Mount Monadnock via White Dot and White Cross Trails

HARD 639 reviews
#1 of 16 trails in

Mount Monadnock via White Dot and White Cross Trails is a 3.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Jaffrey, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
3.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1768 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

A very popular, steep scramble up a nice peak in Southern New Hampshire with great views from its bald summit. Monadnock Mountain is reputed to be one of the most hiked mountains in the world with over 125,000 people climbing it every year. The hiking trails are very steep in places and can be rocky. It can easily be done in a half day. Older kids will have a ton of fun rock hopping their way to the summit on the steep trail and this hike is also a great place to see the changing leaves in fall. As one of the most climbed mountains, Monadnock is a very popular New England hike just north of very populated cities in Vermont and Massachusetts so you most likely won't be alone on the trail. Parking in the lot off of Poole Road can be a challenge, and the summit can be windy, so you may want to bring an additional layer for the top. Other trails in the area include the White Cross Trail, Birchtoft Trail, Cascade Link Trail and Pumpelly Trail.

1 day ago

We descended the white cross trail after ascending via birchtoft, red spot and Pumpelly. The weather made this a very challenging hike, as it was raining for most of the day and high winds at the summit. The wet rocks made for slippery footing and a slow, careful descent. No views at the top, as were in a cloud. A short burst of hail made a appearance too! I would prefer to do this next time in drier weather, but all the scouts and I felt a great sense of accomplishment!

hiking
23 days ago

Challenging, beautiful 360 view at the summit!

24 days ago

Fun easy hike. Summit in about an 1.5 hours if you can hold a decent pace. Nice view from the top where you can see the presidential range to the north east and the green mountains to the west. Some cool geology with weathering on the granite if you look close.

1 month ago

I've hiked this a few times and it is easily a favorite of mine. I had the pleasure of actually getting the summit all to myself one evening I hiked it solo after work. I would not say it's to difficult even with the rock scrambles because as long as you pace yourself both going up and down and are careful of your footing it's a enjoyable hike.
I've done it top to bottom in 3 hours solo but it can also be more of a leisurely hike with a group around 4--4.5 hours total.

hiking
1 month ago

Took the white dot up and white cross down. Hiked with my 10 year old. There is still a fair amount of ice and snow would strongly suggest wearing spikes or crampons but I saw multiple people hiking without them. A lot of people had sneakers on which is kinda nutty for the conditions. We did not wear ours the entire hike. We put them on about half way up and took them off about half way down.

I didn't notice a huge difference in difficulty between the two trails other than the white dot has several scrambles and the white cross does not. The incline or steepeness is pretty much the same for both trails. If your uncomfortable with climbing over and around large rocks take the white cross up and down which feels more like a long staircase. I also noticed no real difference in distance between the trails but my mileage does not match the posted distances.

I really enjoyed this hike. Although I wouldn't rate it as difficult. I also wouldn't suggest this for a people without any experience. There are plenty of other trails with just as good views better suited for first timers. My ten year managed well over the multiple scrambles but spikes were necessary because of winter conditions. I would take my six year old in the summer but not in the winter or early spring. The most difficult portion of the climb is the last scramble on the white dot before the trails meet and the the last push before the peak which is completed with either trail.

You will have to pay to get into the park. It's the only state park I've seen open since last fall. Had I known I would have brought my vehicle with the state park plate. I brought cash but was told you can pay with credit or debit at the toll booth.

I will definitely come back in the summer with my younger child.

2 months ago

Most of the trail is on rock, so it’s more difficult than it might sound. You start getting views a little more than halfway up. It’s been hazy the last two times I’ve gone there (in August), so the vistas haven’t been as great as they can be. They are certainly phenomenal on a clear day. Beware of crowds (including weekdays) on one of the most climbed mountains in the world.

