Mount Zealand and The Bonds via Zealand Trail

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Pemigewasset Wilderness

Mount Zealand and The Bonds via Zealand Trail is a 18.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bretton Woods, New Hampshire that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September.

Length18.5 miElevation gain4,816 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCross-country skiingHikingSnowshoeingrunningForestLakeViewsWaterfall
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (63)
Photos (1,674)
Recordings (58)
Completed (207)
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Amanda KD
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HikingBlowdownFeeMuddyWashed out

I did Zealand, Guyot, West Bond and Bond today (10/21). Figured it would help anyone heading up in the next few days. Only a small amount of snow on the Bondcliff trail (like 5 steps max). Spikes were not needed. First 2.3 miles (up Zealand) are as flat as they come. Easy to breeze in and out of this trail. After the hut, the fun begins. It’s fairly steep after the hut until you get to Twinway trail then it’s moderate up and down out to the Bonds. This hike was very muddy and at times it felt like a river was flowing through the trail. It’s not avoidable mud/water. Bring extra socks and waterproof footwear or it’s going to be a slog. Can’t speak on views, I was socked in. I did bail on doing Bondcliff in addition to the other 4. Weather was gnarly. This hike is not easy. Nothing stands out as being all that crazy (terrain wise, say vs the northern presi’s) but it’s a long day with big milage. I’d imagine good views could boost morale (I had none). I would only recommend the one day traverse to those who have worked up to it/experienced hikers. You really do need your trail legs for this one. Zealand road is still open. $5 cash to park. Don’t be the jerk that doesn’t pay it. In closing*****please note******, be very careful on the water crossings right after the hut on Zealand. There are a few but there’s 2 that got me freaked out today. One is approaching the “impassable” line. I had to step into a very heavy flowing water crossing to my ankles because there was no other rock that wasnt submerged in chest deep water. It was the first time in all my days hiking that truly spooked me because right below that crossing is a 20-30 foot heavy flowing waterfall. The second crossing just takes very careful footing but still, you’re getting your feet wet. Likely due to the recent rain and snow melt. Just think ahead and be prepared!

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William Dwyer
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BackpackingGreat!Icy

My favorite of all the 4000 footers!

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Chris Donato
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HikingGreat!

This was quite the trek, but 100% worth it! Given that the Bonds are so remote, this is definitely the best way to experience them with an out & back hike without having to camp. The views from Mt. Bond, West Bond, and Bondcliff are absolutely spectacular and probably some of the best in the entire range. I did it in about 9 hours & 45 minutes, but took plenty of small breaks and took some time to enjoy the scenery. Echoing other hikers, the stretch between Zealand hut & the cliffs is quite a struggle, but the hike gets easier after that and has long stretches of level trail. The only other really challenging hike is the trek back up Mt. Bond on the way out. West Bond also has a really fun small scramble up to the summit. Some of the benefits of this trail is that it is incredibly well-maintained. The Twinway is incredibly nice to hike, and the spur between Guyot & the Bonds is really well-kept. It definitely makes hiking easier on the feet, rather than walking 100% up loose rocks (like ascending North Twin). It also helps that the first/Last 2.3 miles are on flat, dirt trails that are both a great warmup and a great cool down after.

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Hayley LaPointe
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BackpackingGreat!
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sun kim
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Great hiking but carrying overnight camping stuffs was too ambitious. From the hut to Zealand cliff it is just a mile long but challenging with the load. Too much exhausted after that. But the Guyot Mt alone was great enough. I liked the Guyot shelter and the mountain community. We camped almost an hour long before the shelter. At the Guyot shelter I lost my hubbie for a while as he went a quick hike to the West Bond from the shelter. instead of going with him I decided to take a rest at the spring water. I could not enough appreciate the three hiking guys one of whom gave me his head lantern and asked me several times if I needed escort to find my hubbie. Thanks to the headlamp, soon I was able to find him to search for me. Next morning we just came down as we knew the backpack would drain a lot of energy. God bless the guys!

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Christopher Cena
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HikingGreat!

