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Carter Dome Trail is a 10.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Jackson, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 10.8 mi Elevation gain 3,261 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife Snow
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
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Reviews (31)
Photos (173)
Recordings (15)
Completed (112)
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Kevin Pham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2020
CampingClosedMuddyOver grownRockyScramble

Definitely a difficult trail. Going up is very steep after passing the hut. Descending is a bit overgrown and muddy but not terrible. A buddy and I spent the night, it was gorgeous. Looking forward to doing it again in the future

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B Meyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 8, 2020
Hiking

We came down this trail yesterday after hitting South, Middle and Hight. There’s a shortish section of steep scrambling. The views mostly made up for it. It would have been fun if we weren’t already tired. River crossings were minimal.

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Kevin Neil
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 21, 2020
Hiking

Extremely buggy and the hut was closed, so make sure you have a filter to refill at streams. The section from the hut going up to the dome is scramble steep and beautiful with views of the boulder field and cliffs. Not great views from dome itself but highly recommend tacking on the 1 mile or so hike to Hight which has some of the best views in the whites.

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Joe Chronowski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 20, 2020
HikingSnow
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Andrew Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 8, 2020

Five star hotel at the hut

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Andrew Kooken
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 1, 2019
Hiking

River crossings were dangerous today nov 1 2019

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Allon Klein
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2019
Hiking

We did just the first two miles with small kids. The streams are a challenge but were doable in early August. Lovely. Very flat for this first part.

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Jonathan Zupperoli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 30, 2019
Hiking

This is a trial not for the inexperienced but is a good all day hike, depending on your pace. I would recommend going to the Ramparts which is a massive boulder field with spectacular views.

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Jim Venuti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 16, 2019
Hiking

Hiked this trail 6-15-19 with a group of 10. Very long day 10 hrs. Lots of brook crossings, 1 of them I recommend passing through with water shoes as there’s no way over without getting boots wet. Lots of trees down heading up to the peak, very steep on the way down to the ponds at the AMC hut. Very lightly trafficked trail, I think we saw a total of 6 other people on the trails. Not too many views, overall I’d hike this trail again as it was challenging hike but very peaceful wooded trail hike.

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Lindsay Dana
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 13, 2019
HikingBlowdownBugs

Hiked this trail 6/12/19 as part of a South Carter / Carter Dome loop. Overall it’s moderate, however there are currently lots of trees down around the middle section that has two water crossings. FYI trail was hard to see/follow at times, lots of scrambling over trees. If you follow the paths that look the most likely to be trails you’ll be fine. I was worried I had totally lost it at times. Luckily this section of uncertainty isn’t too long. But other conditions were great, beautiful hiking next to the brook, would definitely do this trail again.

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Aidan Crawford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 21, 2019
HikingWashed out

So it started with two miles of posthole-ing which made my friends not stoked. Then we reached Satan’s maelstrom, otherwise know as the first river. The trail was completely obliterated so I had to spelunk through powder drifts to get to this rotten log across the river. In an attempt to impress my group I went full Alex Honnold Free Solo on this log with disastrous results. Crossing that vindictive log was the equivalent of running sandpaper across my rear admiral. I’ll leave off the description of the transition from river 1 —> 2 but it was the darkness. River 2 is when I truly came face to face with Lucifer. Deeper water and a lack of accessible trees made us look like turning back. somehow one of the group managed to cross with dry feat. *Dearest lord in heaven I have to cross this river don’t i* Not to be outdone I pulled of my shoes and socks and attempted to Washington-on-the-Delaware this river. It felt like I fought the entire revolutionary war across those Devils waters. In summary: 4 hours, 2 miles, soaking wet, emotionally drained, and a complete loss of face in front of my group. Thanks Carter Dome, I’ll be back.

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Tim Nichols
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 20, 2018

Fun challenging trail up. Try the less crowded Rainbow trail down and watch for moose and other wildlife. Summit views are limited.

