Signal Ridge Trail, Desolation Trail, and Carrigain Notch Trail Loop

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White Mountain National Forest

Signal Ridge Trail, Desolation Trail, and Carrigain Notch Trail Loop is a 13.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Campton, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length13.1 miElevation gain3,887 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingNature tripsSnowshoeingBird watchingDog friendlyForestViewswild-flowersWildlife
Waypoints (0)
Weather
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Daylight
Reviews (26)
Photos (667)
Recordings (19)
Completed (89)
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Wiley Smith
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Hiking

Hiked counter clockwise. Carrigan notch trail was a beautiful rolling walk through the valley. Desolation trail was a lung buster but very doable. No open vista views until you reach the summit. The high line trees and tower were frost covered! (Fall hiking drawing to a close for this year!). Signal trail ridge was pretty straight forward. The last 2 miles the trail meanders along a stream for a peaceful return to the parking lot.

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Jesse Medley
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Hiking
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Brett Robertshaw
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HikingBlowdownMuddyRocky

Took 8 hours in wet conditions with some periodic light rain. If you are going counter clock wise via carrigain notch trail it goes flat and enters a river bed which is tricky to pick up the trail again because of the leaves but we found it by staying in the river bed... then the trail continued going flat for miles before finally reaching the desolation trail which ended up being a grind very steep at times.. the peak is small and comfortable then head across signal ridge to some awesome awesome views today we saw a rain bow .. then the trail is mellow all the way back but we got lost because we missed a turn and were on a running trail with yellow blazes and ran into some ppl that got us back on the trail. This hike was awesome for some reason I clocked 16 miles

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Matt Jannarone
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Hiking

I do not a recommended this route since we bushwhacked down from Carrigain to Vose spur then down to the trail. there is a very steep section that is very thick that would not be a good route up due to lots of blowdowns and loose footing.

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Jesse Medley
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Hiking
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Cindy Engman
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HikingBlowdownMuddyRocky

Loop took me about 8 hours from the car and back down. Includes a brief stop for lunch. Desolation is not for the inexperienced or the faint of heart, would recommend using trekking poles... and I'd caution against any plan to descend that way. The views are absolutely worth the work.

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Becky Yang
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HikingGreat!RockyScramble
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Stephen Matochik
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Hiking

Went today. I hike at a pretty good pace. Took me 6 1/2 hrs. Quick lunch at peak. Went counterclockwise. Decent views . Rivers were low and no mud

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David Whittaker
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CampingScramble

fun trail. We did it counter clockwise, as we read to do inthe book, "AMC's best Backpacking Trails in New England", suggested. It was very challenging close to the summit. and a fair amount of upper body strength was needed, but my buddy who had never gone hiking before and smokes 10 a day made it up in about 8 hours. there were a couple spots to camp out near the summit and we grabbed one of them. there is a viewing tower at the summit with one of the most spectacular views of the white Mountains I have experienced. on the way down the views along the ridge was spectacular, and we passed a Well, going down. (be aware there is not a water source between the base of the mountain just before the main assent, and the summit). the decent down Signal Ridge Trail took us about three hours until we reached the parking lot, but we were going at a good pace!

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Joseph Powers
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Hiking

For some reason the recording stopped while at the summit. Very nice hike up to Carrigain. Ascends the whole way, but it’s never all that steep. A lot of the hike out is pretty flat too. Views from the tower at the summit are fantastic. I’d do this hike again.

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Suzanne Perry FTFC
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HikingMuddyOver grownRocky
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Eric Cunningham
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Hiking
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Bill Westervelt
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HikingBridge out

I did this loop counter clockwise which is the way to do it in my view as you climb up the steep desolation trail. Unfortunately I had a misty fall day but I am sure the views are awesome when the weather is fine. Other than desolation I found this to be pretty fast hiking. Did the 14 mile loop in 6 hours. Stream crossings were a bit challenging but managed to find a way by going up stream a bit. Lots of moose sign on the back side.

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Nathan Bettencourt
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HikingRocky

The signal trail is one of the best trails I've done so far. I also took the signal trail up and the desolation trail down. The desolation trail is steep at the top of Carrigain and can take extra time coming down it but it's do-able. The short section of the Nancy Pond trail is very flat. Carrigain Notch Trail is a little rocky but gets better the closer you get to the signal trail.

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Mike Dewar
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HikingBlowdownMuddyRockyScramble

Beautiful views from the top of the Pemi wilderness and the Presidentials. The Signal Ridge Trail is as good as NE trails on 4k footers get - lots of switchbacking, relatively even grade. I went the wrong way and took SRT up and Desolation Trail down. The portion of the Desolation Trail that ascends Mt. Carrigain is extremely steep rock scrambling, and it makes much much more sense to go up it than down it.

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Haywad Yusufzai
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HikingRocky
First to Review

A great trail. The first leg and the last leg are though especially for beginners since the it's very steep. Great place to camp at the Desolation Camp.

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keith gamble
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Horseback riding
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Sarah Gall
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Hiking
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Louis Bruderer
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Hiking
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