Hi-Cannon Trail

MODERATE 68 reviews

Hi-Cannon Trail is a 4.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Franconia, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
4.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2247 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

hiking

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

no dogs

Great Views of Northern Presidentials. AMC Hut and mountain lake. 4K Peak. Park at the Lafayette Campground, and climb Hi-Cannon Tr up (yellow blazed). It has some exposed rocky overlooks that allow you to appreciate the presidentials even before reaching the summit. Just before reaching the top, you will merge with Kinsman Ridge Trail for a very short distance. At the top, enjoy the views from the observation tower. There is an old/historic tramway that bring non-hikers to the summit. Once you enjoy the possibly crowded summit, return using the Kinsman Ridge in the south direction. Go past the intersection with the Hi Cannon Tr, and on the next intersection with the Lonesome Lk Trail, turn left into it. Soon you will discover that as rocky as Hi-Cannon Tr looked, it wasn't as difficult as Lonesome Lk Tr would have been on the way up in this section. You will reach the lake. If you have time, it is worth going around it on a loop trail it has. You may visit the Lonesome Lk AMC Hut.

17 days ago

Went hi-cannon to Kingsman ridge to the lookout tower in late November. There were already a few inches of snow that had accumulated, which resulted in some neat views.

The trail to the summit is made up of two separate ascents: the first to the flat area that lonesome lake is on, and the second up to the summit (there is a brief flat spot while you're in the vicinity of lonesome lake). The initial incline is quite step, but the second incline lets up a little, and also affords great views of Franconia notch.

I can see why people who are afraid of heights would be scared by the ladder, but I thought it was pretty neat. It's also nowhere near vertical, more like 30-40 degrees up from horizontal.

The lookout tower is a great place to be, even in sustained 25mph winds (-4 degrees with wind chill when I made it, glad I brought the hard shell layers).

hiking
1 month ago

Really fun trail, very diverse! Pretty steep from the beginning, but not overwhelming. The ladder added some fun to the trail, loved the views along the way. Went up and back down Hi Cannon. The top 1/3 is pretty icy now.

1 month ago

loved it!! went hi cannon to kinsman down lonsome lake. would rate at hard... lonesome on the way down was incredible

hiking
1 month ago

enjoyed this trail very much. very primal feal to the rock formations and old growth vegetation. have admired the views from the ski slopes all my life but got a whole new perspective. will do it again.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice forest with very steep granite that was more like climbing /scaling a wall then hiking in many places. Also couldn't see any trail markers, had to use gps and the trail I found to start on was lonesome lake trail which eventually joined hi -cannon trail.

2 months ago

I found Hi Cannon trail to be somewhat scary. Part of the trail runs very close to the edge of a clif. Looking down at the highway was nerve racking. THEN scooting across a wooden beam after climbing up a latter almost gave me a panic attack. Wow. Just be ready for it.

hiking
2 months ago

Attempted this summit in the rain this morning. DEFINITELY trying again on a better-weather day. Wonderful trail; far less trafficked than others in the vicinity (during the Columbus holiday, leafing season.) One "warning": there's a ladder that climbs pretty much straight up at one point. I couldn't figure out how to cross this section of trail with a leashed dog, so turned back and headed over to Lonesome Lake. Will take suggestions from dog-hiker people if you have them :-))

hiking
2 months ago

Did it by myself, about 1.5 hours up via Hi-Cannon, and another 1.5 down via Lonesome Lake, including the Lake loop. First part of the way up included lots of scrambling, but it leveled out for the last quarter

3 months ago

Amazing views along the trail. Not an easy one, however definitely worth of checking it out!

3 months ago

Completed September 1. This was just a fun hike. Great views from the trail, a ladder, fantastic views from the summit (even on an overcast day), and a really convenient location.

hiking
4 months ago

Fairly straightforward hike. Requires some rock scrambling and the hands over feet ladders are an awesome touch. Signage connecting you to the kinsman ridge trail is limited so be sure to be aware of the trace if you're trying to do the kinsmans and cannon together.

hiking
4 months ago

We hiked it 7.29.17 and really enjoyed this trail! The small bridges at the beginning crossed over the small streams and then the elevation quickly increased. There are several large boulders along the side of the trail and ones that you need to walk around that were beautiful to look it! Amazing views of Lonesome Lake once you reach the tree level elevation. It's steep getting to the Kinsman junction and 0.4 miles to the Observation Deck at the top. The 360 degree views were unbeatable ⛰ !!! We ate dinner on the ledges facing Lafayette, Lincoln, Little Haystack, and Liberty. The timing was perfect to eat there because the tram was closing and all the visitors (non-hikers) left. Nice hike down and having the campsite store open and bathrooms to change was superb! Plan on spending time finding parking this time of year.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice, challenging climb! Took us about 2 hours. Gets steep at the top; as someone else mentioned, kind of like a rock stairmaster! Some scrambling is needed . Took the Lonesome Lake trail down which was quite rocky but beautiful. Overall excellent for a novice hiker. enjoy!

hiking
4 months ago

Good trip. very wooded with lots of fallen trees. Was quite wet from rain the night before which made for some slick rock faces and a few muddy trails. Gets interesting and scenic as you approach the summit. Ladder was a pleasant surprise as was the unusual granite "bunker". Took about 2.5 hours of actual climbing from the Lafeyette Place Campground lot to top, plus another 30 min stop for lunch. Tweaked knee coming down the observation tower, so we stopped at the summit bar and enjoyed "the highest taps in NH" before taking the tram down for a gimpy 2+ mile walk on the bike trail back to the car.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike, steep at times though. Views were amazing going up and the ladder was a little fun bonus. Would definitely hike it again!

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked up hi-cannon trail as my first hike today. The views are breathtaking however this trail is very steep and was very hard as a first hike. It took us 3 hours to make it up

hiking
4 months ago

Good hike, not crazy challenge but there are some rocks that get slick if it has rained. Bar at the top is a nice bonus. Fun ladder on trail too.

5 months ago

Definitely very crowded at the summit due to the tram and the cafeteria closes at 4, so make sure to plan for that (my gf and I missed it). It is possible to take dogs as quite a few people did, including myself, but just be aware that it involves traversing a 20' ladder with your dog on your lap. I have a 50 lb pit bull that sat on my lap as I sat on the ladder and went backwards upwards (not easy). Overall a great trail, definitely difficult and slippery in the rain though, but a much welcomed added challenge!

hiking
6 months ago

Loved it, very quiet mid week. Hardly any bugs. Great trail. Parked at Lafayette Campground.

10 months ago

Hi-cannon trail was pretty nice and easy going up other than the ladder part, pretty much all ice, definitely being traction in the winter. Went down towards lonesome lake trail after summit(boy was that a mistake) very steep and slippery, pretty much sled down on my butt the whole time. Much better off just going back hi-cannon trail again.

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