Hancock Loop Trail

HARD 68 reviews

Hancock Loop Trail is a 9.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lincoln, New Hampshire that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, camping, and birding. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
9.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2575 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

This is a fun loop trail to two 4,000 foot peaks in New Hampshire. There aren't any crazy great views but you'll get glimpses towards the Tripyramids, Carrigain of each mountain from the others summit.

hiking
1 month ago

The first 3.5 miles are very friendly, and then you are faced with a decision: ascend North or South Hancock? We chose to ascend South and go down North. The steeps were very slick as butt-sledding activity was at an all-time high. We wore microspikes for the whole hike except for the descent down the North peak--we wore snowshoes. All in all, a great winter hike! 9.1 miles in 8 hours...lots of stopping. From the trailhead to the loop split took us ~2 hours, and same on the return. So trail-math-wise, we spent just as much time doing the summit loop as we did on Hancock Notch Trail/Cedar Brook Trail.

backpacking
2 months ago

Incredible summer hike. We got off trail, but bumped into a kind fellow biker and his dog who got us back on track again. Spent 2 wonderful days on the mountain.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice warm up till It gets steep at the loop for north and south peak —during Highwater prepare to get wet multiple Brooke crossings on the flat approach.
Limited views but the outlook’s are pretty -Three stars for the lack of exposed views

hiking
5 months ago

Excellent trail! Last .5-.7 miles are the toughest. Very enjoyable trail none the less. There are small sites along the trail to camp in if you chose to.

6 months ago

Hancock was well traveled today being peak leaf peepers season. The trail starts out like a walk in the woods and then starts becoming gnarly with enchanted looking roots to traverse but the ascent is mild until you reach North trail. Prepare yourself for some steep climbing for about .7 miles but seems longer. This is one of the more difficult climbs I have encountered. Today the views atop North were not existent so we didn't even stop until we reached South Hancock. the path to south was easy going and the views were spectacular. We could see mt Carrigan to our left and a good portion of the mountain range. The descent down started steep but with care we moved right along.

6 months ago

a tale of two trails. first 3-4 miles are easy and mostly flat. the last .7 is steep and loose rocks. nice lookout. way down from south is tricky due to loose gravel but just go slow. I think 5.5 hrs r/trip at a medium pace.

hiking
7 months ago

A 3-mile-long glorified nature walk starts and ends this trail. The climb up (I went up North) is difficult but quick, and you are rewarded with a modest outlook. The real between North and South is quick and just hilly enough to be fun. Going down South is scary. Loose rock and dirt make a serious fall pretty possible. Took me 1:40 to go up, 0:20 to go between, and 1:20 to get back to the lot at the hairpin.

7 months ago

Great Hike with excellent views from both outlooks. Its definitely steep going up to North Peak, and you really need to watch your footing on the steep decent of South Peak. The rolling flat sections are really nice, many roots, but just keep an one on where your walking. Hiked it with my wife and 22 yr old son. Our moving time was 3hrs 17 mins, we did some trail running on the last mile or so. Again, Great Hike and an awesome workout !!

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike, stream provide a nice place to cool off on a hot day.

hiking
7 months ago

Tackled these 2 peaks. Not a terrible hike, it is deceiving as most of it is fairly easy and then you hit the loops for the 2 peaks and it gets really rough. Very accurate on Hiking North 1st and coming down South. It was very muddy and a lot of standing water on the trails. Made for interesting maneuvers especially over all the roots and loose rocks. I will say I was surprised and disappointed there was no actual Summit markings. Bunch of signs telling you what trail you were on and distances but no actual "Mount Hancock" or even a rock cairn. Weather wise was quite a mix, rain in the am then fog then crazy winds and ended with sunny and 76 degrees. Welcome the mash between summer and fall.

hiking
7 months ago

Great loop to hit two 4,000 footers. Great views from each summit, and the trail is pretty forgiving in terms of terrain -- way less rock hopping than most trails in the Whites. Pretty easy 10 miles compared to most activity around here. Did the loop in 3:53.

hiking
8 months ago

All around decent hike; most of the miles are a breeze, save the rock scrambling required to ascend and descend the peaks. The advice to go up the north peak and down the south peak was definitely accurate, although both sections are extremely tricky with lots of loose, falling rocks.

8 months ago

Great all around hike. Steady 3 mile hike to start off. Crossing some cool Brookes along the way. Views were great of both Hancock and South Hancock. I recommend hiking up Hancock first and hiking down South Hancock. The decent got a little tricky for me as there were a good amount of loose rocks. Only complaint is once you get to the 'dull' part of the hike on the way down, takes a lot longer than you'd expect. Awesome views and not too hard of a hike! One of my favorites so far!

hiking
9 months ago

A great loop hike made more interesting by high water crossings. The advice to hike up North Loop and come down South is spot on and the views from the overlooks aren't too shabby either.

hiking
9 months ago

The Hancock Loop Trail does not offer a lot of views, but it was a very nice trail to hike, nonetheless. A rain storm the night before made for very wet paths and more challenging stream crossings. Many parts of the trails seem like streams themselves.

backpacking
9 months ago

We hiked this trail with the plan to set up camp on one of the peaks. However, we started late (around 11:30) and by the time we made it to Mount Hancock we were exhausted. We ended up leaving the trail at about 11 and getting on the Kancamangus. Unfortunately our heavy packs slowed us down and we didn't go as fast as we planned. The trail did seem to be more than nine miles as our Fitbit recorded nearly double that. The outlook views were great and we can now knock two more 4,000 footers off our list.

hiking
10 months ago

Just hiked this last weekend, 6/10/17, river crossings are much easier and are more like stream crossings at this point. North peak was easy to get up, not too steep.

hiking
11 months ago

My husband and I hiked this later in the day (around noon) . There were many streams and the water is pretty high right now. Those were the least of our challenges. Postholes are the biggest issue. Make sure to wear crampons or snow shoes during this hike. Very slippery on the way down the South Peak...to the point where we were sliding on our bums down for fun. Met a cute Gray Jay on top of the North Peak.

hiking
Monday, April 17, 2017

A great deal of this hike is flat, up until you choose between going up the north or south peak trail. Views are beautiful, but the peaks are wooded so they are limited.

hiking
Monday, November 14, 2016

I'm very much on the slow side but made the whole loop in under 6.5 hours! Loved the ridge line between the two peaks and the snow made it all magical! ❤️ Would rate as more difficult.

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

We hiked the Hancock Loop starting at the Kancamangus Hairpin parking lot. I am not a pro by any means but I have hiked 11 4,000 footers, so not a noob either. This is def not "moderate". I would rate it moderate to strenuous. We started at 0815 and knocked off the initial mileage at 20 mins per mile until the Hancock peak split. We went up the North peak first. This was pretty brutal. But glad we did, because leading up to the north peak is a sharp descent which I didn't want to have to face on my way back. The 1.4 mile connector between the north and south peaks was more or less straightforward. The descent from the South Peak was tricky. Lots of loose rocks and slipping and sliding going on. We got back to the parking lot around 2:15 (6 hours round trip).
All in all, doable hike, but on the strenuous side. Probably not a good idea to do this in inclement weather. I deducted a point for the wooded peaks, but the outlooks on each somewhat made up for it.

hiking
Thursday, August 25, 2016

A really pleasant trail, very picturesque on the way in as it parallels a river for a while. Some good views from ledges near the summits. Fairly easy for the distance if you go up the north peak first, as most of the elevation gain happens over a very short section of trail.

hiking
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Summited both, started raining on the way down and broke my iPhone, lost the pictures.

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

recorded Hancocks

hiking
2 months ago

Load More