The 48 4000-Footers of New Hampshire


Mt. Garfield Star Lake, Mt. Madison the view from Zeacliff

Welcome to the Newenglandwaterfalls.com guide to hiking the 4,000 footers of New Hampshire!

New Hampshire has 48 mountains that are over 4,000 feet in elevation, and at any one point in time, thousands of hikers are working towards a goal of climbing them all. For most hikers, it takes many years or even decades to accomplish this goal; for others, it takes only a year, or even less in some instances.

Each of the 4000-footers have at least one well-established trail to its summit. Most of the 4000-footers offer several different routes. The views on the majority of 4000-footers are excellent, either those views are seen at the true summit, en route, and/or within close proximity of the summit. Only a fraction of these peaks offer limited or no views.

The 4000-footers can be dangerous. Many of the peaks offer above treeline travel, which exposes you to the elements. Hikers must always be prepared for the possibility of tough hiking conditions and/or poor weather. Hundreds of hikers have been injured or killed over the years on these mountains, especially in the winter season. The difficulty and potential for poor weather on these mountains must not be underestimated.

The chart presented below will show you summary characteristics of each of the 4000-footers. Please keep in mind that when a mountain is listed as fun & relatively safe for beginners, the mountain can still be dangerous in poor weather conditions. If you don't have much experience climbing significant mountains, you may find the peaks tougher than has been indicated below. A '10' in difficulty does not mean that the mountain is impossible; it just means that the mountain is very challenging and that new hikers (and dogs) would do well to slowly build up to hiking them. Folks are encouraged to hike the easier mountains first and, while doing so, you'll likely obtain the skills and physical fitness necessary to conquer the tougher and bigger peaks.

If you are going to hike these mountains, pick up a copy of this long-trusted guidebook: The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains. It is absolutely the best guidebook to hiking the 48 peaks. If you are looking to hike these mountains during the WINTER season, visit my Hiking the 4000-Footers in Winter page. And once you finish the 4000 footers, consider hiking New Hampshire's wonderful 52 With-a-View List ('52WAV') or the challenging Terrifying 25 List ('T25').

