Mount Tom, Avalon, and Field Loop

MODERATE 92 reviews

Mount Tom, Avalon, and Field Loop is a 6.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Bretton Woods, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, birding, 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
2,716 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

snowshoeing

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bridge out

bugs

snow

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
10 days ago

Did this loop and enjoyed it very much. There was plenty of snow and well packed in most places. I found the views from the summits of all three mountains to be excellent. Look forward to doing it again in the fall of 2019

17 days ago

Views on top of Mt. Avalon are unmatched. Went in the wintertime and did not have spikes— this was a big mistake. The last half mile up to Avalon is pretty steep and it was very slick in the wintertime but snow was very compact. Heavily trafficked. Saw about ten groups of people.

21 days ago

Beware: about half a mile into the hike there's a bridge that's out and has been partially removed by the AMC (there's a notice to this effect at the entrance to the trail). You can still cross the stream, but holy moley is it terrifying - someone found a thin, rotten log that they lay across it; the water is moving fast and about 3.5 feet deep in places with thin ice cover. You'll cross it on your way back as well.
Otherwise a nice hike. Views from Avalon and along the ridge to Field were spectacular. Didn't get to feed any gray jays in Mt.Tom, but did startle one on my way down. Took
a little under 4 hours, rest included, although I felt like I was pushing it a bit.

hiking
1 month ago

Took 5 hours through a fresh coat of snow. Used snowshoes about 1/2 the time. Did it clockwise as others have. Great views from all 3 peaks in winter.

hiking
3 months ago

Great loop trail! We followed the advice given in the comments to do the loop clockwise (Avalon, Field, Tom). Beautiful hike with plenty of stream crossings and little waterfalls! Up to Avalon was very steep, but nothing compared to South Twin. The view was very rewarding, Crawford Notch is gorgeously decorated with an array of fall colors this time of year. Mt. Field had another great view as well as some very friendly Canada Grey Jays! Mt. Tom is quite wooded at the top but there is still a view if you travel on the trail to the edge of the mountain and stand on some rocks. It took us 4.5 hours with breaks and our total mile count was 7.2.

hiking
3 months ago

Overall nice hike. Was my first hike since having surgery and being out of hiking for a few months so we decided to only do Avalon and field since I was too tired to do Tom. A little tiring in parts but I was able to do the two mountains despite being a little out of shape. Avalon has some great views. Field does as well but there is only one spot and it is slightly blocked off by trees. Would say this is fairly dog friendly. Took my 50 pound hound mix and he did fine. There were a couple parts that were a little steep but he made it without my help. There were a few other dogs on the trail as well. Definitely do Avalon first as it is steeper going up like people said. The hike up was very pretty, lots of little water falls and spots where you have to cross water (plenty of places to step without your feet getting soaked). If you can do both 4ks it’s a great way to check two off your list!

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

I really enjoyed this. To get views so quickly on Avalon was a nice reward went Avalon, Field, Tom. The forest in between all was beautiful. even got to see some Grey Jay's on top of Tom on a bluebird day! excited to do this loop in the winter! also - fantastic job by the people maintaining the trails!

hiking
4 months ago

This loop feels more like work than adventure. With limited summit view rewards and a sketchy steep section of Avalon, I’d only do this hike again if I were old and senile and forgot to check it off my list.

4 months ago

Down Avalon was dangerously wet and slippery and miserable.

hiking
4 months ago

The views from Avalon were good, and from Tom and Field, subpar. We did this route clockwise - Avalon, Field, then Tom - and I think it was probably the most joint-forgiving route. Actual mileage, as others point out, is 7, not 6.2. While the views are disappointing (and I think perhaps they'd be better in winter with a few feet of snow to boost you up for a better vantage point), the trails themselves were very enjoyable, with lots to admire in the forest. There were several shallow water crossings - my pup enjoyed the brook! It took us 4.5 hours with breaks.

