Artist Bluff Trail

MODERATE 464 reviews

Artist Bluff Trail is a 1.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Franconia, New Hampshire that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.4 miles Elevation Gain: 387 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

Directions from Franconia, NH: Travel south on SR 18 for several miles.

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
2 days ago

Crampons or other traction definitely needed but the hike up was great. Couple of fresh inches atop ice most of the way up. Not many people on the trail as it was bitter cold. Decently steep.

hiking
2 days ago

Great short winter hike!

hiking
muddy
snow
10 days ago

blowdown
icy
rocky
snow
17 days ago

microspikes are a must, especially on the descent. I saw bare boot tracks followed by what looked like potentially painful slip and falls. Those spots are now ice. Found someone's cleat half way down the back, left at cannon trailhead if it was yours! very slushy along the road, but was 39* today. will likely ice up tonight. beautiful hike, beautiful views!

hiking
icy
27 days ago

Micro spikes needed - and then it’s fun! Beautiful sunny day

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Did this hike today clockwise. In the hindsight, would recommend doing the hike counter clockwise like other reviewers. The trail was icy at spots. Conditions were also quite windy and cloudy. We had done Mt. Willard earlier in the day and that had fantastic conditions. But it deteriorated fast by the time we started this hike. Personally me and my friend loved the hike because we did not use microspikes and we had to butt slide our way down at many places. It was bit intimidating. The bald mountain was bit icy and so we did not go beyond the icy spot. Totally recommend this hike but with good shoes, spikes and poles.

recorded Bald Mountain

hiking
1 month ago

Fabulous! Snow and ice on trail but warm day (47 deg) made it possible without creepers. Prior comments about need for creepers spot on, at least on cold days. Great views from both Bald Mt. and Artist Bluff.

hiking
blowdown
icy
snow
2 months ago

If you have the right gear for the snow/ice (micro spikes) this trail is relatively easy compared to many in the Whites. No views today with low hanging clouds, but great short hike before heading over to do Indian Head/Pemigawaset to round out the day. It is rainy in Lincoln but switched to snow 5 minutes to the north. Did the hike counterclockwise (as advised by another person on here). Definitely agree that CCW is the way to do this. If you don’t have microspikes, most of the hiking here will be very difficult if not dangerous from now until sometime in the Spring

icy
snow
2 months ago

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
2 months ago

We did the hike clockwise but it was pretty icy on the way down, would recommend counter clockwise this time of year - the stone “steps” were pretty slippery. Micro spikes are a must.

hiking
2 months ago

The guidebook said easy to moderate and family friendly. Lies! terrible with a 3 year old and treacherous with an infant on my back. I am no experienced hiker by any means but there were others on the path saying the same thing. I was worried I would slip during the long decline and fall back on my infant. Safety complaints aside, we felt accomplished. It was still an enjoyable hike with great views as the reward.

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
2 months ago

Beautiful view on the big rock ledge overlooking the lake and mountains. There are also small overlooks scattered throughout the trail. When it snows the rocks will be slippery and icy so just use caution.

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty icey and snowy. Would recommend poles and good shoes. Great views!

hiking
icy
muddy
2 months ago

Tree across the trail towards the beginning if you take the right trail

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
2 months ago

Amazing trail anytime of year. Dangerous when it snows. Steep at certain parts. Awesome views of Cannon and Lafayette.

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