Mount Tom, Avalon, and Field Loop

MODERATE 74 reviews

Mount Tom, Avalon, and Field Loop is a 6.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Bretton Woods, New Hampshire that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2716 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

snowshoeing

forest

views

This is a nice loop trail with good views towards the southern presidentials. You'll have really good views from Avalon to Webster Cliffs. Mt. Tom and Field are wooded but Tom has a few views through the trees.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome winter hike. I saw a lot of people saying Tom and Field have really limited views, but several feet of snow means you can see over many trees that you wouldn't see over in the summer, and the views from both peaks were stunning with 180 degree views of the south Presis and into the Pemi from both peaks. Hike this but do it in the winter.

Took left at the fork and did Avalon and Fields first and then swung around and did Tom. The A-Z trail leading down from Tom is tricky in that the trail is covered by snow drift and it being next to a steep slope doesn't help - watch your footing. Else it's super fun and a easy 6 hour hike. No views worth talking about - it was snowing. Snowshoes only, microspikes kept ice balling up making them useless.

Also be ready to shed layers - I changed into just a base layer and a raincoat (snowing) because the trail is steep on the way up and you WILL sweat and get wet from the inside if you don't take care. Pit zips on jackets sure help.

Go up Avalon and Fields because these are more steep and then go down the A-Z trail (very small stretches of steep trails). For those inclined to get down on your butt and slide, this is going to be super fun since it presents plenty of opportunities to do so. Let the kid in you out and slide down - you won't regret it. :)

snowshoeing
3 months ago

For winter snowshoe this is close to 5 star, depending on conditions.

The trail was packed down almost the entire way, and temps were cold (5F), with 15" base. That meant trail was broken, and microspikes held firm. If you're breaking trail with snowshoes, this would be a very, very challenging loop. If snow conditions were messy, and microspikes couldn't hold, it would be tough as well.

There are some truly steep ups and downs. I had to rotate snowshoes and micro spikes. Several of the steep downs are so steep that I had really no choice but to slide down sitting. I took off micro spikes so they didn't catch. 20 yards later I had to put them back on because uphill was so severe. For other parts of the terrain, primarily Avalon turn off until end of Field Mountain descent, snowshoes were the right equipment due to more variable conditions, and drifting snow.

Heat management is important for this loop. The Avalon access trail is very steep start to finish. So be ready to shed gear. And climbing continues all the way to top of Field. It would be easy to get hot, and then freeze in sweat on the way down. Start cold, with thin layers, and a shell. Given all the up, that will be fine. As usual, protect extremities in colder weather.

Lastly, I found navigation from top of Field down more difficult than expected. Snow had drifted, and I didn't see any blazes. I didn't get lost. But be handy with a map and compass, or have GPS with back-up if you are doing the first run after a major snowfall, where snow might cover blazes.

This is a challenging loop in winter that rewards good heat management, decent fitness, and a willingness to wait until a few strong trekkers have broken trail first.

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked up from the rail road station parking lot in Nov. 2016. Was a fun one, crossing the stream at the bottom then up to Avalon peak then back down. Would have tried the az trail but wasnt sure where it lead to at the time and had a late day start and came back to the car before it got real dark out. Had great time hanging out with the very friendly canadian jay birds at the summit and the panorama was great view of the snow capped presidentials to the northeast. Great breeze and sound was amazing, really was a perfect day of hiking.

7 months ago

Beautiful setting. Hiked up to Mount Field first. It was a pleasant hike with well constructed trails. Views were limited. We hike over to Mount Avalon where we had clear views of mount Washington, Monroe, Franklin and Eisenhower. It was steep and rocky coming off Avalon when we were tired. But all in all a great day in early fall in New England.

hiking
7 months ago

This hike offers limited views from the summits of Mt. Tom and Mt. Field, but does have a good view from Mt. Avalon. The trail was moderately easy to navigate, with 2 easy crossings over the stream. Coming down the Avalon Trail from Mt. Field was rocky, steep and a little difficult .

