Bondclif Trail to Franconia Ridge Trail

HARD 44 reviews
#3 of 19 trails in

Bondclif Trail to Franconia Ridge Trail is a 28.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Lincoln, New Hampshire that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
28.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
8,704 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bridge out

bugs

rocky

scramble

2 days ago

amazing....that sums it up :-)

backpacking
20 days ago

Difficult hike, but about as good as it gets! Diehards can do it in a long midsummer day, but between the AMC huts and AT campsites, as well less established campsites, there are plenty of places to spend a night. If the weather is good, it is a great way to spend the time.

backpacking
2 months ago

Excellent hike! Beautiful views from each peak which are worth the effort. The hike was very rugged and it pays to have good spirits and strong legs. We completed a counterclockwise loop starting both days around 4:30am. Day 1 was a successful 18+mile day, which set us up for a shorter second day. Garfield was slow going and easily the most difficult part of the hike. We finished day 2 before noon as we were able to cruise after summiting Flume. Water was very accessible; we carried at least 3L and refilled at Guyot, Galehead, and Garfield. Overall, a phenomenal experience with even better friends.

hiking
4 months ago

We did it in 2 days, 53km (we went the wrong way for 5km ). Very nice hike but not that easy as we did a lot of km each day. Views on the 7 summits are breathtaking. Don’t worry for the water, there’s a lot of place to refill all the way to Galehead Shelter. Make sure to have enough water at this point because the next water supply is on the way down. So you must have at least 2L from galehead to the end of the hike ( if you do it in 2 days ). Many campsite are available all the way. Make sure to not have to much weight in your backpack and hike sticks. For the rest, you must be in shape to do this trail. Definitely recommend.

backpacking
5 months ago

Top 2 most difficult hikes I have done; I would not attempt this unless you’re in good shape and are an experienced backpacker. The reward for the difficulty are 7 amazing views atop some of the most gorgeous peaks in the north east. Did it two days highly recommend.

Tip: water is scarce between lafayette and last tent site so be prepared before you summit lafayette

5 months ago

Great 3 day hike. Took a couple guys out there for their first time backpacking and they had a blast. Make sure you have enough water containers and know where to refill. And remember leave no trace!!

6 months ago

Amazing hike with the best views coming from MT Garfield.. .Not recommended for newbies or out of shape hikers. .My hiking partner and I started clockwise finishing coming down the 4.9 mile trail off bond cliff then the long 8 miles on the Lincoln wood trail to the Parking lot...Next will be the Presidential Traverse

hiking
11 months ago

I did this with a friend in 3 days in September staying at Greenleaf and Galehead hut for the two nights. That made the pack lighter. Gorgeous views. We hit 10 4000' peaks and the last day had a super clear view for the three Bonds. Fantastic 360 views. I would definitely hike this again. It's hard. Lots of rock scrambling, not for the faint of heart. Great elevation gain & loss over the three days. Start early each day and go go go cause it's hard terrain to cover each day. I loved running into the thru hikers on the AT. Got a bad calf cramp on the last day & a few blisters but overall a wonderful experience.

backpacking
Friday, October 27, 2017

I did this as a 2-day backpack counterclockwise loop, camping at Garfield. Fantastic hike with lots of varying terrain and great views throughout! 2 days is enough if you are willing to keep moving - I was also able to bag side peaks Galehead and North Twin.