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MOUNTAIN / PEAK
= click for photographs
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
(of the easiest route; see section below for route list)
SCENIC / VIEW
RATING
OTHER 4000-FOOTERS THAT ARE COMMONLY HIKED WITH THIS PEAK IS THIS MOUNTAIN
FUN & RELATIVELY SAFE FOR BEGINNERS?
TRAIL INFO
ADAMS
(5,774 feet)
10
(extremely difficult)
Outstanding Madison
Jefferson
NO
(too difficult)
trail info
BOND
(4,698 feet)
10
(extremely difficult)
Outstanding West Bond
Bondcliff
Zealand
NO
(too difficult)
trail info
BONDCLIFF
(4,265 feet)
10
(extremely difficult)
Outstanding Bond
West Bond
Zealand
NO
(too difficult)
trail info
CABOT
(4,170 feet)
7
(moderate)
Fair/Good
(however, 'The Horn' is nearby and has good views)
n/a - none NO
(lack of impressive views)
trail info
CANNON
(4,100 feet)
7
(moderate)
Excellent n/a - none !!!YES!!!! trail info
CARRIGAIN
(4,700 feet)
8
(difficult)
Outstanding
(from summit & Signal Ridge)
n/a - none NO
(too difficult)
trail info
CARTER DOME
(4,832 feet)
8
(difficult)
Excellent
(from nearby Mt. Hight)
South Carter
Middle Carter
NO
(too difficult)
trail info
CARTER, MIDDLE
(4,610 feet)
8
(difficult)
Good
(from nearby ledges)
South Carter
Carter Dome
NO
(lack of impressive views)
trail info
CARTER, SOUTH
(4,430 feet)
8
(difficult)
Poor Middle Carter
Carter Dome
NO
(lack of impressive views)
trail info
EISENHOWER
(4,780 feet)
6
(moderate)
Excellent Pierce !!!YES!!!!
(but avoid in poor weather)
trail info
FIELD
(4,340 feet)
6
(moderate)
Fair/Good Tom
Willey
NO
(lack of impressive views)
trail info
FLUME
(4,328 feet)
8
(difficult)
Excellent Liberty NO
(too difficult)
trail info
GALEHEAD
(4,024 feet)
7
(moderate)
Good
(from nearby AMC Galehead Hut)
South Twin
North Twin
Garfield
NO
(too difficult)
trail info
GARFIELD
(4,500 feet)
6
(moderate)
Outstanding Galehead !!!YES!!!! trail info
HALE
(4,054 feet)
5
(moderate)
Poor n/a - none NO
(lack of impressive views)
trail info
HANCOCK
(4,420 feet)
7
(moderate)
Fair South Hancock NO
(lack of impressive views)
trail info
HANCOCK, SOUTH
(4,319 feet)
7
(moderate)
Fair Hancock NO
(lack of impressive views)
trail info
ISOLATION
(4,004 feet)
9
(very difficult)
Good/Great n/a - none NO
(too difficult)
trail info
JACKSON
(4,052 feet)
7
(moderate)
Good/Great Pierce !!!YES!!!!
(but avoid in poor weather)
trail info
JEFFERSON
(5,712 feet)
8
(difficult)
Excellent/Outstanding Washington NO
(too difficult)
trail info
KINSMAN, NORTH
(4,293 feet)
8
(difficult)
Good
(from nearby ledge)
South Kinsman NO
(too difficult)
trail info
KINSMAN, SOUTH
(4,358 feet)
8
(difficult)
Fair/Good North Kinsman NO
(too difficult)
trail info
LAFAYETTE
(5,260 feet)
9
(very difficult)
Outstanding Lincoln NO
(too difficult)
trail info
LIBERTY
(4,459 feet)
8
(difficult)
Excellent Flume NO
(too difficult)
trail info
LINCOLN
(5,089 feet)
9
(very difficult)
Outstanding Lafayette NO
(too difficult)
trail info
MADISON
(5,367 feet)
9
(very difficult)
Outstanding Adams NO
(too difficult)
trail info
MONROE
(5,384 feet)
8
(difficult)
Outstanding Washington NO
(too difficult)
trail info
MOOSILAUKE
(4,802 feet)
7
(moderate)
Excellent/Outstanding n/a - none !!!YES!!!!
(but avoid in poor weather)
trail info
MORIAH
(4,049 feet)
8
(difficult)
Great n/a - none NO
(too difficult)
trail info
OSCEOLA
(4,340 feet)
5
(moderate)
Excellent East Osceola !!!YES!!!!
(take trail via Tripoli Rd)
trail info
OSCEOLA, EAST
(4,156 feet)
8
(difficult)
Poor Osceola NO
(lack of impressive views)
trail info
OWLS HEAD
(4,025 feet)
9
(very difficult)
Fair
(from slide path en route)
n/a - none NO
(too difficult)
trail info
PASSACONAWAY
(4,043 feet)
7
(moderate)
Good/Great
(best view from 0.3 mile spur)
Whiteface NO
(too difficult)
trail info
PIERCE
(4,310 feet)
5
(moderate)
Great Jackson
Eisenhower
!!!YES!!!!
(but avoid in poor weather)
trail info
TECUMSEH
(4,003 feet)
5
(moderate)
Good/Great n/a - none !!!YES!!!!
(via either Waterville Valley or Tripoli Road trailheads)
trail info
TOM
(4,051 feet)
5
(moderate)
Fair Field
Willey
NO
(lack of impressive views)
trail info
TRIPYRAMID, MIDDLE
(4,140 feet)
8
(difficult)
Poor/Fair North Tripyramid NO
(lack of impressive views)
trail info
TRIPYRAMID, NORTH
(4,180 feet)
8
(difficult)
Fair Middle Tripyramid NO
(lack of impressive views)
trail info
TWIN, NORTH
(4,761 feet)
7
(moderate)
Excellent South Twin
Galehead
NO
(too difficult)
trail info
TWIN, SOUTH
(4,902 feet)
8
(difficult)
Excellent/Outstanding North Twin
Galehead
NO
(too difficult)
trail info
WASHINGTON
(6,288 feet)
10
(extremely difficult)
Outstanding Monroe
Jefferson
NO
(too difficult)
trail info
WAUMBEK
(4,006 feet)
6
(moderate)
Good
(from Starr King & outlook just past Waumbek's summit)
n/a - none !!!YES!!!! trail info
WEST BOND
(4,540 feet)
10
(extremely difficult)
Outstanding Bond
Bondcliff
Zealand
NO
(too difficult)
trail info
WHITEFACE
(4,020 feet)
8
(difficult)
Great/Excellent
(from nearby ledges)
Passaconaway !!!YES!!!!
(although some rock scrambling is required)
trail info
WILDCAT
(4,422 feet)
9
(very difficult)
Good/Great
(from nearby outlooks/ski area)
Wildcat "D" Peak NO
(too difficult)
trail info
WILDCAT, PEAK D
(4,050 feet)
9
(very difficult)
Good/Great
(from nearby outlooks/ski area)
Wildcat NO
(too difficult)
trail info
WILLEY
(4,285 feet)
8
(difficult)
Fair/Good Tom
Field
NO
(lack of impressive views)
trail info
ZEALAND
(4,260 feet)
8
(difficult)
Poor
(however, Zeacliff is nearby and has outstanding views)
Bond
West Bond
Bondcliff
NO
(too difficult)
trail info

THE BEST GUIDEBOOK FOR HIKING THE NH 4000-FOOTERS



If you are serious about hiking the 4000-footers, you absolutely need to own this fantastic guidebook: The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains. This book describes all of the trails that climb each peak. There is also information on how to climb all the peaks in winter. This is easily one of the finest hiking guidebooks ever made.