3 months ago

So worth doing!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Choose when you go wisely, trails are often packed in warmer months.

hiking
3 months ago

On a warmer day (1/21), temps were in upper 30's. summit was 31degree. Had microspikes and proven to be essential for the hike. Saw another couple from Brazil who had cleats and after suggesting them gave them one spare microspikes. They were really thankful at the summit. Summit was little windy and we had to put the gloves and cap back on otherwise it was manageable with good jacket and thermals.

hiking
4 months ago

Incredible hike! There are a lot of scrambled and a lot of boulders, but the views are entirely worth it. It was pretty challenging and took us about ~4 hours to hike it, round trip. There are SO MANY people on this hike! The summit has a very nice area for picnics with a great view.

5 months ago

beautiful day to hike- freezing temps kept the crowds away, but the sun and clear skies made for a lovely trip. microspikes were helpful with snow and ice covering the trail. enough people had blazed ahead, so no trouble finding the path. entire trip took about 2.5hrs.

hiking
5 months ago

First winter hike 12 degrees at base -4 at summit beautiful day to get out!

5 months ago

White dot up, white cross (least steep) down, 3 hours 40 min; carried microspike but not needed; slippery surface with rock and leaves but manageable condition. Lots of people on trails. Amazing views half way and at the top.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike! Beautiful view

5 months ago

great trail, beautiful views

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike!

hiking
6 months ago

really enjoyed this trail

hiking
6 months ago

Nice day hike make sure to bring appropriate gear!

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful hike today with my boys! However white cross was much more difficult, unsure why the gentleman manning the entrance told us white dot up, white cross down. I️ would have found white dot going down would have been much easier.

hiking
6 months ago

Heavily trafficked are the keywords here. I’m giving it four stars because it’s Mount Monadnock but there are less busy trails to the top that are just as scenic.

6 months ago

Hiked up this morning. Fog so no view :/

hiking
6 months ago

Depending on your skill level, it may take you less time. It took me 2 1/2 hrs each time I went. I was exhausted. Beautiful view on the way up and once at the Summit it's absolutely gorgeous. Heavily trafficed. Other rocks on top for kids to venture in.

hiking
6 months ago

Went up the white dot and down the white cross, a couple of notes: (a) there is currently a ton of water on the trail, but it’s still very doable, just pack an extra pair of socks, and (b) wear a nice pair of hiking boots with food grip, otherwise it will be a long, anxious descent. It’s also cold at the top.

hiking
6 months ago

I do like this mountain, but only during the winter or during the week. The trails are clogged with hikers who don't let faster hikers by, stay on the marked trail, or leave no trace. It gets maddening on nice weekend days there. That being said, I took my kid up there for his first summit over 3,000'. He loved it, and it's a great beginner distance if you haven't hiked mountains before. There are some steep and slippery areas, watch out if it's been raining lately as it will be slippery. The White dot trail is generally dryer than the cross. If you don't mind a crowded trail full of (describe them however you like) than give this mountain a shot.

hiking
6 months ago

Sunday went up white dot and down white cross. White Dot's a rocky scramble in places but my novice hiker friend managed it pretty well. Sections of White Cross trail had become a small stream from runoff from heavy rains a few days ago and it was a slow and slippery descent in places. Gorgeous day and the view from the top was stunning as always.

hiking
6 months ago

Very windy past the treeline and even more so on top. Be cautious going up and down slippery rocks.

hiking
6 months ago

mist, rain and strong winds at top when I went. visibility is low on cloudy days - take care not to lose your bearings.

6 months ago

A feeling of accomplishment at the top! You earn every special moment! Jelly legs for the next 3 days!

hiking
6 months ago

A gorgeous hike full of never ending scrambles. Took about 4 hours to complete with enough time to stop for a brief picnic and take breaks for my jelly legs.

6 months ago

super super tough for a beginner, the scrabbling was crazy the whole top of the mountain is rock BUT the views were incredible. This took us about 6 hours we went up white dot and down white cross, stopped a bunch but so worth it!

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