Cannon Mountain via Kinsmann Ridge Trail

HARD 71 reviews
#13 of 32 trails in

Cannon Mountain via Kinsmann Ridge Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Franconia, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,263 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

5 days ago

This trail is an absolute beast. The large rocks during the entire ascent are pretty slippery. There’s one spot where a large sheered rock, at an upward angle, is part of the path and it was slick and challenging to maneuver, with a tree down near it. The weather prevented any meaningful views from the ridge and the summit unfortunately. One of the toughest hikes I’ve done. There is a tram to get down, if you want to avoid a pretty treacherous descent over the slippery rocks.

hiking
17 days ago

Did this trail with my 14 year old son as a Father-Son adventure. Very challenging but very rewarding.
This easily makes it into my top 10 favorite trails.

hiking
1 month ago

in the clouds the whole time so no views to speak of. The trail was wet and muddy in sections from rain the previous night which made the descent harder and a little longer. all in all a good hike I'll do again if I can get a mostly clear day.

hiking
1 month ago

Much harder hike than I thought it would be. The view at the top is well worth the effort.

1 month ago

Great hike. Not as terrible or terrifying as others have indicated here. Hiked 6/2, conditions were wet but footing was solid. Beautiful views at the top and along the trail on a clear day.

1 month ago

Great day hike day with AMAZING views! Did this March 31st and there was still at least 3ft of snow closer to the summit. Definitely need crampons but definitely doable. Highly recommend this hike on a clear day because the outlook view before the summit is breathtaking! Also at the summit there is a ski lodge you can grab a well deserved cold beer before heading down.

The climb down was easy for experienced hikers we did it in 57 minutes with snow, compared to the 2 hours it took us to get to the top with a few breaks along the way and stopping for lunch at the outlook. All in all a great hike and will be doing it again to hit the other summits in the 48, 4 thousands footers of NH.

hiking
2 months ago

Great view at the top. Very steep climb, trekking poles and micro spikes were VERY helpful. When I went last month the snow was 3-4 feet deep (off trail) and the trails were packed snow/ icy. Would hike it again once the snow melts.

hiking
4 months ago

This hike some of the coolest views once you about half way up and again once your at the top, but the trail near the bottom is kind of crappy and washed out so be careful with that but overall really good hike!

7 months ago

Decent amount of snow when I did this on thanksgiving. step from the first step to about the last though it's not too bad with the proper gear (spikes and poles at least). Not too difficult for a 4kf.
Very worth it though, great views of Lafayette, Lincoln and liberty. I would recommend this to anyone.

hiking
7 months ago

The trail was consistently steep and had a lot of fun scrambling on the way up. There were some great overlooks before hitting the summit, then the tower at the top which had nice views but was extremely busy with tram passengers.

hiking
8 months ago

This was my second 4000 footer which we hiked on Sunday. The trail was moderate to difficult but quite scenic despite many views of the highway. I found the eroded trench sections hardest but definitely interesting. Lookout views were beautiful, especially the view of Lafayette. The summit area itself is pretty lack-luster but the the top of the tower offers splendid and slightly obstructed views. All in all this hike was great. Interesting and diverse terrain, gorgeous views of Lafayette and I was home in VT before dark.

hiking
8 months ago

Cannon Mtn was my toughest 4000 so far. First mile plus is directly uphill with plenty of rocks to maneuver. Hard work. Challenging, fun and worth every push of each leg once you stand atop what was the Old Man of the Mountain along with reaching the summit about 1/2 mile later. The views are far reaching and breathtaking.

4.4 miles out and back. 2 hours up and 1 down.

The weather, the sun and the breeze were absolutely perfect. We went mid-week and saw only 4 other people. Had the summit to ourselves on a warm mid-October day. Just amazing!

hiking
9 months ago

This is not a trail and is not hiking. This is 2000 ft vertical in 2 miles of granite boulders!

hiking
9 months ago

Went on a Sunday and hit the trailhead around 1030a. We reached the ridge where the overlook tower is but left immediately. The tram passengers ruined everything about the great hike up.

Fog burned off during our descent and we caught glimpses of the foliage. Not as many viewpoints as there is on the opposite side of 93.

The walk around Lonesome Lake mellowed us out for the bumper to bumper traffic back down 93S.