7 months ago

Approached trail from Highland Center. Easy/Moderate up Tom. nice water falls on the first part, along with a few stream crossings. Good to go from Tom to Field, but from Field to Avalon was very steep, wet and rocky. The views from Avalon are worth it, but I had second thoughts until the ibuprofen kicked it. Descending Avalon after Tom and Field was tough. Pretty good scramble back to Avalon trail with a lot of irregular sharp rocks, wet roots, and some lose gravel.

hiking
7 months ago

Great way to peak bag two in one hike. Moderate rating for descending Avalon trial is on the hard side. It was wet when we did it and I was surprised by all the rocks and steep spots on the Avalon trial. Relatively easy hike up to Tom and Field. Avalon has best view.

7 months ago

my son and I climbed Avalon and Mt Field and steath camped on the south side. awesome temp was in the low 60"s and dropped to about high to mid 40's challenging climb seemed tougher going down. but beautiful as always in the whites

8 months ago

Was a good first hike in the White Mountains.

hiking
9 months ago

Mt Avalon has a great view not so much Mt Field as the only view is the Mt Washington hotel.

9 months ago

Good hike, but like other reviewers have said, the only view is on Avalon. you can see mount Washington hotel from Mount field through the trees.

hiking
9 months ago

Average hike in my view. Kinda disappointed that only Mt. Avalon had view.

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked up Mt Field, Avalon & skipped Tom in May. Great hike but we deeply regretted not having cleats. There was 2.5 miles of snow hiking and many slips & falls! A little disappointed with the view and summit of Field. We liked all the friendly animals, gray jays, and an adorable Martin!

backpacking
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

did the hike on Saturday 2/11/17. The trail was packed down quite well by snowshoers, 2-3 feet deep off the trail. ran into more than 30 other hikers along the trail. Used my microspikes and left the snowshoes in the car. Temps around 11 degrees. A great hike - took the avalon tral to the Mt Tom spur. Had so much fun, actually ran down the trail on return. Had a visit from a gray jay at the summit.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Did this hike today, 10/20/16....hiked up to Avalon then to Field then Tom. Great hike....plenty if snow and some icy spots. Didn't get to enjoy the views from Avalon due to weather conditions but awesome hike anyway!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Did lower part to A Z trail not bad in the rain

hiking
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Superb view of white mountains and mount washington

hiking
Monday, June 20, 2016

A little tougher than I expected but super fun! We had the summit to ourselves which was really nice!

hiking
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Good hike! Lots of steep sections and plenty of snow/ice.

hiking
Friday, October 30, 2015

Nice hike in the white

hiking
Friday, August 22, 2014

Completed this hike in mid-July 2014. The Avalon trail is moderately steep for most of the way up and the terrain is really rocky and slippery if wet. The last 0.5 miles to the summit are the most steep, however, with sections where I had to heave myself up boulders and scramble higher and higher until the summit ledges were reached. The view from the top of Avalon is magnificent, with a view into the U-shaped valley of Crawford Notch to the right, and a view to Mounts Adams, Washington and Jefferson to the left. Saco Lake is directly below. Take care while coming down; trekking poles come in handy. The side path to Pearl and Beecher Cascades is well worth the short trip on the way back to the parking area.

hiking
Tuesday, October 08, 2013

In hindsight the way to experience Avalon is to go up directly to Avalon and then to Field / Tom, etc....I was told later - vs., Tom and Field and down via Avalon due to the sharp decline. Best views from Avalon however are worth it coming from either direction.

hiking
Monday, November 14, 2011

Starts gently enough, then gets steeper, steeper, and steeper. The last 20' are pretty much vertical. Not a particularly high mountain, but great view of Mt. Washington Valley from the top. Did it the day after the hottest day of the year last summer, and it was still plenty hot. Take lots of water. Not particularly long (2 miles in and out). Tough enough for someone with knees that are wearing out, though.

hiking
Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Crandalls completed this as our 2010 NH summit day hike. It was a hot August day. The hike is a moderate to demanding hike until you turn left leaving the A-Z trail, for the final accent to the Mt. Avalon summit at about 1.25 miles in, at this point it becomes Strenuous. This was our highest ascent at the time with over 1500' of elevation gain in 1.8 miles. This was great for the children as we sat on the summit looking down on Mt Willard just East of us and it looked like a hill. Mt Willard was our highest elevation climb from 2007.

hiking
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

coming down it looked like some one had dumped boulders all over

hiking
2 months ago

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