Mount Osceola Trail

HARD 191 reviews

Mount Osceola Trail is a 12.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lincoln, 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
12.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5045 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Breathtaking vistas of Kancamagus wilderness with a steep incline. This hike will bring you to the highest peaks of the Sandwich Range with good views to the east despite wooded summits This is a short but steep climb to get the tallest peak in the Sandwich Range and it's sister peak East Osceola. Although both summits are wooded there are ledges on the way up East and a viewpoint towards the east from Mt. Osceola. to get there you will take the Greely Pond Trail from the Kancamangus Highway to the Mt. Osceola trail which turns off to the west just before the ponds. NOTE: Price for parking on Tripoli Road has changed to $5.

hiking
3 months ago

second time hiking the greely pond trail to East Osceola Summit on a day in February it was 55 ° on the summit! we got a late start (started at 11 am) with it being so warm the river was really high, lots of ice covered in slushy snow. mono rail was this and slushy so.we stuck with micro spikes and trecking poles we're life savers. we started to head over to Mount Osceola but opted to turn around after a few hundred yards of us and the dogs post holing, we didn't post hole at all up to that point - plus rain was coming in. by the time we got back down to the river crossing it had doubled in size making it impossible to cross without getting our boots soaked. we hike very often and this trip took us 6 hours with maybe a total stops of 1 hour (had to make some jet boil coffee at the summit!) fun hike with great views but with the warmer weather approaching be prepared!

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome hike!! Would hike again for sure

4 months ago

A long and beautiful trail. Much of the start is flat, but then the other half is full of switchbacks and steep climbs. The summit offers exceptional views of the presidentials, but it’s a bit tricky to navigate. Very few flat areas and the the routes to the top above the tree line aren’t clear, but doable. .

hiking
6 months ago

Trailhead on Tripoli Rd is NOT accessible in the winter months. (Road is closed.)

hiking
7 months ago

Climbed Osceola and E Osceola vis the Mt Osceola trail. The grade was not too difficult on the way up to Mt Osceola.

The trail between the peaks was more difficult. The chimney between peaks was tricky.

Great views from the top of Osceola, no views from E Osceola.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice day trip peak-bagging trip for the NH 48 4000' list. Lots of rock hopping on the way up to Osceola, with lots of slanted smooth ledge as you get closer to the summit. Glad to have done this on a nice dry day. The Summit of Osceola has amazing views. The trip over to East Osceola is 2 miles round trip. There is a detour around the "chimney", a vertical rock climb. The Chimney has plenty of hand and foot holds and may look overwhelming, but is quite doable in dry weather. Overall this was a nice hike but not one of my favorites just from the rough boulder trail.

hiking
7 months ago

not much happens on this trail untill you summit, but the payoff is fantastic.

7 months ago

loved It!!!

7 months ago

What an amazing view!!!

hiking
7 months ago

(I'm 45, reasonably fit, but not an experienced hiker.) This hike was a good work out, but with little to no views during the ascent, everything hinged on the weather at the summit. I got lucky, and it was a spectacular reveal (the guy that arrived two minutes after me whooped in surprise when he saw the view!). Not so good for the folks who arrived later that day, as the summit was shrouded in clouds and nobody wanted to hang around. The East Peak is also a little anti-climactic after the first summit. If I was doing this again I'd just do the main summit - it's a quick ascent, great view, and you can then take your time getting down.

7 months ago

Hiked from Tripoli Road trailhead and Mount Osceola Trail to Mount Osceola and East Osceola on 10/7/2017. Up to Osceola was relatively easy and approximately 3 miles. Between Osceola and East Osceola is markedly more difficult.

The weather was disappointing with rain and clouds throughout the day so we only had occasional views. Our GPS said we did 7.8 miles out and back which is different than maps show.

Anyway, always fun to be on the trail and to get two more 4,000 footers was an added bonus.

7 months ago

I found a pair of wireless headphones on trail near Chimney..... please reply with color and type if they are yours.....GREAT Hike !!!

hiking
7 months ago

Had heard lots of complaints about how rocky this trail is. While it is rocky, I don't think it's that much rockier than any other trail in the Whites. The trail is a steady, not difficult climb, with lots of switchbacks. There is no really steep section. The view from the summit is amazing and there's plenty of room to spread out.

