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Baldface Trail is a 9.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Intervale, New Hampshire that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
9.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,454 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

hiking

snowshoeing

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

Take this wonderful loop hike over two beautiful bald peaks with fantastic views towards the taller White Mountains. This is a loop hike with several fun stream crossings and a lot of views at the top of both peaks and along the ridge. As their name implies, both peaks have bald summits and in some steep places you may find yourself on fun scrambles. There will be fantastic views on clear days towards the taller White Mountains including Mt. Washington which dominates the horizon.

hiking
1 month ago

My friend & I Did this mid-november wearing spikes, but definitely were missing our snowshoes near the top! Awesome hike with great views of Maine & NH forest & hills, and of course Mount Washington.

hiking
4 months 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.

hiking
4 months ago

Can't say enough about this loop... great views and a nice overall challenge. My Garmin came out to 9.6 miles, 3600 ft gain, and took us just about 5.5 hours. Beyond that, you get 360* views of peaks and valleys, with Mt. Washington glaring in the distance.

As with all other reviews, always start on the south and work your way clockwise. There is a section between 2-3m just passed the shelter that gets tricky... took up about 40 minutes to get through that .2 and trying to descend would have taken at least twice as long.

Last Tidbit: You are on a ridge line and there is not much water from miles 2-8.

hiking
4 months ago

WOW! JUST! WOW! Love this hike, especially in fall. One of my favorites in ME/NH. First hiked it in 1993 and again in 1994. Definitely follow everyone's advice and take the south leg of the Baldface Circle Trail going uphill, not downhill. An easy to moderate hike form Route 113 to the intersection with the Emerald Pool diversion. (Take that diversion on the way up, by the way, because you will not feel like it or not have the time to do it on the back end of this hike.) Still an easy/moderate hike to the Gorge diversion. (Take that little-traveled diversion to an even better, more private pool than Emerald for swimming.) The rest of the Circle Trail from there to the tight elevation lines on the map is easy/moderate. THEN, it gets REALLY fun! Steep rock climbing with sections requiring close attention to pick the best route up the open, steepish rock faces that are too slick to traverse straight up. Not for those fearful of heights or of falling. The spectacular views for which this trail is known start at the steep stuff, so take advantage of those breaks while trying to find a way up to look behind and take some pics. This section took so long to cross with our group of six, that we had to cut the itinerary short and skip going all the way to the summit of South Baldface or Eastman Mountain. Darkness comes early this time of year. Good news is that you need not go all the way to the summit to have unsurpassed 360-degree views. The "Lunch!" waypoint was a beautifully open and scenic spot, rewarding enough to make it easy to conceded the summit and hike immediately from there to the intersection of Baldface Knob Trail and begin our descent. Hiked Slippery Brook trail down as the last leg of the Boldface loop to make for a shorter loop and an easier trip. Slippery Brook is a pleasant, yet still scenic-at-the-top, contrast to that steep section of the Circle and highly recommended as a way down if you want/need to shorten or ease the last leg of your hike. Great lookout spots for lunch on the Baldface Knob Trail after the intersection with Baldface Circle Trail. Dogs on Slippery Brook Trail? Yes, very manageable. BUT NO WAY ON THAT STEEP PORTION OF THE SOUTH SECTION OF BALDFACE CIRCLE TRAIL. Way too steep and too many smooth, slippery expanses of bare rock face to navigate safely with a dog. This loop has a number of nice brook crossings, by the way, some of which do not appear on the map. See my reviews at "Slippery Brook Trail" and "Baldface Circle Trail to Emerald Pool."

6 months ago

One of my favorite hikes in the area. Great views! The ascent to south baldface has lots of ledges, I personally would not attempt it in wet weather. We took our time and went for a swim and it took us about 7 hours

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike with great views! And it was awesome to dive into the emerald pool at the end of the hike!

7 months ago

Great views!

7 months ago

This is a great, challenging hike. The views are amazing.
I would not bring dogs on the loop trail. My dog has done Chicorua & Franconia loop with no trouble. He managed the N Baldface trail to the summit. The descent from the south was treacherous & not well marked. I had to lower him down in several places, without solid footing for myself.
I would definitely do this hike again, just without my dog.

7 months ago

You would be crazy to go counter clockwise and please do not bring your dog. My friends and I are not experienced hikers but all in excellent shape (iron man athlete and fitness instructors) and found it challenging- the trail is decently marked but you do have to scale boulders on the way up which can be intimidating if you are not an experienced hiker or afraid of heights.

With that being said the views are absolutely amazing and we were in awe along the ridge, indescribably beautiful. Took us about 6 hours but we took our time and stopped to take lots of pictures (make sure to look behind you on the way up!) Very worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

Did this loop over the weekend. It was cool (55-60) and damp. No real rain but just wet all day. Both peaks were in the clouds, but incredible views down lower. I went counter-clockwise, because for the first time ever I didn't read my AMC guide or any reviews on here beforehand. It was DANGEROUS descending off South Baldface in not-quite-dry conditions. I am a seasoned hiker, and I was scared, and I'm a little bit ashamed I wasn't more prepared.

However, I would hate to have had my back to the views from the south peak down to the ledges, because they were really the only ones I got all day, and they're just unbelievable along that ridge between south peak and shelter.