TIPS FOR HIKING THE NH 4000-FOOTERS



Here is a list of spent hours and hours brainstorming up tips on how to safely enjoy hiking the 4000-footers. Take a read...
  • GUIDEBOOKS - Buy the 4000-Footers of the White Mountains and AMC White Mountain Guide guidebooks and actually read each relevant chapter before you hike each peak. These two guidebooks are the only two books you need to own to successfully climb all 48 of these mountains.
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  • TRAIL CONDITIONS - Use Trailsnh.com, Newenglandtrailconditions.com, Vftt.org and/or other internet sites to obtain the latest in trail conditions, especially in winter and early spring, where trail conditions can be highly variable. Of all these websites, Trailsnh.com is the leader since it aggregates trail conditions from many different websites.
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  • BLUEBIRD DAYS - Do the great mountains on the beautiful 'bluebird' days, and the less interesting mountains on the overcast, rainy or poor-weather days.
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  • BRING FRIENDS - Bring friends with you as you complete this journey (so long as you sincerely believe they will be capable of hiking these mountains and will actually enjoy the peak(s) that you are selecting for them on each hike).
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  • SNOWSHOEING - Try snowshoeing a 4000-footer when winter conditions are favorable, which typically means a base of at least 18-24 inches of snow. Waumbek, Tecumseh, and Tom are excellent choices for your first 4000-footer snowshoeing adventure.
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  • FACEBOOK GROUPS - Join one or several of the Facebook groups that are focused on the 4000-footers. You'll be inspired by others and it will help you keep abreast of trail conditions.
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  • YOUR FINAL PEAK - Start thinking early about which mountain you want to finish your list on so that you can complete this goal on a truly great peak (and not on Owl's Head like so many others have done).
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  • HIGHER SUMMITS FORECAST - Check the Mount Washington Observatory Higher Summits Forecast the morning before each hike (it usually gets updated between 4:00-6:00am each morning).
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  • GO BACKPACKING - Climb at least one of the peaks as part of a backpacking adventure (there are many backpacking opportunities in New Hampshire).
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  • CARRY THE 10 ESSENTIALS - Make sure to always hike with the 10 Essentials with you. For example, a headlamp can save your life if it gets dark sooner than you expected.
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  • STAY IN A HUT - Stay in an AMC or RMC hut or cabin at least once. The AMC huts are much cheaper in winter and also for a short time period during the spring and fall 'shoulder' seasons.
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  • HIKE OTHER MOUNTAINS - Take an occasional break from hiking the 4000-footers and hike other awesome mountains in New Hampshire, such as: Cardigan, Major, Pine Mountain, Middle Sugarloaf, Willard, Sandwich Dome, the Baldfaces, Chocorua, etc.
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  • ADD YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENT TO YOUR RESUME - When you finish climbing the 4,000 footers, add the feat to your career resume. Having this on your resume shows recruiters that you are strong-willed / determined / goal-focused.
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  • NEW ENGLAND 4,000-FOOTERS - Don't forget that Maine and Vermont have many of their own amazing 4000-footers that you should try to hike at some point. Katahdin in Maine is perhaps the finest mountain climb in the East. Once you finish all the 4,000-footers in New England, there are many more to be found in New York.
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  • USE TREKKING POLES - Save your knees and ankles for the long-run by using trekking poles on all hikes. Trekking poles will also help you cross streams.
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  • LEAVE A NOTE - Always leave a note or tell someone which mountain and trails you will be hiking. Too many people are getting lost and/or injured in these mountains lately.
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  • BREAK-INS - Don't leave anything valuable in your car (too many break-ins have been occurring, unfortunately). Some hikers will also leave their car doors open so that thieves don't break their windows (the idea is that thieves open your car, see nothing inside it, and move on to the next car).
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  • GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR HIKING ROUTES - Get creative with your hiking routes by taking advantage of hitch-hiking, using a car-spot, and/or mountain biking between trailheads. Remember, a traverse is usually much more interesting than an out-and-back hike. Study hiking maps carefully and read the trail descriptions in the AMC White Mountain Guide to help you select trails.
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  • POOR HIKING CONDITIONS - Many hikers prefer to avoid hiking the 4,000 footers from April 1st to May 15th and also from mid-October through the end of December. The trail conditions are usually not favorite due to snow 'monorails', heavy mud, and ice.
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  • BEAT THE CROWDS - If you start your hikes early (i.e. before 6:30-7:00am), you can find the best parking, beat most of the crowds to the summit, and maybe even catch a sunset or early morning cloud undercast.
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  • AFTER LABOR DAY - Mid-week hiking after Labor Day is typically very quiet and the weather is often fantastic. Hike at least once during this time-frame; call out sick from work if you have to-it's worth it.
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  • GET INVOLVED IN TRAIL MAINTENANCE - One of the most rewarding things you can do in the White Mountains is to enroll as a trail adopter. You'll meet like-minded people and experience the satisfaction of a job well done when you do trail maintenance.
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  • HELP OTHERS FINISH THEIR LIST - Once you finish the 48, help other friends and family finish their 48 list. You may find that the second time around with others is more fun than the first.
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  • 4000-FOOTERS IN WINTER - If the 'all-season' 48 list wasn't challenging enough for you (or you are ready for the next challenge), hike the 48 during the winter season (it's far more difficult with a higher danger factor).
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  • FLAGS ON THE 48 - Do at least one peak during the annual Flags on the 48 event (better yet, finish your list during the event). This event has been going strong since 2002.
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  • BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR FOOD - Carry the appropriate food based on the temperatures you are hiking in (some foods will melt in summer, while other foods become rock-solid in winter).
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  • PLEASE DON'T BUILD CAIRNS - Please do not build new cairns or expand existing ones. The US Forest Service and its trail adopters have been specifically trained on when and where cairns should be placed. Adding new or increasing the size of existing cairns can cause hikers to get confused.