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Zac Medeiros
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 3, 2018
Hiking

got there a little later than we should have, we started the hike at about 12:30pm. We had taken the bog brook trail up to rainbow up to Carter Dome instead of the one proposed here. we then followed the normal path down but with heavy stopping we were out until 10:30. Were definitely reasonably new to hiking, I did Lafayette last month and man let me say, for a much shorter mountain this was almost just as steep. definitely a challenge but the view is well worth it. the best view isn't on the summit btw for us it was going down the Wildcat River Trail from the summit overlooking another massive mountain, I think you could see Washington from out in the distance too

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Lauren Lu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 23, 2018
Hiking

This mountain is gorgeous!! The trail goes for around 4 miles until you get to the base of the mountain with a steep ascent. We went yesterday and the snow has a crazy thick base on the way there-- around 3 feet that was packed and good getting there but as it warmed up on the way back we were falling through like crazy. The ascent was pretty sketchy because of all the snow and we were slipping and some parts were definitely hard to get around. The top section is gorgeous-- walking through a beautiful path with evergreens all around you. We wanted to do the loop but rainbow trail hadnt been done since the snow fell so we had to go back down the way we came. Which was pretty insane-- the steep parts were done with us sliding on our butts or feet, some places with rocks and close to ledges. Pretty much no way not to do this with the current conditions. You pass a hut on the way up that has water (and in our case on the way down). The whole route was 12 miles for us up and back. Definitely not ideal conditions. You basically need microspikes and poles right now as you're on snow the entire time. As it warms up it will get worse for postholing on the way up so it might be better as a summer hike. We used the coordinates from the app to get to the trailhead but we ended up at a parking lot for cross country skiing before we could get there and parked there instead. We took that trail straight until you hit the trees/ trailhead.

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Sam Shackford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 24, 2017

Good challenging hike, not personally one of my favorite 4,000 footers, but great views to be found at the summit.

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Paul Langworthy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 7, 2017
Backpacking

Beautiful hike but probably tough in one day. We did this loop as a two day hike, staying at Carter Notch Hut during late season when it is self service (and cheap). As a result we had more time and could add Mt Hight as an out-and-back from the summit, which is well worth it. Just west of the summit of Carter Dome there is a short spur to great viewpoint looking over the notch, but the summit itself is forested. Mt Hight, though much lower in elevation, is totally bald and has great views all around and beautiful alpine vegetation. The high point of this route is the Rainbow Trail. Upper portions are beautiful alpine forest with some exposed points, but the lower areas near the junction with Wild River Trail pass through a stunning open birch forest. We took Bog Brook Trail instead of looping back to Wilcat River T. Bog Brook seems to suffer from beaver damage and was hard to follow at one point, but it is a tad shorter than the route proposed here. The bottom parts of Wildcat River Trail involves three river crossings as I recall, which were no problem during a dry autumn, but could present an issue at other times. The hike out of the notch up Carter Dome is quite steep as well.

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Tim Ellingson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 4, 2016
Backpacking

We did the last 2.2 of this after starting on Bog Brook trail on our way to camp at the Carter Notch hut. It was definitely and intense climb, especially on a hot day like we went. It's a rocky, fairly steep continous climb up until you finally reach the AT junction. Nice view once you summit, but be prepared to have trek up for days. Also pack sufficient water as there is nowhere to refill until you reach the ponds or turn around.

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Stacy Merchant
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 20, 2016

wow what a challenge!!!

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Dingo Snacks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 4, 2016
Hiking
First to Review

Be ready to burn some calories on this trail. Very steep accent up to Carter Dome.

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Yris Fraden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking
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John Posiviata
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 15, 2020
Hiking
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Margaret Zorn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 15, 2019
Hiking
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Brian Akerley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2019
Hiking
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Brian Akerley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2019
Hiking
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Greg Coombs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 15, 2019
Hiking
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