My suggestions: Either 1) do the trail clockwise like every rational human on here is suggesting OR 2) Go counter-clockwise for a somewhat easier ascent and then take the Slippery Brook Trail back down off the south knob.

P.S. This trail is listed as dog-friendly. If the only criterion is that dogs are allowed here by law, then yes that's true. However, it would be irresponsible to bring a dog on this hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike - went up South and down North as others have suggested. Would not have wanted to come down the rocks on South, definitely some scrambling for me (58 year old 5'5" woman). Views were fantastic still a lot of snow on Washington.

hiking
8 months ago

This is such a great hike and climb. At 5’3, I work for this summit! What a thrill. Took 5 hours with some photo stops and snack. Good pace but not in a rush. A must do if you enjoy a challenge with amazing views.

8 months ago

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!

9 months ago

Great medium to hard complexity hike. We had a Boy Scout Trip on 5/12/18 and had an excellent time with scouts that had a mix of hiking skills and experience.

The view of the white mountains is amazing. It is fun to see where you have hiked on the loop as you progress.

It was very technical in one area - would not recommend if it was a wet day.

trail running
9 months ago

Wondering if anyone could share some info about trail conditions this May? Would like to head up in the next week or 2.

trail running
9 months ago

This is one of my favorite trail runs in the White Mountain Region. Wonderful views from South and North Baldface. No water one up above tree line, so if it is hot, make sure to tank up for ridge portion of the run.

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked to South Baldface summit just this weekend. Easy going up to the shelter. Then things got real. Very icy and windy (60mph gusts) from the shelter to the south summit. Made for slow going and as a result couldn't complete the loop. Came down via slippery brook trail which was basically virgin snow and couldn't have been more pleasant. Will return in a month or so to complete the 10 mile loop. Amazing views.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

It was my first overnight hike. Definitely challenging for myself. Amazing views, absolutely would do it again.

hiking
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The trail is in great shape. The weather was perfect. The views from all the peaks were great. Many great photo ops .

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Did this hike ascending South Baldface first, it was November and the slide up the south face had to be worked around, up on reaching the Knob the wind picked up, wind chills here until the col between summits can be frigid, be prepared for wind, lots of nice views from Monroe to Moriah, south to Chocorua, north to the Mahoosic's and east to Pleasant Mt, rock formations on Eagle Crag are cool, def worth the Sidetrip, then defend to The Emerald Pool on the way to 113, the loop took me 7:45, taking plenty of breaks and lots of pics...

hiking
Sunday, October 22, 2017

Typically spectacular Evans Notch area hike. Certain sections are good for foliage peeking. First hiked in October 1991, but only straight up southern section of Baldface Circle Trail to just beyond the shelter and back down the same trail to the road. Hiked full Circle on October 16, 1993, for 9 miles. Returned October 8, 1994, and did Bicknell Trail to Eagle Craig and back down by Baldface Circle Trail, 4 hours. Not a great way up, views limited. Should go up South Baldface Circle first.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

difficult but fun at the same time.

backpacking
Friday, October 20, 2017

A good amount of parking at the trailhead (toilets are available too). You need to cross the street from the parking area to reach the trailhead. We stopped at the Emerald Pool, which is a beautiful large flowing stream. Then we started the loop counter-clockwise via the Slippery Brook Trail. We went left on the Eastman Mountain Trail, where we camped for the night in utter solitude (we heard the shelter was quite busy!). The next morning we used the Baldface Knob Trail to connect with the Baldface Circle Trail, which was fairly steep taking us to South and North Baldface Mountains. What a nice, strenuous, and varied loop trail! Note that there are a couple of brooks back towards the beginning/end of the loop, but not in the middle of the loop.

hiking
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hiked this with my 12 year old daughter. We went up south and down north after reading suggestions from other reviews. I definitely would reccomend this route. The rock slide is way to steep to go down and nerve wracking going up - steep rocks without much to grab onto to secure your footing. Make sure you have good shoes that grip. Take a minute on the rock slide to look around and enjoy the breathtaking views. The hike all together was great with incredible views! It took us 6 hours to hike the loop, bring lots of water and snacks :)

hiking
Sunday, September 24, 2017

Quite a Challenge for a pair of summits below 4'000 feet. Very beautiful 360' views of Presidential Range, all the way south to Chocorua and east into the mountains of Maine. No reliable water. It's an 8 hour hike if you stop along the way. Leave yourself plenty of time.

hiking
Monday, August 28, 2017

Tough yet rewarding hike w gorgeous 360 views from both summits. Trail is well kept and well-marked.

hiking
Sunday, August 27, 2017

Awesome hike :) very long and steep going south. Emerald pool was perfect at the end. My feet are toast. We took a ton of breaks to pick blueberries.

hiking
Saturday, August 26, 2017

I'd suggest doing the hike clockwise. Awesome rock scramble on South Baldface! Don't forget bug spray. My partner and I are fairly quick hikers - we finished the hike in ~6.5 hours with a long lunch break at the top of North Baldface. Overall, incredible hike!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Beautiful open views. Cool scrambles up to south peak. Would not recommend on a wet or rainy day.

hiking
Friday, August 18, 2017

Awesome hike with great views for a majority of the time. Took a wrong turn coming down off North Baldface ending up on Bicknell Ridge trail for part of descent. Views were still incredible. Once I realized it, I was able to reconnect to loop trail via Eagle Cascade trail. Very windy and cool. No bugs, which was nice.

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