8 months ago

nice. peaceful and great view at top.

8 months ago

It is a nice trail with steady elevation up. No trail marks, but should be easy to follow. However we did make a mistake around 1 mile, missing a sharp turn. There is log pile supposed to block the way, but we just walk over. And found we were not the only group in the off-trail woods. It is a good workout and the review on the top is beautiful.

8 months ago

really tough trail, lots of near vertical scrambling, worth the trip!

8 months ago

The view at the end is worth all the effort to come up. Great workout on the way up.

hiking
8 months ago

Sunday: Pretty easy 3.2 mile hike (one way) to top of Osceloa for a very nice view of Tripyramids and Waterville valley. Would have rated higher if it wasn't as crowded. It's a popular hike - weekday and starting early probably a good choice.

hiking
8 months ago

Summit offers a great vantage point from the south west part of the white mountains. Clearly marked trails. Tripoli road isn't in greatest condition so drive slowly to avoid large potholes.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike. Switchbacks made the first 2 or so miles easy. The last mile to the summit was slightly challenging with sloped rocks. There is a narrow part at the bottom of the sloped rocks that you can walk on without sliding. Summit views on Osceola are stunning. The mile between Osceola and East Osceola was fairly steep right at Mt. Osceola and at the Chimney. Other than that, it was an straightforward hike to the wooded summit of East Osceola.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike with awesome views from Osceola. The trail is mostly switchbacks with a few tricky spots in between Osceola and East Osceola. Of course the chimney is difficult but it was one of the most memorable parts of the hike for us.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike! Good view from the peak - dog friendly

hiking
9 months ago

One of the more remote 4000 footers of the Whites! It was lovely to not be able to hear a single car during our entire time on the trail. We started at Tripoli Road and then summited Osceola and East Osceola and back. The assent to Osceola is so pleasant—not too steep, great use of gentle switchbacks. I would call this hike "moderate" if not for the traverse between Osceola and East Osceola. Oh my!! We chose to go around the chimney going down, but coming back up the climbing was fun. The views aren't as great on East Osceola, but you do get a nice lookout towards Franconia Notch on the way there. Being extra careful because of a recent injury, 8.4 miles took us about 6.5 hrs, including breaks. Tripoli Road is ROUGH—one of the least maintained access roads I've seen. If you have the option of bringing a 4 wheel drive vehicle, I'd choose that. My Prius made it with no problems, however.

10 months ago

Pretty cool views and not as packed as some of the other trails in NH

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike, gorgeous view from Osceola; ascending the chimney was fun. Some potentially slippery footing on some wet rock and a bit of mud, but no serious issues.
Unfortunately left my cold steel knife on the Summit of Osceola (would love to get it back if anyone found it you could find me on FB)

hiking
10 months ago

This was my intro to NH 4K footers. It was very hard for me (out of shape) to keep pace with my fellow hikers, but the views from the top were amazing!

Wish I had poles, lots of boulder and stabilization required, especially on the way back down.

I don't remember seeing too many trail markers, but the path seemed clear.

hiking
10 months ago

Just hiked this trail yesterday with four other friends and all I have to say is... wow! It was a very positive experience. The climb up makes you work hard but getting to the top feels so rewarding. The views are worth it for sure! It took us about 3 hours to get up (which included several breaks) and about 2 or so hours to get down. This is the third mountain I've ever climbed so I'm definitely not very experienced, but if you push through it, you can do it. If you hike this trail you won't regret it. :)

hiking
10 months ago

To start the price has changed for parking. It is now $5

Also, no blaze marks. You are following the creek all the way up. It would be pretty hard to go off trail on this one.

