Explore the most popular walking 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.

Great trail. Might have been a bit aggressive for the first hike of the season but very doable. By doable I mean Hard but not dangerous. 8 plus miles so - the miles add to the difficulty.

Not too busy today but nice level of activity. Great weather day. 75 at the bottom and sunny. Windy at the top but I suspect it always is. We had a layer we added for that part. Pretty dry today but I could tell some parts would be tricky after a rain.

Took the loop counter clockwise starting with Falling Waters Trail. Lots of running water and falls along this trail. Pretty! You cross over the water 5 times as you head up. Pretty easy to cross today. That might be tougher when the river has more volume after a rain. If you are looking for a short hike with a great view you could just hike along the river and head back when the trail leaves the river. Probably 3 miles and relatively easy.

Took the Shining Rock Spur near the top. It’s a cool rock face with a thin level of water running on it. Interesting to see. Not a long spur 2/10th long but you do go down and have to come back up.

The ridge line part of the hike is Amazing!! Just views everywhere for 2 miles. Really just amazing to be walking on top of these mountains for 2 miles.

From the time you get to Mt. Lafayette it’s all down hill. But it is long way back to car. About 4 miles. Nice little break at the Greenfield Hut though and that helps.

If you are a regular hiker expect it to take 5-7 hrs depending on your pace. Longer with less endurance and hiking experience. Took us 6.5hr with time enjoying the top and a break in the Hut. We passed maybe 15 groups up and down and were never passed to give you an idea of our pace.

Some snow at top of Falling Waters Trail but easy to get around.

Bring lots of water and snacks to power you through it. Enjoy.

Thanks to the folks that posted about this hike yesterday. Your info put this hike on our list for the first time. We will repeat this hike many times going forward. Fantastic!

Beautiful, but not easy. Up until you hit the hut, it’s no joke... and coming back down might even be a little more difficult. But all worth it. Gorgeous summit if you don’t blow away.

The snow has cleared. It was a beautiful and challenging hike.

Second time I've done this trail. The first time was on a rainy day with basically no views at the top. I decided to do it again for the views, and I was not disappointed. Hiking this loop on a clear day made the experience that much better. Gorgeous waterfalls on the way up, and absolutely incredible views at the top. Definitely strenuous for anyone new to hiking, but totally worth it! Easily one of the best and most scenic trails I've ever hiked. I will be back a third time!

Pretty easy hike with rewarding views

This was my 5th time hiking Mount Lafayette. It was my 2nd time hiking it alone.

It's a great hike and as of today other than there being a little bit of ice and snow at the top of the Falling Waters trail, it's pretty much clear of all ice and snow.

It was very windy and it is still pretty cool up on the ridge for this time of year so make sure you bring at least one sweatshirt.

Today was the 1st time I went straight up the path to the green leaf hut and then straight to the top of Mount Lafayette. For anyone who has never done it that direction, just know that it was significantly more difficult because you basically do not get a break from the moment the mountain begins to go vertical. If you take the Falling Waters trail 1st, it gets pretty tough right after the water but after about 2 hours or so of hiking, you hit the ridge and then you gradually make an ascent to Mount Lafayette. And then from there it's down the rest of the way.

But making a direct line for the summit of Laffeyette added a significant degree of difficulty to the hike. So, just be aware of that.

But I would say from this moment forward the loop at Lafayette is open for the season. Enjoy!

Hiked this loop today counter clockwise. The Falling Waters Trail is as beautiful as ever. The snow and ice are almost completely gone, and no traction devices were needed. The Ridge Trail was a little windy, blowing from the west at about 40 MPH. The views from all 3 summits are breathtaking, with Lafayette the jewel in that crown. Highly recommended, but do your research first. This is known as one of the toughest day hikes in the Whites, and for very good reasons.

Nice trail. Fairly easy. Saw lots of squirrels and chipmunks. Wonderful evening weather.

Definitely steep for the first portion of he hike gaining most of the elevation quickly in the hike. Views from the top were great! Only saw one other person on the way down. However, beware, very buggy this time of year, one of the buggiest hikes I have done recently!

Does this trail actually connect into a loop? According to the topo there is no trail leading down the west side of Hale Mountain.

A great burn. Well-marked trail. No snow or mud left. Bluebird views.

Still socked in with snow knee-deep and even thigh-deep in places between Jackson and the Crawford path if you decide to traverse in that direction. It made for a great 9-mile loop to go up the Crawford path, take a right at the junction before the shelter and then traverse over to the Jackson-Webster trail. Impressive views from Jackson, and a technical and muddy descent. The top of the trail descending from the summit seems to fall right off a cliff, I had to look around for it a little bit. Gorgeous climb. WEAR BOOTS.