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  • REFUEL - Enjoy some burgers and beers (or some other indulgence if those aren't your thing) after at least some of your hikes (or all of them). You've earned it: it is estimated that the average person will burn 4,000-6,000 calories climbing a typical 4000-footer.
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  • ROCK SCRAMBLES - Consider hiking some of the optional but extremely fun rock scrambles along your journey (Caps Ridge Trail on Jefferson, Flume Slide Trail on Flume, Wildcat Ridge Trail on the Wildcats, and the North Slide of North Tripyramid come to mind).
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  • THE MOUNTAIN WANDERER - Introduce yourself to Steve Smith at the Mountain Wanderer bookstore in Lincoln, New Hampshire at some point in your journey. There aren't many people as passionate about these mountains as he is. He has hiked every trail in the White Mountains, so if you have a question about a particular trail, he's going to have an answer for you.
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  • DON'T DRED OWL'S HEAD - Don't dread Owl's Head too much. It's not that bad, plus there are actually decent views on the slide.
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  • GET AN REI MEMBERSHIP - If you are reading this list, it is likely you already have a lifetime REI membership. But if you don't, spend $20 to buy yourself one. This membership will earn you a 8-10% dividend on all full-price REI purchases for the rest of your life. To save even more, get the REI credit card and use it for all your REI and non-REI purchases (the dividend dollars will add up very quickly).
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  • BRING A REAL CAMERA - Bring a compact camera or DSLR camera for pictures instead of just using your smart-phone. The quality of smart-phone photographs look OK on today's computer screens and tables, but they won't look good years from now. They also don't print well (try to do an enlargement print and you'll agree). A DLSR camera is recommended, although not everyone will be willing to carry such a large and bulky camera, even if the end result is photos that are far superior. Shooting in RAW or RAW+JPEG mode on your DSLR is also recommended.
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  • FALL FOLIAGE - Don't miss hiking at least one of the better mountains during peak fall foliage. Mt. Garfield is one of the best during peak fall foliage. Fall foliage is typically the first two weeks of October.
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  • ELECTROLYTES - Enjoy that Gatorade or Powerade to keep your electrolyte levels up. You'll be amazed how much of an energy boost these drinks can give some people. Single-serve powder packets are perhaps the most useful since they allow you to make your drink when you are ready for it.
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  • DEATH MARCHES - Contemplate a challenging one-day traverse, like the Bonds Traverse or Presidential Traverse. Other death marches include a Wildcat-to-Moriah Traverse or a Kinsman Ridge Traverse. However, don't underestimate the difficulty of these ultrahikes and consider a mid-point bail out plan if things aren't going well.
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  • KEEP A LOGBOOK - Keep a journal or at least keep a logbook of the order, dates, and hiking partners that joined you for each of the peaks (you'll wish you did later on).
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  • VITAMIN I - Ibuprofen can be extremely helpful in controlling knee or ankle pain and/or reducing swelling.
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  • ATTEND THE AWARDS CEREMONY - After you finish hiking all 48, you can fill out an AMC application and attend the annual hikers' award ceremony.
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  • BAD WEATHER - Be safe out there: these mountains can be nasty (even deadly) in adverse weather conditions. Snow and ice can also be very problematic, even into May or June on some peaks.
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  • TRY GOING SOLO - Trying hiking at least one peak solo. It's an entirely different experience, and many will find it refreshing. For those who have fears about hiking solo, consider whether those fears are truly justified or not (i.e. you are not going to be attacked by a bear).
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  • MEETUP.COM GROUPS - If you are short on hiking friends, consider joining a Meetup hiking group. There are always some New Hampshire hikes planned on this website. You probably won't like everyone you meet, but if you do a few of these, you can make some connections and hike with those people in the future.
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  • GEAR STORES - Spend time perusing at least a few gear stores that focus on hiking & backpacking equipment. Be careful about supporting Eastern Mountain Sports - they have the worst return policy in the industry and they are close to declaring full bankruptcy and closing all stores. REI and LL Bean are much better choices.
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  • FIRST AID COURSE - Take a wilderness first aid course to prepare you in case something goes wrong, either with you or a member of your hiking party. At a minimum, learn CPR and how to make a splint.
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  • GET GOOD AT PREDICTING THE WEATHER - Try to read the weather frequently while hiking, and react quickly to changes in clouds and wind direction. Look for gather clouds, thunder clouds and increases in wind speed.
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  • CATCH A SUNRISE OR SUNSET - Catch a sunset or sunrise from above treeline if you can. Bring at least one headlamp with fresh batteries to assist you in getting up or down. For best lighting conditions, try to arrive at least 30-45 minutes before sunrise or sunset.
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  • WMNF ROAD STATUS - Keep abreast as to which roads in the White Mountain National Forest roads are currently closed. The rangers maintain a road status log here (although it is not always updated timely).
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  • 4000 FOOTER PASSBOOK - Record your hikes in a beautiful little journal specifically made to track your progress towards hiking all of the 4000-footers. There's also one of these journals for hiking the 52 With-A-View, which is another highly rewarding hiking list.
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  • MORE HIKING LISTS - Many hikers will hike these peaks over and over and over again after they initially finish the 4,000 footers list. While that's totally fine and dandy, there are many other great hiking lists in New England, such as the NH 52 With-A-View, The Terrifying 25, and the New England 67.
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  • BLACK FLIES - Black flies and other bugs can be a real nuisance in this region from mid-May through early July, although some days they are there, some days they are not. You'll probably want to bring some DEET spray with you.
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  • BRING $3 CASH TO PARK - some trailheads require a $3 parking fee, which must be paid in cash at a self-service kiosk (this may increase to $5 at some point).
looking towards Mt. Lincoln on the Franconia Ridge Trail
looking towards Mt. Lincoln on the Franconia Ridge Trail

