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Wildcat Ridge Trail is a 8.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gorham, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 8.4 mi Elevation gain 3,540 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife Snow
Description
Waypoints (6)
Tips
Getting There

You'll have great views of Mt. Washington and the Presidential Range across the valley.

Parking is free at the resort parking lot.

To find the ski resort just follow the plentiful signs on route 16 in Pinkham Notch about 20 miles north of Conway.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (275)
Photos (509)
Recordings (242)
Completed (622)
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Justin Gillen
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 16, 2020
HikingGreat!
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ROGER MATTEAU
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 15, 2020
Hiking

Awesome views but one of the top 5 most difficult hikes of the 48 four thousand plus peaks.

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Rick Camarata
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 12, 2020
Hiking
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Gordon Miller
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HikingRocky
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chad pickering
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking
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Noelle Noelle Ballou
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Hiking
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Eric Cunningham
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Hiking
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Lance Ludka
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 28, 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail all the way

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Jeremy P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
Hiking
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Mike Gosselin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
Hiking
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Michał Kucharski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking
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Joseph Cohen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Extraordinary hike up the Wildcat Ridge Trail. We took Lost Pond Trail across from the AMC to access the trail. Trail did not disappoint: fairly steep, rock scrambles, bolted wooden steps in boulders and a chimney. In dry weather, never felt unsafe, but could be dangerous when wet or icy. Despite the steep ascent, one is rewarded with great views of Mt. Washington and the ravines from ledges on the way up. After the second ledge, terrain levels out some, but ups and downs going to the various peaks. Great spot for lunch off spur trail from Wildcat 'A' with views of Carter Notch. Instead of retracing steps, we descended to visit the Carter Notch Hut (closed Thursdays), then returned to our spotted car at Nineteen Mile Brook Trailhead. Glad not to return via the Ridge Trail. Nineteen Mile Brook Trail point to point adds 0.1 mi, but 700 ft less elevation gain. Total hiking time: 9.8 miles, just over 8 hours for 60+ yr olds.

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Michael Roberts
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Hiking
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Lynette Cornell
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Hiking
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Beth Ross
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Hiking
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Allister Aaron
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Hiking

Beautiful weather. Not bad on water. Gets a bit dicey on the descent. Definitely bring appropriate gear

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Kirsten Fournier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

Glen Ellis closed for renovations, so hiked up Wildcat Polecat trail. Left early & appreciated the cooler morning air and shade. Moderate slope, loose rocks, views all the way up. Wildcat D to C is more strenuous climb, but after that pretty easy to get to A. Huts are closed, but there is staff at the Carter Hut selling burritos, snacks, supplies and you can get drinking water which was huge. First pitch going back up Carter Dome is hard. took about an hour to do 1.2 miles. There were some downed trees in the Carter Range, but nothing impassable. Pretty easy way back down Imp. nice waterfall on the way out if you wanted to take a dip. Will definitely have tired legs tomorrow.

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Chris Tsinidis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 24, 2020

A solid White Mountain hike. Get ready to get hammered going up, as it's a steep climb for most of the way. Well worth the effort for amazing views of Washington, so make sure to take a look back as you're climbing D so you don't miss them. I went up with two buddies, one of whom was too tired to finish the whole ridge so he was able to take the ski trails back down. He said the grass was high and some areas were deeper than he thought so watch your footing. As for us, we finished off by climbing A and then climbing down to Carter pond, and back out Ninteenmile brook. I wanted to summit Carter Dome as well but it's quite a lot for one day if you're not pushing hard.

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Joe Usoff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingScramble

Trail head to Wildcat Ridge was closed, so a park ranger directed me to go past Lost Pond instead which was actually a very nice little detour. Be ready to scramble right from the start on the Ridge Trail as it is steep and you have to use your hands a lot. The views that periodically open up are fantastic, with some facing Mount Washington and some that face to the south. There is a platform at the top of Wildcat D, but the views are actually much nicer from the Ridge Trail. You can walk right past the Wildcat C and B summits without noticing if you are not paying attention. The view from Wildcat (A?) summit down into Carter Notch is quite nice and is a great place to take a break. Rather than climb back down the Ridge Trail, I took the dirt road from the top of the ski lift down. It is much faster and much easier than backtracking down the Ridge, but there is a short walk down Rte 16 to get back to the start. The bugs were surprisingly not that bad and overall it was a very good hike. Definitely not suited for the beginner. First mile of Ridge will definitely separate out the weak.

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Brian W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
HikingBugsOff trail
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Kimberly Ellis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 2, 2020
HikingBugs

Went up in the afternoon which helped with some shade. But at 90 degrees almost nothing helped haha. Glad we didn’t bring the dogs, although I think there was plenty of water for them along the way if they’re off leash.

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Brenna Thomassen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 21, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeScramble

I will begin this review by saying that the views throughout the hike, especially going up peak D were some of the best and closest views of Mount Washington and the whole presi on a clear day that I have ever seen in the whites. That being said, this hike is VERY deceiving. The “hike” up the first peak (Wildcat D) is entirely up the ski trails and is very exposed in the sun/bugs and wow it’s black fly season !!! There is 0 shade until you are at the ridge and in the summer definitely be prepared to sweat. The bugs were awful and it is straight up at the same time !! The hike up was certainly difficult but doable. Going through the ridge of all the peaks you have to go up and down and back up and back down again several times. We took the advice of some of the all trails reviews and went straight down on one of the black diamond trails which was much faster than the way up but I do NOT recommend at all. The bugs were unbearable/swarming, the trails are entirely long grasses, and it was miserable. We did the out and back in 5 hours and 15 minutes, but we could not really stop due to the bugs! It was nice to check off two 4000 footers but wow definitely not my favorite and will not do again. If you are able to bring big nets or wait until the end of black fly season you will definitely be better off and make sure to bring more water than you think you will need. It is a work out !! If you are not trying to complete the 4000 footers do not bother with this trail.

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Abbie Morton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 19, 2020
HikingBugsRockyScramble

Hiked Wildcat Ridge over to Wildcat Mountain today- started at the trailhead (Glenn Ellis) just after 5am, ended at the car around 1130am. Only a single water crossing which became a great friend on the way back. It was a toasty day, and the bugs were feasting. Highly suggest some sort of protection. If your considering bringing a dog, I would reconsider. I’m sure some are physically apt and would do fine, but the lack of fresh streams and steep traverses would make me worrisome. The hike to Wildcat D I would rate as strenuous due to the amount of rock climbing that is done, enjoy the views on the way up, as it eased some of the pain of the steep upward climbs. If your someone who likes a straight up climb... THIS IS FOR YOU! Beautiful views of the presidentials at the top. The hike over to Wildcat Mountain was no small feat. Again, rocky terrain but a very nice lookout point overlooking the hut and carter dome. Some blow downs but nothing unmanageable, had I brought a hand saw it would’ve been handy. All and all happy to have checked off 2 more 4K footers today- can’t say that I’m going to rush back to them though. Happy Hiking

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