Mount Moosilauke and South Peak Loop

HARD 322 reviews

Mount Moosilauke and South Peak Loop is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near North Woodstock, New Hampshire that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,506 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

snow

A fun loop hike with an optional epic backcountry ski descent if you choose the right time of year. This hike takes you up the Gorge Brook Trail from the Ravine Lodge Trailhead to the summit of the massive Mt. Moosilauke which used to have a hotel at the top believe it or not. You will still be able to see the old foundation up there. In the winter, from the top you can descend/ski to the South Peak to check it out before skiing powder and heading down a wide carriage road and ski connector path to the bottom.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty cold and had to hike in from the road because Ravine Lodge is closed. We used micro spikes until we switched to snowshoes at the trailhead. Great hike. Too cold to hang out at the summit though.. It was truly stunning.

1 month ago

One of my fav hikes in the Whites.
I was even lucky to see a moose on the top.
The view from the top is stunning. You should be able to see the presi’s if it’s a clear day.

hiking
3 months ago

Peak bagging is what sent me to Moosilauke, and I'm really glad it did. It was about 31* at the trailhead (Gorge brook trail). about 2 miles in i had to stop and put on my micro-spikes. From there to the summit it was ice/snow. Really perfect fall hiking in my opinion. The Gorge brook trail was a steady easy to light moderate ascent. The summit is exposed and was windy when I was there. I only had about 30 meter visibility due to the clouds but the hike was great. I made my way over to South Peak which was an easy add on using the Carriage road trail. I continued down the Carriage road trail which offered some views below the clouds. To get back to the Gorge brook trail I took the Snapper trail. Which creates a nice little lollipop loop.

Tips: Park up by the ravine lodge as close as they will allow.

There are 2 trail entrances. One is down in front of the lodge. The other is at the end of the dirt road...which redirects you to the other entrance. Either method will get you to the trailhead.

Be careful after crossing the bridge to the Gorge brook trail. It is not marked but you will need to make a right turn to stay on the Gorge brook trail. If you continue walking along the river you are going the wrong way.

hiking
3 months ago

I had some trepidation leading up to this hike, as this was our first early winter hike in the White Mountains, and we were taking my son to celebrate his 10th birthday (this marked his 6th 4000 footer!). That said, I did my research and made several trips to REI to ensure I had the right equipment. Layers were definitely required and we wouldn’t have been able to complete the journey without microspikes. I’m grateful to the employee at REI who talked me out of the Yaktrax brand and insisted we needed the actual spikes. The journey through the trees covered with ice and snow made for an added degree of difficulty but is doable. The entire loop, and short trip to South Peak took us about 5.5 hours, allowing us time to take several short breaks. The only reason I’m not giving this 5 stars is simply because we had no visibility at the summit. But thats not the mountain’s fault! The cold whipping air and frozen over summit marker just added to our memories of a great hike!
As an aside, I’d highly recommend staying at the Ravine Lodge and getting some warm food and rustic comforts!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Fantastic early winter hike! The hike itself is definitely more on the moderate than difficult level but the winter conditions added a degree of difficulty. Required spikes and layers - would not attempt without. Completed the loop in just over 4 hours including a beer break:) would stay at the base lodge next time!

3 months ago

challenging and rewarding

3 months ago

Second time but this time made it to the summit, first time we ran out of time and head back down. This time it was a total white out at the top. We made it at 100pm to the summit could not see the feet in front of us. Snowed the day before about 6 inches. We were prepared with extra layers, snow boots, spikes(which I didn't have to use).Very icy and slippery. Not for the faint of heart, with the snow up to our knees in some parts. Don't let the bottom weather fool you. Check the weather before heading up.

hiking
3 months ago

Definitely one of the best loops in the White Mountains. Expect a short road walk, since you can’t park at the Ravine Lodge. Once at the Ravine Lodge, I would recommend ascending Gorge Brook, the “steeper” of the two. Gorge Brook is pretty easy as far as trails go in the Whites, with no scrambling and lots of switchbacks. You follow the brook for the first half. The summit is pretty spectacular, with about 100 miles of visibility, and views of the White Mountains and Green Mountains. The Carriage Road is a very easy descent, very wide and low angle. It’s a ski trail in the winter, so it’s designed to meander along the mountainside at an easy grade. The 0.1 mile spur to South Peak is definitely worth doing. Definitely would recommend this to anyone who likes hiking. Also, if you want a fun adventure, do what we did and make it a sunset hike!

hiking
3 months ago

This one is easy if you are used to doing 4000 footers. Really barely any steep inclines and the trails are not the large rocky ankle-breakers that I'm used to. My 10 year old said it should have been marked "easy". I was longer than normal though of course... but still took us only 5 hours total even with 30 minutes break at the top. Will do again since we missed the South Peak shoot-off...

4 months ago

We did Asquam Ridge to beaver brook to Gorge brook. It was a 9.2 mile hike, 5.5 hours. You could probably do it quicker, but we had a mini snow storm during our hike. Gorge brook was a lot easier trail than Beaver brook. Beaver brook was very rocky with some scrambling (took us about 49 minutes to go 1 mile on that portion in the snow) . We didn’t get views at the summit, but getting two seasons in one hike and facing your fears by summiting a mountain when your tears are freezing and you can’t see more than 15 feet in front of you, gives you a huge adrenaline rush. I was terrified on the way up because of all the snow, but coming down I was so happy with excitement because I was so proud of myself. This hike will for sure make you feel accomplished!