STANDARD HIKING ROUTES TO THE 4000-FOOTERS



Presented below are the most common routes used to hike each of the 4000-footers in the non-winter seasons, along with their total mileage and elevation gain. Before you hike these routes, take note that many of these peaks offer one (or many) alternate trails, some of which offer better scenery and/or fewer crowds than the most common route. If you want to know the standard hiking routes in winter, click here.

  • ADAMS = there are many popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. Here's one popular, fun and extremely scenic& extremely fun option: Appalachia/US 2 trailhead > Air Line Trail > summit > Air Line Trail > Gulfside Trail > Valley Way Trail > end
    • 9.0 mile counterclockwise semi-loop; 4,500ft gain; extremely difficult
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  • BOND = this mountain is typically hiked via a north-to-south or south-to-north 'Bonds Traverse' that includes four 4,000-footers. Here is the slightly more popular north-to-south version: trailhead at the end of Zealand Road > Zealand Trail > Twinway > Zealand Spur Trail > Zealand summit > Zealand Spur Trail > Twinway > Bondcliff Trail > West Bond Spur Trail > West Bond summit > West Bond Spur Trail > Bondcliff Trail > Mt. Bond summit > Bondcliff Trail > Bondcliff summit > Bondcliff Trail > Wilderness Trail > Lincoln Woods Trail > NH 112/Kancamagus Highway trailhead > end
    • 19.8 mile one-way traverse; 3,950ft gain; extremely difficult
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  • BONDCLIFF = this mountain is typically hiked via a north-to-south or south-to-north 'Bonds Traverse' that includes four 4,000-footers. Here is the slightly more popular north-to-south version: trailhead at the end of Zealand Road > Zealand Trail > Twinway > Zealand Spur Trail > Zealand summit > Zealand Spur Trail > Twinway > Bondcliff Trail > West Bond Spur Trail > West Bond summit > West Bond Spur Trail > Bondcliff Trail > Mt. Bond summit > Bondcliff Trail > Bondcliff summit > Bondcliff Trail > Wilderness Trail > Lincoln Woods Trail > NH 112/Kancamagus Highway trailhead > end
    • 19.8 mile one-way traverse; 3,950ft gain; extremely difficult
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  • CABOT = York Pond Road trailhead > York Pond Trail > Bunnell Notch Trail > Mt. Cabot Trail > summit
    • 9.6 miles round-trip; 2,900ft gain; moderate/difficult
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  • CANNON = there are several popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. Here's one popular & fun option: Lafayette Campground/I-93 trailhead > Lonesome Lake Trail > Hi-Cannon Trail > Kinsman Ridge Trail > summit > Kinsman Ridge Trail > Lonesome Lake Trail > end
    • 5.9 mile counterclockwise semi-loop; 2,300ft gain; moderate
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  • CARRIGAIN = Sawyer Pond Road trailhead > Signal Ridge Trail > summit
    • 10.0 miles round-trip; 3,250ft gain; difficult
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  • CARTER DOME = NH 16 trailhead > Nineteen Mile Brook Trail > Carter Dome Trail > Carter-Moriah Trail > Mt. Hight summit > Carter-Moriah Trail > Carter Dome summit
    • 10.2 miles round-trip; 3,500ft gain; difficult
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  • CARTER, MIDDLE = there are several popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. Here's one popular option that climbs both of the Carters in one trip: NH 16 trailhead > Nineteen Mile Brook Trail > Carter Dome Trail > Carter-Moriah Trail > South Carter summit > Carter-Moriah Trail > Middle Carter summit > Carter-Moriah Trail > North Carter Trail > Imp Trail (northern segment) > The Imp viewpoint > Imp Trail (northern segment) > NH 16 > road walk heading south > end
    • 12.7 mile counterclockwise loop; 3,750ft gain; very difficult
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  • CARTER, SOUTH = there are several popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. Here's one popular option that climbs both of the Carters in one trip: NH 16 trailhead > Nineteen Mile Brook Trail > Carter Dome Trail > Carter-Moriah Trail > South Carter summit > Carter-Moriah Trail > Middle Carter summit > Carter-Moriah Trail > North Carter Trail > Imp Trail (northern segment) > The Imp viewpoint > Imp Trail (northern segment) > NH 16 > road walk heading south > end
    • 12.7 mile counterclockwise loop; 3,750ft gain; very difficult
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  • EISENHOWER = Mt. Clinton Road trailhead > Edmands Path > Mt. Eisenhower Loop > summit
    • 6.6 miles round-trip; 2,750ft gain; moderate