This trail was rougher than I expected. I didn't do the whole trail, I just did the 2 summits (Mount Osceola and East Osceola)

Very rocky, very muddy, very steep towards the top. I would recommend bringing a change of clothes depending on far your drive home is especially when you come across unavoidable mud puddles and higher than normal creeks and streams. This trail gives you a run for your money on footing, you get normal slightly rocky paths which transition into various boulders with mud and/or water between them. As you get closer to the top you get delightful steep slabs of granite that are slick and then have water running down them as if it wasn't difficult enough to pass. But in all honesty it was sooooo worth it, the views are amazing and if you manage to start early enough you might actually get some peace and quiet with no other visitors. Took us about 2.5 hrs.

Heading back felt never ending just because we were already tired but not as terrible as it could have been.

*side note* please always go prepared, I was baffled how many people I saw hiking with not even water!

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked this Monday, July 10th started at about 10:30 A.M. from Tripoli Road. By this time the parking lot was almost full. We found a spot, but the people who arrived after us had to park on the road just outside of the lot. The weather was a pleasant 80 degrees with scattered clouds and relatively low humidity. Noticed a few bugs standing in the parking lot, but once we started the hike they weren't much of an issue at all. We did this hike with our ~60-pound Rott/Pit/Lab mix and she did the hike without too much trouble.

The hike up to Osceola was a pretty steady climb. Not many very steep parts, but more of a gradual climb winding back and forth up the mountain. It is a very rocky trail with little time spent on a packed down dirt trail. Hiking shoes with good traction are helpful for this trail. The top of Osceola is a fantastic spot with an amazing view out over a large portion of the White Mountains. You could spend a lot of time up enjoying the summit on a sunny day. We saw maybe five groups on the way up and saw another few on our stay at the summit, so not too much traffic the day we went. The trail isn't particularly wide, so there wasn't much room to let people pass, especially with a dog who wants to go up and say hi to everyone.

We then headed over to East Peak. The trail from Osceola to East Peak was a blast. There is a pretty big dip from one peak to the other for being such a short distance away. The descent is fairly steep from the second you leave Osceola. This was a very rocky trail and easily the most difficult section for us and the dog. There were a couple spots when we had to help the dog down. When you get almost to the bottom of the dip in between the two peaks there is the "chimney" section to the right and then a slightly easier route around it to the left. We went down the left side, which was the right decision with the dog as I am not sure how she would have made it down the other. It was still a tough little section to the left, but quite manageable. After this section, you start going back up and it is fairly easy up to East Peak. There is one spot before East Peak with a nice view off to your left. Like others have said, once you hit the peak there is not much to see. Just walk until you see a big cairn in the middle of the woods.

After we hit East Peak it was back to Osceola. This was the most fun part of the hike. This time I went up the chimney, which is a very fun little climb up the rocks where you take advantage of hand and footholds to get up some of the steepest parts. It is a short stretch, but very fun. The dog went around on the easier route with my parents. We met someone along the way with a smaller dog that he said made it up the chimney with a little bit of help from him on the super steep parts, but I really don't think there is any way our dog would have made it up that way. So just something to keep in mind if you have a bigger dog that you can't just carry up the hard parts.

Overall this was a very fun hike and I strongly recommend hitting both peaks as the most fun part of the hike for me was the trail between the two. The whole trip for us with maybe an hour worth of stops was about 7.5 hours. Probably three to get up Osceola, two to get to East Peak and back, and then two and a half to get back to the parking lot.

hiking
10 months ago

Steady and consistent ascent pretty much all the way up to Osceola. Great view with a wide open space to stop and eat.

To the left (if you were facing the view and had your back to the trail you came from) is the way to Osceola East. You'll know you made it to Osceola East when you see a cairn that looks more like a rubble of rocks kind of in the middle of the woods (no view at all). If we were not told that, we would have missed and gone right past Osceola East.

If coming from Osceola -> Osceola East and then turning around to head back to Osceola, we were told on the way to Osceola East, there is a V that starts a descent downward. To the right is what is known as the Chimney. We were recommended to go down left, and climb up (on the way back) left, up the chimney. Looks difficult, but is very manageable.

When leaving you can take a right out or left out of the parking area. Right out should be a fairly easy way, just narrow. If you go left, which is the way we left, you can see some nice streams as well as the Mad River which is really nice. If you take this route, be very careful and take it slow, the roads are not the best, and there is one spot that really catches you off guard, so just take it easy.

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