Would recommend but not during foliage season

hiking
9 months ago

This trail was a lot of fun to go up, I love scrambling and there was plenty of this on this short trail. This trail is steep and you will gain elevation quickly. Two to three hours to reach the top depending on how fit and careful you are. I recommended spending the most time at the overlook that is about 25 minutes before the summit because the summit is crowded with people who take the tram up. Took off a star because of the chaos at the top and the views (while great) can be beat.

hiking
10 months ago

The steep, dirt ridden and relatively view-less climb (other than an opening part of the way up) keeps this from being a 4 star climb for me, but the views once near the top are quite breathtaking and worth the hike. The ascent is virtually all up with less than ideal footing which gives way to more rocky sections about halfway up. Probably not a 4K footer I would do again given these views could be taken in on another more rewarding mountain. I will say, however, on no other mountain have I had a beer on tap available or a ride down if you decide to forgo the descent altogether. Get your one way ticket in advance--there's no shame in cruising down after that climb!

10 months ago

Would recommend. nice steady climb. a few tricky spots when wet, but we'll worth it.

10 months ago

That was quite a steep trail right from the start. A few places were pretty tricky for my 4 legged friend, but we did it. No views on this cloud filled lookout this day, but an adventure to remember for sure. Won't take my dog next time.

hiking
10 months ago

Solar Eclipse Edition - Knowing this summit had an observation tower we decided to cross Cannon Mountain off the list. We knew it would be busy but we were not expecting it to be pandemonium. This hike in general was out of sorts for us and took us longer as we were trying to kill time to watch the solar eclipse. The trail is well maintained but as everyone else stated it is very steep! General rule of thumb if the trail is right off the highway and it is a "short distance" it is very likely it will be very steep. It is difficult and demanding on your body, but you are greeted with quite the views throughout the hike. It is a bit annoying that you can hear the highway the entire time but it is literally right off I93, so it is unavoidable. It does get dull closer to the summit. The other downfall is the tramway is ran year round so when you get close to the summit and at the summit there is a decent amount of tourists especially in the afternoon. There is a little side trail when you hit the main switchback that lets you see Mount Lafayette and Lincoln and it has great views. You can even see the observation tower. There is no actual summit marking, sign, rock cairn etc which is odd considering the tourist area. Either way decent hike but be prepared for very steep on the way up and the way down.

hiking
11 months ago

Steep, steep, steep. You'll get to the top without much mileage, mostly because you're going straight up.

hiking
11 months ago

Very steep and rocky trail. Goes up through a glade for a lot of it. Be advised that hands may have to be used and may be difficult if wet and with small kids or pets. Took just shy of 2 hours up, and 1.5 hours down.

hiking
11 months ago

Not being experienced hikers it was hard. We took the Tram up and hiked down. Very steep and slippery in places. Still enjoyed it.

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Started the trail at 11:45 am, and got back to the bottom at exactly 3:30 pm, and that was with 45 minutes of leisure time at the summit. This was #4 for me on the list of 48, and the views were well worth the strenuous climb.
There is a lookout point about 1 1/4 miles in that gives you a false sense of completion when you first reach the area, but its not much further to the summit and the rest of the climb from here on out is easy going with lots more rock scrambles.
The summit offers amazing views, with plenty of outcrops just below the summit to take a break and enjoy the scenery.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Great hike going up- definitely need poles if you're continuing on to Kinsman via Cannonballs

hiking
Sunday, July 02, 2017

my wife and i summited from the Franconia side where the tram lands. it was an intense climb with wet rock and lots of mud. it stormed before we reached the summit making for a harder climb. be prepared for the drastic change in weather but overall a fantastic climb.

hiking
Monday, June 26, 2017

My girlfriend and I hiked this trail and it was fun but definitely steep and rocky. It took us about 4 hours round trip and the view is great at the top! Coming down was harder than going up because of the rocks and much of the trail was wet.

hiking
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Goes up pretty fast.. it was a great day to hike.. good views all throughout the trail.. some tricky parts but nothing outrageous.. this is my favorite hike so far

Friday, June 02, 2017

awesome hike! Steep and rocky but the trail is well marked and the view is worth the effort!

hiking
7 hours ago

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