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  • FIELD = most people will try to hike all three peaks in the Willey Range in one day by following this route: US 302 trailhead > Avalon Trail > A-Z Trail > Mt. Tom Spur > Mt. Tom summit > Mt. Tom Spur > Willey Range Trail > Mt. Field summit > Willey Range Trail > Mt. Willey summit > Willey Range Trail > Mt. Field summit (again) > Avalon Trail > Mt. Avalon Spur Trail > Mt. Avalon summit > Mt. Avalon Spur Trail > Avalon Trail > end
    • 10.0 mile clockwise semi-loop; 3,400ft gain; difficult
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  • FLUME = there are several popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. Here's one popular & fun option if you want to also climb Mt. Liberty and you don't mind some steep scrambling: Flume Visitor Center trailhead > Whitehouse Trail or Franconia Notch Recreational Trail (Bike Path) > Liberty Spring Trail > Flume Slide Trail > Franconia Ridge Trail > Mt. Flume summit > Franconia Ridge Trail > Mt. Liberty summit > Franconia Ridge Trail > Liberty Spring Trail >Whitehouse Trail or Franconia Notch Recreational Trail (Bike Path) > end
    • 9.9 mile counterclockwise semi-loop; 3,750ft gain; very difficult
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  • GALEHEAD = Gale River Loop Road trailhead > Gale River Trail > Garfield Ridge Trail > AMC Galehead Hut > Frost Trail > summit
    • 10.2 miles round-trip; 2,450ft gain; moderate/difficult
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  • GARFIELD = Gale River Loop Road trailhead > Mt. Garfield Trail > Garfield Ridge Trail > summit
    • 10.0 miles round-trip; 3,000ft gain; moderate/difficult
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  • HALE = Zealand Road trailhead > Hale Brook Trail > summit
    • 4.4 miles round-trip; 2,300ft gain; moderate
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  • HANCOCK = 99.99% of peakbaggers will hike both Hancock and South Hancock on one hike: NH 112/Kancamagus Highway trailhead > Hancock Notch Trail > Cedar Brook Trail > Hancock Loop Trail > South Hancock summit > Hancock Loop Trail > Hancock summit > Hancock Loop Trail > Cedar Brook Trail > Hancock Notch Trail > end
    • 9.8 mile counterclockwise semi-loop; 2,650ft gain; moderate/difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • HANCOCK, SOUTH = 99.99% of peakbaggers will hike both Hancock and South Hancock on one hike: NH 112/Kancamagus Highway trailhead > Hancock Notch Trail > Cedar Brook Trail > Hancock Loop Trail > South Hancock summit > Hancock Loop Trail > Hancock summit > Hancock Loop Trail > Cedar Brook Trail > Hancock Notch Trail > end
    • 9.8 mile counterclockwise semi-loop; 2,650ft gain; moderate/difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • ISOLATION = there are several popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. Here's one popular & fun option that will get you above treeline for a while if you have two vehicles: Glen Ellis Falls/NH 16 trailhead > Glen Boulder Trail > Davis Path > Spur Trail > Mt. Isolation summit > Spur Trail > Davis Path > Isolation Trail > Rocky Branch Trail > Road walk > End
    • 13.3 miles round-trip plus road walk if you don't have a second vehicle; 3,800ft gain; very difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • JACKSON = US 302 trailhead > Webster-Jackson (Jackson Branch) > summit
    • 5.2 miles round-trip; 2,150ft gain; moderate
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • JEFFERSON = Jefferson Notch Road trailhead > Caps Ridge Trail > summit
    • 5.0 miles round-trip; 2,700ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • KINSMAN, NORTH = 99.99% of hikers will try to climb both Kinsmans in one trip. Here's the preferred route: NH 116 trailhead > Mt. Kinsman Trail > Kinsman Ridge Trail > North Kinsman summit > Kinsman Ridge Trail > South Kinsman summit
    • 10.0 miles round-trip; 3,950ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • KINSMAN, SOUTH = 99.99% of hikers will try to climb both Kinsmans in one trip. Here's the preferred route: NH 116 trailhead > Mt. Kinsman Trail > Kinsman Ridge Trail > North Kinsman summit > Kinsman Ridge Trail > South Kinsman summit
    • 10.0 miles round-trip; 3,950ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • LAFAYETTE = most hikers will try to climb both Lafayette and Lincoln in one trip: I-93 trailhead > Falling Waters Trail > Franconia Ridge Trail > Mt. Lincoln summit > Franconia Ridge Trail > Mt. Lafayette summit > Greenleaf Trail > Old Bridle Path > End
    • 8.9 mile counterclockwise loop; 3,900ft gain; very difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • LIBERTY = there are several popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. Here's one popular & fun option if you want to also climb Mt. Flume and you don't mind some steep scrambling: Flume Visitor Center trailhead > Whitehouse Trail or Franconia Notch Recreational Trail (Bike Path) > Liberty Spring Trail > Flume Slide Trail > Franconia Ridge Trail > Mt. Flume summit > Franconia Ridge Trail > Mt. Liberty summit > Franconia Ridge Trail > Liberty Spring Trail >Whitehouse Trail or Franconia Notch Recreational Trail (Bike Path) > end