hiking
4 months ago

I followed advice here and went clockwise. Avalon first, then Field, then Tom. Glad I did, there was a very steep bit on the way to Avalon that I wouldn't have wanted for my descent at the end of the day. Field and Tom were numbers 5 and 6 of my 4000-footers, so I'm not a total newbie hiker, but I am slow and this loop took me 8 hours including plenty of breaks and lunch. Best views of the day were on Avalon. Field had a nice little peekaboo view of the Mt. Washington resort. Tom had really no view at all and a slightly confusing summit. Brook crossings along the way were lovely. TONS of mushrooms everywhere.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a beautiful trail with some great variety in both terrain and sites. Avalon had great views. Tom and Field weren't as open on top, but there were still some nice views through the trees. In addition to the peaks, this trail offers a few easy water crossings, some rock scrambles, and several different forest environments. For me, the highlight was the wetter sections of forest, where there was a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees, significant undergrowth, and a thick carpet of mosses, it was reminiscent of a temperate rain forest.

hiking
6 months ago

Hike was nice enough today. Took about 5 hours. Beautiful summer day. Most of the hike was shaded which is nice. Views were minimal. The view from Tom are limited due to pine trees getting a bit bigger. You can squeeze through some narrow paths to find a few other views but better check for ticks because both sides touch you the whole way.
We went from Tom to Mt Fields. Relatively easy hike over 9/10th of a mile. No view from top but a nice overlook just a few steps down a path overlooking Mt. Washington and others and the Mt Washington Hotel.
Form here to Mt Avalon all downhill. Look for the spur up to Avalon. Tougher climb up to Avalon but only 100 yards or so. Worth it. Best views of the day. Views down Crawford Notch and of AMC Highland Center.
Enjoyable, moderate hike. You do check off 2 4K peaks but for a 0% rain day (like today) there are much better options with much better views.
4 or 5 water crossings. All easy today but after a rain I could see how they could be tricky.

6 months ago

Great trail! Views were worth the hike to get there, great views from Avalon and Field and minimal views from Tom. All in all it was a great trail to mark a couple 4000 footers off your list and to enjoy some nice views! Not too difficult at all, took a little under 5 hours to complete the loop.

6 months ago

Great trail & got to feed the Grey Jays!

hiking
7 months ago

Did the 7.2 mile loop today in just over 4 hours. I went clockwise up Avalon and then to Field and Tom which all had great views. The river crossings were all very easy today and the bugs were minimal. It only took 1 hour to hit the summit of Mt. Avalon which was shorter than I expected. The hike from the summit of Mt. Field to Mt. Tom was extremely easy as there is very little elevation gain. Had an awesome day, and even saw some Canadian Gray Jays at the summit of Mt. Tom!

hiking
7 months ago

Moderately difficult for two 4K peaks - trail starts directly behind the Crawford Notch train station. When hiking the Field / Tom combination highly recommend taking Avalon trail (stay left at junction of A-Z trail) to Mt Field (with quick stop to the smaller Mt Avalon peak about one mile prior to Field summit), then down the Willard Ridge trail to A-Z trail, taking Mt Tom spur to top of Mt Tom. If you are lucky, you will experience the amazing Grey Jay (usually found only in Canada...) near summit of Tom... hold out your hand with gorp and be prepared for a surprise. In order to see view on Tom, follow trail clockwise on summit until view of Mt Washington hotel appears. Descend A-Z back to Avalon trail to Crawford Notch. Distance tracked was 7.5 miles.

hiking
8 months ago

Did this loop today clockwise. Both stream crossings have been washed out, so bushwhacked up the left bank to where the Trail crosses again. In hindsight, may have been better to just get wet at the start. The left, trail less bank was very difficult with some serious posthole/snowbridge collapse hazard. After I rejoined the trail, the going was much easier. The monorail is still there, but beginning to melt. Spikes were fine all the way (though I could have used shoes on the bushwhack section) Avalon has some very nice views,while Field and Tom have heavily forested summits. Don't let that stop you from this hike, though. The summits themselves are great if you're doing the NH4000, but the best parts of this loop are on the trails. The Avalon follows the Brook all the way up to the second crossing, and there is much to see and appreciate.

hiking
9 months 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.

10 months ago

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
Wednesday, January 03, 2018

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
Saturday, September 23, 2017

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.

Friday, September 22, 2017

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
Sunday, September 17, 2017

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 .

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

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

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Was a good first hike in the White Mountains.

hiking
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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

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