hiking
Sunday, October 22, 2017

I did the one day challenge for the loop. It was tough but awesome. I would say im an average hiker, about 50lbs over weight, with 2 bum ankles. I started around 6:30am, Sat Oct 21st. I decided to go clockwise as I wanted that nice easy 10+ miles to end the day. That nice and easy 10+ miles would not be nice or easy, but I'll get to that.
The hike up Flume and liberty was nice but slow. I was on Liberty at 9:30am. I had made a decision to hike slowly on the inclines to save my legs and would employ this strategy all the way through the hike. It worked really well, but you feel like a snail. The liberty camp sites' water source was dripping slowly and made it near impossible to resupply. Franconia ridge was next and it was packed. I was on Lafayette at noon. It was crystal clear views but very windy. I thought the hike from Lafayette to Galehead hut was going to be a lot faster and easier than it was. The terrain is tricky and its just hard to put a few steps together in some places. There is good water at the camp sites and at the hut. The hut is where you need to camel up because the next reliable water source is not until after Bondcliff. After the hut you have an awesome climb up South Twin. It is hard but its the last strenuous climb of the hike. The rest is a cake walk, if you're in shape, and used to doing long miles in a day, or if you're doing a multi day hike of the loop. At this point I was still feeling good and got some good shots of just after sunset on the top. This is the point where I knew I would finish the hike and started cursing myself for bringing a full, multi day pack, instead of my day pack. I ate some dinner and got out my headlight for some night hiking. Its supposed to be 2 miles to Guyout, its easy terrain, some how it took me 1.5 hours. I don't know how or why but maybe my speedometer was just thrown way off by the dark. Or maybe I left South twin a lot later than I thought I did. My memory plays tricks on me. Walking up to the summit of Bond was when my body said enough! No longer could I take graceful and smooth discerning steps. My brain was telling me to turn around and go to the Guyout shelter. It seems both mentally and physically I had hit a wall. Now the whole hike was emotional and physical ups and downs, Im not talking about some aches and pains mixed in with some doubt. My legs just plain refused to do what I asked them to do. Sure they would move forward but now they wobbled and didn't land exactly right. SO these last 10+ miles were now not going to go well. It was slow going and painful but I managed to get up over Bond and Bondcliff and by this point I was really looking forward to the water that cascades out of the side of the mountain a mile or so from the summit... but it was dried up. I stood there at 'the crossing' of what is usually a lot of water, very thirsty and wanted to just lay down and go to sleep. In the distance I heard a trickle, so I slack packed down the dried stream bed to find the trickle. It ended up not being to far, maybe 40 yards. I drank a lot of water and luckily had some Gatorade powder still so I could replenish some electrolytes. The last 8 miles were still slow and painful especially with all the leaves covering all the roots and rocks. I made it to my car at 3:17am, pulled out my sleeping bag, got in the back seat, and was out within seconds. It was worth it! What a great challenge!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

One of the best - and most dramatic - 3-day hikes anywhere.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Awesome views on all 11 peaks!

backpacking
Friday, August 11, 2017

Busy on the weekends but this hike is great. I completed it in 3 days.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

2 star ?!?!?!? why??

This loop is amazing!!! I did it in two days but there is no need for that. If you have the time 4 days is the way to go. You can enjoy all the views without the rush. Set camp early and head to the one of the closes sumits to each of the camp or tent sites and catch the sunset. With 4 days you are looking at 7 - 10 miles a day give or take. 3 days is also good. Heck one day if you really want a challenge!
No wrong way to start the loop its just an awsome time. Especially if the weather is on your side.

backpacking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Started very early, around 8AM, going clounter-clockwise and made it to Mount Guyot by sunset, camping there for the first night. By mid afternoon the next day, we climbed our way to Galehead Mountain where there's a lodge, and followed the Twin Brook Trail into the Franconia Brook Trail to the campground that's at the intersection of the Lincoln Brook Trail, camping there the second night. The next morning, it was an easy walk to where we began.
NOTES:
1. If you don't have a sleeping pad, Mount Guyot is very difficult since all of their campsites are wooden slats.
2. Camping anywhere outside the designated campsites is very difficult to do. Up high, there's just nowhere that you can, and down low, there's a high amount of supervision.
3. There are illegal campsites along the Lincoln Brook Trail that are very welcoming (but be quiet and don't get caught otherwise you'll be forced to move).
4. The series of trails that run through the center of the loop vertically, to us, are the best parts of it. Sure it's not as scenic but it's woodsy, quiet, and not unreasonably strenuous like the majority of the loop is.
5. Be prepared to climb, a lot. Pack as lightly as possible.