    • 9.9 mile counterclockwise semi-loop; 3,750ft gain; very difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • LINCOLN= most hikers will try to climb both Lafayette and Lincoln in one trip: I-93 trailhead > Falling Waters Trail > Franconia Ridge Trail > Mt. Lincoln summit > Franconia Ridge Trail > Mt. Lafayette summit > Greenleaf Trail > Old Bridle Path > End
    • 8.9 mile counterclockwise loop; 3,900ft gain; very difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • MADISON = there are several popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. Here's one popular and fun option: Appalachia/US 2 trailhead > Airline Trail > Airline Cutoff > Osgood Trail > summit > Osgood Trail > Valley Way > end
    • 8.3 mile counterclockwise semi-loop; 4,100ft gain; very difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • MONROE = Base Road trailhead > Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail > Crawford Path > Mt. Monroe Loop > summit
    • 7.0 miles round-trip; 2,900ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • MOOSILAUKE = Moosilauke Ravine Lodge trailhead > Gorge Brook Trail > summit > Moosilauke Carriage Road > Snapper Trail > end
    • 7.5 mile counterclockwise loop; 2,450ft gain; moderate
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • MORIAH = NH 16 trailhead > Stony Brook Trail > Carter-Moriah Trail
    • 10.0 miles round-trip; 3,150ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • OSCEOLA = most hikers will try to climb both Osceola & East Osceola in one trip: Tripoli Road trailhead > Mt. Osceola Trail > Osceola summit > Mt. Osceola Trail > East Osceola summit
    • 8.4 miles round-trip; 2,950ft gain; moderate/difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • OSCEOLA, EAST = most hikers will try to climb both Osceola & East Osceola in one trip: Tripoli Road trailhead > Mt. Osceola Trail > Osceola summit > Mt. Osceola Trail > East Osceola summit
    • 8.4 miles round-trip; 2,950ft gain; moderate/difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • OWLS HEAD = NH 112/Kancamagus Highway trailhead (Lincoln Woods) > Lincoln Woods Trail > Franconia Brook Trail > Lincoln Brook Trail > Owl's Head Path > summit
    • 18.4 miles round-trip; 2,900ft gain; very difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • PASSACONAWAY = many hikers will try to climb both Passaconaway & Whiteface in one trip: Ferncroft Road trailhead > Blueberry Ledge Trail > Rollins Trails > Whiteface summit > Rollins Trail > Dicey's Mill Trail > Passaconaway summit > Dicey's Mill Trail > end
    • 11.9 mile clockwise loop; 3,800ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • PIERCE = Mt. Clinton Road trailhead > Crawford Connector Trail > Crawford Path > Webster Cliff Trail > summit
    • 6.4 miles round-trip; 2,400ft gain; moderate
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • TECUMSEH = Waterville Valley Ski Resort trailhead > Mt. Tecumseh Trail > summit
    • 5.0 miles round-trip; 2,300ft gain; moderate
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • TOM = most people will try to hike all three peaks in the Willey Range in one day by following this route: US 302 trailhead > Avalon Trail > A-Z Trail > Mt. Tom Spur > Mt. Tom summit > Mt. Tom Spur > Willey Range Trail > Mt. Field summit > Willey Range Trail > Mt. Willey summit > Willey Range Trail > Mt. Field summit (again) > Avalon Trail > Mt. Avalon Spur Trail > Mt. Avalon summit > Mt. Avalon Spur Trail > Avalon Trail > end
    • 10.0 mile clockwise semi-loop; 3,400ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • TRIPYRAMID, MIDDLE = there are several popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. Here's one good loop option that bags both of the Tripyramids in one trip: NH 112/Kancamagus Highway trailhead > Pine Bend Brook Trail > North Tripyramid summit > Mt. Tripyramid Trail > Middle Tripyramid summit > Mt. Tripyramid Trail > Sabbaday Brook Trail > road walk > end
    • 11.0 miles counterclockwise loop; 3,100ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • TRIPYRAMID, NORTH = there are several popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. Here's one good loop option that bags both of the Tripyramids in one trip: NH 112/Kancamagus Highway trailhead > Pine Bend Brook Trail > North Tripyramid summit > Mt. Tripyramid Trail > Middle Tripyramid summit > Mt. Tripyramid Trail > Sabbaday Brook Trail > road walk > end
    • 11.0 miles counterclockwise loop; 3,100ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • TWIN, NORTH = most people will try to hike both Twins in one day by following this route: Haystack Road trailhead > North Twin Trail > North Twin summit > North Twin Spur Trail > South Twin summit