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome hike! Gradual easy incline up Gorge Brook trail. This trail has the best views headed up. We went down Carriage Trail to Snapper to head back to parking by the Ravine Lodge. Took us about 5.5 hours with a stop for lunch at South peak. Highly recommend doing the 1/10 of a mile sidetrack to see the views!
One tip - don't miss the Gorge Brook trail- go over first bridge, take a left, you will be walking along the brook, about 100 yards, take a right up to the trail. If you're walking along brook awhile, you've missed the turn. Have fun!

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome trail. We went when there was bad weather so the top didn’t have much of a view. But it was a great hike overall. I highly recommend.

4 months ago

Great trail, not super hard as long as you’re in good shape. Took me 4 hours round trip with about 15 minutes spent at the top of each peak. There was snow starting at about 3,500 feet and the peaks were very snowy/windy. Would definitely recommend this hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. Not too difficult to find the trailhead, and once you do it’s very easy to follow. Took me 4 hours round trip, did not stop at the peak due to strong winds and mist. Would definitely come back to see the views.

hiking
4 months ago

My Wife and I are new to hiking. We had never climbed a 4000' ft mtn. It was a challenging climb but a lot of fun. The weather was overcast with no rain. I would say it took 3.45hrs to ascend and 3hrs to descend. Finding the trail head was not very hard. Just go down the stairs and look for the apple tree. Over all we will climb again

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked the South Peal Loop on Saturday 10/6/2018. We were optimistic that the weather would cooperate to allow views that so many have reported in their reviews. Unfortunately, we were in clouds and fog for most of the hike and only got brief glimpses from the summit.

The hike totaled just over 8 miles from where we parked which was about .7 from the trail head.

We did not bother to take the .1 out and back to see South Peak.

As others have noted, there is a distinct lack of trail blazes on Gorge Brook and Carriage Road trails which I found strange. With the holiday weekend, there were plenty of people on the trail but it was never overbearing.

All-in-all, it was nice to get one of the higher of the 48-4,000 footers and it's a very manageable hike. The Moosilaukee Ravine Lodge s absolutely spectacular and hopefully we'll return to stay there and get Moosilaukee on a clear day.

hiking
4 months ago

I think this is rated correctly as “hard.” This is not an easy trail given all the rocks that need to be navigated. And signage isn’t clear at spots but we found our way. Otherwise a fun hike.

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Very nice hike. Agree with other reviews that the beginning is not marked. Luckily there was another hiker who told us where to go to find the start of the hike. More signage would have been beneficial.
Hiked up the Gorge trail and it was an ongoing climb. If you're in shape it's not bad at all. If you're not, this may get your blood pumping.

Gorgeous views along the way. The summit was beautiful: full 360 panoramic view: it was spectacular- not a cloud in the sky. The hike down running the carriage trail was nice.
Gorgeous day. We didn't see too many hikers which was nice. A handful at the summit at 11a and along the trail. This would be even more beautiful during the foliage season.

4 months ago

If you are in any shape remotely resembling physical fitness, then you'll find this to be a piece of cake. My only criticism is that it was a little TOO easy, given the time it took me to get there.

But with that said, if you're not in the best shape but you still want to hike to a beautiful little alpine zone, this is your trail. I took Carriage Trail to Snapper Trail back down, and it seemed equally gradual. You'll never find as friendly a hike with such a good payoff at the top.

hiking
5 months ago

Very easy ascent with no scrambles and a few good lookouts along the way. Bring a jacket! Bald summit = cold and windy. I went early on a Thursday morning and there were a ridiculous amount of people heading up as i went down, so this isnt really a good place to go escape crowds, but the views were unreal, so it was worth it. It took me 4.5 hrs including 15 mins at the top and a few breaks at the other views.

hiking
5 months ago

I can see why they call her the gentile giant. Very gradual elevation gain, with not a lot of scrambling, and a decent amount of above tree-line hiking. Pretty cool summit with 360 degree views on a clear day..

hiking
5 months ago

Just an absolute joy of a hike on the first crisp day of the season. The ascent is broken up with wide, smooth, gently inclining sections, and the descent down the carriage road is easy, and lovely with some pretty views every now and then. The summit offers a wonderful 360 with lots of room to spread out and a couple of dry laid curved walls for shelter if the weather is bad. I took a runner friend who hasn’t hiked much, and round trip was about 4.5 hours including 15 minutes at the summit and another five minute break to let a group of Very Loud Talkers pass. Awesome trail for families!

5 months ago

Very hard hike w Donna

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful mountain, heavily traveled, easy to follow trails. Took Gorge to summit carriage back.

hiking
5 months ago

I gave it a 4 because it was difficult to navigate the first few miles. I guess I'm out of shape, but I would call this trail more difficult than moderate. Very hard on the knees, very rocky. Nice views at the top, but I can't say I would do this again. At least I bagged another 4000 footer.

5 months ago

Easy hike up with the dog. Very crowded on the holiday weekend. Excellent views.

5 months ago

fantastic hike

hiking
5 months ago

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