Mount Cardigan via West Ridge Trail

MODERATE 102 reviews

Mount Cardigan via West Ridge Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Canaan, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from January until January. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.7 miles
1,194 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips


trail running




wild flowers








16 days ago

365 degree views at the top make the elevation gain worth every step!

17 days ago

Excellent views, a good hike, this WAS a moderate trail, some great granite incline at the top. Have done some other moderate trails that should have been mod/hard. I'd give this a 4.5.

1 month ago

Very Busy this weekend, but the parking was good, trail was well maintained, and the view was awesome

1 month ago

Made this trail my first hike this summer. 7/16/18. Definitely challenging towards the top but the views are outstanding! Well marked also! My 4 year old did 75% of this trail on his own (it’s the top that’s hard) will definitely do it again down the road.

1 month ago

Great hike for a moderate pace. Spectacular views! Will return in the Fall.

1 month ago

A real gem, one of my favorite hikes. The last quarter mile or so runs above tree line to a totally exposed summit with 360 views. It is frequently windy up top, so bring a warmer layer if you want to stop and gawk.

1 month ago

2 months ago

June 17. Great trail. Did the Rimrock -> South Peak -> Peak -> Firescrew route and back as my first hike of the season. Legs are just the right amount of Jelly by then end of it for a intermediate hiker. Great views as always!

2 months ago

Easy side of moderate hike, just when you start to feel winded, you’re at the top! Amazing views!!

3 months ago

icy with snow

4 months ago

went up on March 29, had to hike from lower gate. Anbout 4.7 miles round trip. There is about 2 feet of snow on trail below tree line, some bare rock above. Very little wind on top, and temps in the 40's, cloudy. While we were up on top a moose followed some of the trail below us.

4 months ago

I did this trail today and I loved it! I’m a beginner so this was perfect for me. I used my spikes until about half a mile from the top. The 360 degree view is awesome! The gate is closed so you do have to walk about half a mile to the trail head but the walk isn’t that bad, I did use my spikes because there was a lot of packed snow and some ice. The worst part was driving on the unpaved roads to get there, they were extremely muddy and bumpy.

5 months ago

Hiked on Feb 28. a clear and warm day. will need to use micro spikes. Walked from lower gate. On top the wind was NOT blowing, took off spike at tree line.

5 months ago

My fiancé and hiked the west ridge trail this afternoon/evening. You definitely need crampons. I wore micro spikes and it did the trick, but recommend the longer spikes for the thick ice. The trail is currently completely covered in snow and ice, so come prepared. You may be able to remove them near the summit, where the rock is exposed. Trail is very well marked in Orange. Great views at the top, we watched the sunset. We saw the most red sunset we have ever seen tonight. We parked where Mount Cardigan Rd meets Burnt Hill Rd, since the gate was locked. We hiked up the road to the trail head. Note for first timers: the road leading up is gravel/dirt and very steep. It was very muddy and sketchy in a few spots, due to the recent thaw. We made it in a full-sized sedan, but will take my 4wd on warmer winter days or after recent rainfall.

8 months ago

Bring good boots and crampons. micro spikes may work early in the winter but we got some decent snow and plenty of ice buildup towards the summit on the West Ridge trail. The walk up is great but you park at the bottom by the gate and have to walk with what feels like .5 miles to get to the trail. A snow storm blew in on the summit but the views beforehand were amazing! Dress warm, layer up, and pack your essentials.

9 months ago

Really nice day hike.

Be prepared for a fair amount of mud and wet rocks if you complete this trail after a recent bout of rain.

My nine year old did well on this trail with minimal breaks. There is a substantial time spent above the treeline on bare rock. Keep this in mind if heading out in wet weather. This also makes the hike a fulltime viewfest for the last .5 mile or so.

You will see crowds. If you do not arrive early you will be looking for parking. The peak was windy when we summited. This did not come as a surprise as everyone I've talked to has confirmed these conditions from their time on the top.

10 months ago

Well marked trail, solidly "moderate" in terms of strenuousness. stunning views at summit.

10 months ago

Great hike. Will definitely do again. The views are spectacular.

11 months ago

Fabulous. Challenging, wild, and 360 degree view from the top.

11 months ago

An incredible hike. I'd rate it on the top end of moderate in terms of difficulty, but so worth it. The 360 views from the summit were brilliant. Can't wait to do it again!

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

This was a challenging hike for sure! It's all uphill from start to finish and about a quarter of the way to the summit is all large slabs of rock at an insane incline! When I thought I was at the summit I would turn the next corner and there were more! Don't let me scare you though the view is insanely beautiful. I could spent all night there. This was my second mountain this week , if you're a beginner I would save this for your 5th or 6th lol!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

awesome trails and beautiful view from the top! very Rocky and alot tougher then excited. lots of people! had camera stolen from parking area after leaving it for less then 20 mins

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Beautiful views busy trail, I would have enjoyed less people and dogs

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Have wanted to do this hike for a while and the views from the top did not disappoint. The trail was pretty muddy in parks but overall in good shape. The black flies were absolutely brutal until you got above the tree line. Forget the bug spray, bring a net, far more effective and won't wear off as the day goes on.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Today was in the 30s or lower and it was ICY! My boyfriend did not have any ice spikes, we were a little unprepared. I also dont have great ice spikes so I recommend getting some good ones if this is one of your first winter hikes. It was my second winter hike and it was so slippery we took a lot of painful falls. When we got towards the top it is a super tough push to the top of bare rock face. Super beautiful! A little strenuous towards to the top and too icy to be not prepared. We will definitely be more prepared for our winter endeavors but this was an overall tiring day. The view was absolutely spectacular and probably better than a 4000footer we climbed in September. Overall moderate hike, we took about an hour and a half due to being unprepared and out of breath but this would obviously be better had it not been icy!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Up the West ridge....great hike, not hard, surface today great for spikes (no snowshoes needed). Top was windless!! Perfect day! Awesome 360' view to all the great ski areas all around. Down South Ridge. Hike up only took 1.5 hours. Easy

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Very easy hike for kiddos and whole family with 360 views. I try and do this one at least once a year. With my niece and nephew it takes 50 minutes up (they are not hikers) the views are amazing; specially for the quick hike up! Also a great hike to try for a sunset hike as the way down isn't too strenuous (I do suggest head lamps and flash lights just to be safe of course) Perfect hike for year round!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

All uphill but a great view

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Great day hike. Perfect trails for taking your dog or family. Plus alot of good views.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Great day!

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