A great plug-and-chug hike or mountain run. Very cool and different experience, as there is some borderline rock-climbing at the start of the alpine zone and you are traversing a completely exposed ridge. You can watch your progress behind you for the entire time above the tree line, which is miles. This loop would be quite a challenge in the winter and dangerous in wet or cold conditions. Similar to many of the 4,000-footers, the wind up there is constant but exhilarating. My most important pointer is that I would leave most dogs, especially small dogs, at home. My dog has climbed six mountains with me in the past two weeks and even she was scrambling down the bare rock at some points and came home with her front feet bleeding. Small dogs would have to be lifted over ledges while you maintained your own balance. Beautiful trail, though, not too cold this time of year (t-shirt and flannel even at the summit) and no snow or mud. I even saw two moose!

This trail is on the tougher side of moderate. Is is very steep at some areas going up Welch Mountain, but the rest is fairly easy. The views are great and definitely worth it

A lot of great views on the way up + on the way down. Would definitely do again!

First, don’t turn where this tells you to for directions. Go almost a mile past (or before) till you see a sign for Downes Brook Trail Head - turn there. Second, lots of trees down so watch for blazes very carefully. Make sure you have a GPS map. We barely got off trail due to trees and couldn’t see any blazes. Luckily we were able to use our GPS to find our way back. You can tell they have cleared many trees already but winter really did a number!
It took us 2 hours and we are beginner hikers with a dog. Our shepherd struggled in some spots to make a jump or climb over trees. Terrain is lots of roots and large rock face.
Beautiful views! Lots of little spots to break off a few feet and see the views.

Great trail, easy to follow, challenging, not crippling, rewarding. Took piper to Hammond to wematoo, took 6 hours

Absolutely love this hike! In March/ April we definitely needed micro spikes due to snow and ice, but when we did it again in May, the weather was wonderful.

We hiked up on the Falling Waters trail and across the ridge. Of course we had to stop at the Greenleaf Hut on the way down. The facilities were clean and everyone was friendly.

The view from the top was STUNNING. If you’re anything like me and never want to leave the top, I suggest bringing a headlamp for your journey down. We stayed on top of he mountain so long we had to race the sun. No one wins in a race with the sun.

15/10 would do this again and again. One of my favorites.

A great trail, but be prepared for a challenge. Ascending either route up - via the Mt. Morgan Trail or Mt. Percival Trail - has challenging steeps near their respective summits. We chose to ascend Mt. Percival first, which ended up being the better route as the descent via Mt. Percival trail would’ve been much more difficult. “Caves” on Mt. Percival trail should be taken with care, and there are alternative routes up once you’re there but aren’t much easier.

Great payoff views and a nice challenging hike for intermediates, but not recommended for young kids or dogs.

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful trail - varied terrain. Lower portion is a smooth dirt path with constant but mild ascent. Upper portion is increasingly rocky, giving way to open rock expanses and views of the surrounding scape. As others have said, the climb is moderate. Some steeper sections but good breaks between. No real scrambling on the way to North Moat. My pup (45lb hound) did this trail easily. Watch yourself on the rock if it's wet - we found it to be very slippery in bareboot. All ice is gone and spring/summer bugs are out in force. :) Can't wait to do this one again all the way to North Moat.

awesome trail and views!!! will definitely do it again...took 4 hours!! great hike!

Did this trail yesterday 5/16/18 and we started at noon. We made a stop in the beginning for about an hour so my friend could boil water along one of the streams. Closer to the top there are more snow banks than not over the trail but completely doable without crampons etc. We stopped again for lunch once the treeline receded at about 4500 ft. and summited Moosilauke by 5. Going down the carriage road trail we were out just before 8. Beautiful trail great views. I'm not entirely sure but far far out North West I believe you can see Lafayette

Did this trail yesterday. Some great views with some relatively okay spring conditions. Monorail was kind of a pain and caused me to slip in a couple of places. Footbridges that cross the brook need to be fixed because they all feel mostly unstable.

Great hike with nice views along the ridge. We did this hike in December. There was snow but it was a warmer day so it was fantastic. We had the trail mostly to ourselves wish I’m sure isn’t the case in the warmer seasons.

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful hike. Some steeper sections but generally an easy grade. Had some blow down damage but was able to walk around. Didn’t quite make the summit due to icy snow melting. So we didn’t experience the vistas. We passed two other couples who experienced the same. Still a lovely hike.

Hands down my favorite hike in the Whites. Beautiful views from above the clouds on the ridge.

Hiked this in the first week of May. Definitely the prettiest hike I’ve done in the northeast. Highly recommend. Spikes were helpful on the ascent and descent.

Took just under 3 hours with 2 dogs and a 6 year old who loves hiking. Including multiple water stops and prolonged, breathtaking awe gazing. Fun, and challenging rocks (had to lift both small and large dog up in one section where there was no logical work around for them). Just fabulous.

This was a fun trail! Pretty steep and rocky at times with some scrambling closer to the summit but it is not overly challenging! There were several neat views along the way. I like the “first summit” view. I took the blue trail up and down. Just take it slow because it is easy to lose the trail, at one point I was off the trail but easily got back on it when I saw some hikers.

Great hike. Just hiked the loop. There's still snow on the trail up to Little Haystack. Spikes would have been helpful. Some snow also on the way down the mountain after the Greenleaf Hut. Great day for a hike and will definitely do it again!

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