Hiked 9/12 This is very long but completely doable day hike. I clocked in 19.5 miles in just under 9 hours of moving time. This was a hike I felt the next day. This option provides a way to see multiple peaks in one hike (Zealand, Guyout, Bond, West Bond, and Bond Cliff). The trail starts off relatively flat with a slight incline. You can save yourself some time running during this leg of the hike. It isn’t until you reach the hut that serious elevation gain happens. Once you reach Mount Zealand most of the elevation of the hike has already been gained. The trail is long but well marked and travelled. I found the most difficult stretch to be between Bondcliff and Bond. This is the pretty steep and rocky portion of the trail at a point when your legs are probably turning into jello. Also, make it a point to bag West Bond. It can easily be forgotten with such a long trail packed with views. Back to those views.. The views on this trail were amazing in several spots. With the exception of Zealand, all peaks offer up stunning views of the Whites. My favorite view on this trail (and perhaps a contender for all of the Whites) isn’t on any peak however. There is a lookout view just before reaching the junction of the Twinway and Zeacliff. This Zeacliff view provides a backside view of Tom/Field/Wiley mountain range with Mount Washington in the distance. Looking directly south you can see Mount Carrigain and surrounding mountains. It’s easy to miss this detour if you’re just focused on the main portion of this hike. Just like West Bond, don’t skip this. It’s beautiful and a reminder of why NH hiking is so wonderful.

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Harrison Haas
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HikingGreat!

Hike with Mike and Ashley

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Jennifer Penton
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BackpackingGreat!

Did the out & back, parked at Zealand Lot and headed up. Hit the hut in a quick hour. From there to Zealand is one of the harder sections but very doable with some stamina. From Zealand to Guyot was a some rock scramble up/down but was very manageable. The Bonds was where all the fun was. I dropped my pack and we did West Bond pretty quickly. From there tackled Mt Bond and Bondcliff with moderate effort. The views all the way up keep you focused. This hike 18-22 of the 4ks. We kept a good pace and did 5 peaks total out and back in 11:49 total & 10:30 moving time. Minimal stops for us. The total mileage is more than All Trails states. We clocked 19.6 miles. Your mental game needs to be strong on this one - long way back if you decide not to drop a car at one end. Totally worth it!

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Dan Dahlberg
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HikingGreat!Rocky

This is a great trail. The first three miles of Zealand Trail are quite beautiful and a good warm up, as well as something to look forward to upon returning. The convenience of Zealand Hut and the Guyot Campsite along the route should not go unrecognized. In the end, this is a pretty technically moderate hike, just lengthy with a decent amount of elevation. The difficult section that other reviews cite, which is the area between Mt. Bond and Bondcliff is not technically difficult, it's just a steeper-than-usual section in respects to the whole hike, and comes after about 10 miles into the hike. Get a good rest at Bondcliff and it'll be an easy return back up to Mt. Bond.

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Jon E
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Hiking
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Joe Usoff
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Hiking

This is a very beautiful hike and there is a lot of wildlife along the Twinway trail including Spruce Grouse that are relatively tame. There is also ample wildlife in the ponds just north of the Zealand hut. No view from Zealand, but fantastic views from each of the Bonds, Guyot and Zeacliff. The waterfalls near the Zealand hut are quite nice as well. Distance is almost as long as a presidential traverse, but it is much easier. The elevation gain is significantly less and the trail to Zealand hut is very flat and fast. Steepest section is the section between Bond and Bondcliff, but it is not that long and is quite manageable.

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Shawn Concannon
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HikingBugsRockyScramble

An epic hike. Starts off very flat till you get past the hut. Nothing tough until you descend from Mt Bond. The views from the bonds and guyot are spectacular. Heading back in a mental battle. The descent from Zealand cliffs is punishing after 15 miles on the legs. Long day but totally worth the experience.

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Alex Acevedo
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HikingMuddySnow
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Suzanne Perry FTFC
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Hiking
First to Review

Best hike ever

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Jason Crane
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HikingFeeGreat!Rocky

As part of the NH48, I hiked Mt. Zealand & the Bonds from Zealand TH (out & back) & made the wisest & best decision to make it a 2-day excursion by camping overnight at the Guyot Campsite. Granted, I had a full pack on Day 1 from the TH to Zealand summit to the campsite. However, I dropped-off my pack & setup camp on a tent platform, THEN went to hike the Bonds for the sunset (without all my gear.) On Day 2, I packed-up camp & just descended back to the TH. Another option is to hike the Bonds in the early morning of Day 2, then return to Guyot Campsite to break down camp & return back to Zealand TH. I chose a week day trip because the campsite can get crazy busy on summer weekends. Get there early & reserve your spot. There's a mountain water spring, outhouse facility & on-site caretaker, but there is an overnight fee. My GPS read about 19 miles total round trip.

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Kevin M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 13, 2019
HikingBlowdownBugsMuddyRockyScramble
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