backpacking
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Great, great loop. Can really kick your butt if you aren't prepared for the level of intensity, but you'll be rewarded with great views and some great campsites.

backpacking
Thursday, April 13, 2017

A few friends and I thought this would be a good first attempt at an overnight trail. Boy were we in over our heads. Had a blast and took in some breathtaking views. It was worth the sweat, aches, and pains!

hiking
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

November 9, 2016: I started at 0500 and ended at 1900. It was cold, windy, and rainy. There's still some snow on the Lincoln/ Lafayette Ridge. It's a pretty tough climb, but once you're on the ridge top it's pretty easy to get some big miles in.

hiking
Friday, September 30, 2016

The best multi-day loop in the Whites, hands down (in my opinion). The peaks you hit are incomparable, and the views are breathtaking. Not a single peak without a view. I have done this in sections, and finally completed it in-full this past August for my birthday, over four days and three nights. Stayed at Liberty Springs Tentsite, Garfield Shelter, and Guyot Shelter. I cannot wait to do this again.

camping
Friday, March 04, 2016

I love this trail. moderately difficult if done over two days, and be sure to wear sunscreen + bring a warm sweater before summitting in the summer! please go.

hiking
Thursday, October 16, 2014

My daughter and I hiked this loop in early October. This trail is an amazing challenge, I really am in awe of people who are able to run it. Fortunately the beauty of the wilderness is maintained except in some areas it is scarred by hikers and campers who did not practice leave no trace.
The hike was very beautiful but also very strenuous. The loop provide ten peaks to conquer 8 are over four thousand feet and 2 are over five thousand feet. We did it in 3 days, met a bear thankfully we had a bear canister from the park ranger and strung our dogs food between two trees. The trails are steep straight up the mountain and straight down except when entering and exiting the loop. We got a late start the first night and slept in remote site off of the Mt. Flume and Liberty. We did the loop clockwise where we found little available water except AMC provides access to a spring at Liberty spring if you hike down the MT 0.3miles towards the tent site so plan ahead. You then do not pass water until Garfield pond. The alpine ridge line was my favorite between Mt Lafayette and Garfield. We spent the night at Garfield pond area which was very beautiful. We cut through Franconia Brook trail which skipped 4 of the four thousand footers, quite frankly I was worn out! This made the trip 25 miles rather than 31. After Garfield there is pretty good water availability. When going through Franconia brook the terrain is easy and very beautiful, several streams needed to be crossed which was a lovely reprieve from the unusual heat wave of Columbus day weekend. The night we were near Mt Flume and Liberty Springs some back packers did not protect their food from bears and lost their food and had a visitor in their tent. This is the same area we had a bear encounter but due to planning for a visit the bear lost interest in our tent site. So take the bear warnings seriously. I lived and hiked in the Rockies, Longs Peak, Twin Mt Pemi Loop is far more strenuous so be ready!

hiking
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

This was a great day hike! I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a long, tough, but beautiful scenery in the woods. And along with all that, I grabbed 10 4000 footers! I'm a very experienced hiker, and I normally hike 60 miles in the Rockies a day, so this was like a short day to me! That being said, if you're inexperienced, then you probably want to camp to break it up a bit. A very pleasant day in the woods!

hiking
Tuesday, November 05, 2013

This was the most amazing hiking trip I ever did! We did the loop in 3 days, sleeping at Garfield the first night and Guyot campsite the second one. The first day was really hard since we did almost half of the whole loop, including Lafayette. The other two days were much easier though. Bondcliff and West Bond offers surprisingly beautiful views that we were not expecting at all! Temperature was amazing and the sky was really clear, making it possible to see as far as Mount Washington. I highly recommend this hike to anyone with a bit of experience and a desire for something challenging, you wont regret it!

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