, and easy as well but there are NO summit views which is a real bummer but its a good easy hike!

For my first ever backpacking trip, my buddies took me up to the Whiteface loop. I’m an in-ships guy, I’m a collegiate level swimmer, but man did the first climb kick my butt. We climbed to Whiteface but didn’t get there until the sun began to set. We decided to stay on the summit for the night, then hike back down the way we came up. In total it was about 5.5 miles, but the elevation is what I think killed me as a first timer. But SO worth the view in the morning!

Very scenic, especially in the fall, however it does get rather crowded on Columbus Day Weekend. Lots of great places to admire the views and hike.

The first 3.5 miles are very friendly, and then you are faced with a decision: ascend North or South Hancock? We chose to ascend South and go down North. The steeps were very slick as butt-sledding activity was at an all-time high. We wore microspikes for the whole hike except for the descent down the North peak--we wore snowshoes. All in all, a great winter hike! 9.1 miles in 8 hours...lots of stopping. From the trailhead to the loop split took us ~2 hours, and same on the return. So trail-math-wise, we spent just as much time doing the summit loop as we did on Hancock Notch Trail/Cedar Brook Trail.

Perfect for your first winter 4k. Views from Starr King are AMAZING and will give you the courage you need (or maybe, don't need) to continue on the ridge to Waumbek. Take care when parking your car in the winter though, there's a large lot on Rt. 2 just across from the turn for Starr King Road where you can park! Someone got their car stuck on Starr King Rd. when we were hiking. A great place to see the grey jays, btw.

hiking
3 months ago

A bit harder than the easy rating we got from the visitor center. We had some little guys and it got steep in some areas but was smooth with some great views at the top. Do it!

on Hancock Loop Trail

backpacking
3 months ago

Incredible summer hike. We got off trail, but bumped into a kind fellow biker and his dog who got us back on track again. Spent 2 wonderful days on the mountain.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this yesterday. Heavy packed snow and thick ice throughout trail. Micro spikes a must and poles recommend! Lots of fun and beautiful in the winter. Take your time and enjoy. Ascent counter clockwise, descent clock wise.

Icy when we went, and so avoided the Blueberry Ledge Trail. Made for a much longer out and back!
Will go again to hike the ledge.

Well broken and marked trail. Beautiful in the winter with moderate inclines and stretches of flat terrain

Rock hopping a steam the entire way down. Never again

Gorgeous in the winter

Load More