    • 11.2 miles round-trip; 3,700ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • TWIN, SOUTH = most people will try to hike both Twins in one day by following this route: Haystack Road trailhead > North Twin Trail > North Twin summit > North Twin Spur Trail > South Twin summit
    • 11.2 miles round-trip; 3,700ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • WASHINGTON = there are several popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. Here's one popular, challenging and extremely scenic option: AMC Pinkham Notch Center/NH 16 trailhead > Tuckerman Ravine Trail > summit > Tuckerman Ravine Trail > Lion's Head Trail > Tuckerman Ravine Trail > end
    • 8.4 mile clockwise semi-loop; 4,300ft gain; extremely difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • WAUMBEK = Starr King Road/US 2 trailhead > Starr King Trail > Starr King summit > Starr King Trail > Mt. Waumbek summit > viewpoint 0.1 mile past summit
    • 7.2 miles round-trip; 2,700ft gain; moderate
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • WEST BOND = this mountain is typically hiked via a north-to-south or south-to-north 'Bonds Traverse' that includes four 4,000-footers. Here is the slightly more popular north-to-south version: trailhead at the end of Zealand Road > Zealand Trail > Twinway > Zealand Spur Trail > Zealand summit > Zealand Spur Trail > Twinway > Bondcliff Trail > West Bond Spur Trail > West Bond summit > West Bond Spur Trail > Bondcliff Trail > Mt. Bond summit > Bondcliff Trail > Bondcliff summit > Bondcliff Trail > Wilderness Trail > Lincoln Woods Trail > NH 112/Kancamagus Highway trailhead > end
    • 19.8 mile one-way traverse; 3,950ft gain; extremely difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • WHITEFACE = many hikers will try to climb both Passaconaway & Whiteface in one trip: Ferncroft Road trailhead > Blueberry Ledge Trail > Rollins Trails > Whiteface summit > Rollins Trail > Dicey's Mill Trail > Passaconaway summit > Dicey's Mill Trail > end
    • 11.9 mile clockwise loop; 3,800ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • WILDCAT = many hikers will try to climb both Wildcat & Wildcat D in one trip by using two cars or by hitchhiking: Glen Ellis Falls/NH 16 trailhead > Wildcat Ridge Trail > Wildcat D summit > Wildcat Ridge Trail > Wildcat summit > Wildcat Ridge Trail > Nineteen-Mile Brook Trail > road walk (if two vehicles were not used) > end
    • 8.5 mile loop plus road walk if two vehicles were not used; 3,150ft gain; very difficult
    • Special Note: If the Ellis River is running high, you can cross at AMC Pinkham Notch visitor center and use Lost Pond Trail to connect with Wildcat Ridge Trail
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • WILDCAT, PEAK D = many hikers will try to climb both Wildcat & Wildcat D in one trip by using two cars or by hitchhiking: Glen Ellis Falls/NH 16 trailhead > Wildcat Ridge Trail > Wildcat D summit > Wildcat Ridge Trail > Wildcat summit > Wildcat Ridge Trail > Nineteen-Mile Brook Trail > road walk (if two vehicles were not used) > end
    • 8.5 mile loop plus road walk if two vehicles were not used; 3,150ft gain; very difficult
    • Special Note: If the Ellis River is running high, you can cross at AMC Pinkham Notch visitor center and use Lost Pond Trail to connect with Wildcat Ridge Trail
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • WILLEY = most people will try to hike all three peaks in the Willey Range in one day by following this route: US 302 trailhead > Avalon Trail > A-Z Trail > Mt. Tom Spur > Mt. Tom summit > Mt. Tom Spur > Willey Range Trail > Mt. Field summit > Willey Range Trail > Mt. Willey summit > Willey Range Trail > Mt. Field summit (again) > Avalon Trail > Mt. Avalon Spur Trail > Mt. Avalon summit > Mt. Avalon Spur Trail > Avalon Trail > end
    • 10.0 mile clockwise semi-loop; 3,400ft gain; difficult
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • ZEALAND = this mountain is typically hiked via a north-to-south or south-to-north 'Bonds Traverse' that includes four 4,000-footers. Here is the slightly more popular north-to-south version: trailhead at the end of Zealand Road > Zealand Trail > Twinway > Zealand Spur Trail > Zealand summit > Zealand Spur Trail > Twinway > Bondcliff Trail > West Bond Spur Trail > West Bond summit > West Bond Spur Trail > Bondcliff Trail > Mt. Bond summit > Bondcliff Trail > Bondcliff summit > Bondcliff Trail > Wilderness Trail > Lincoln Woods Trail > NH 112/Kancamagus Highway trailhead > end
    • 19.8 mile one-way traverse; 3,950ft gain; extremely difficult
Take note that there are alternate hiking routes for most of the mountains listed above. Consult the AMC White Mountain Guide and/or The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains for detailed descriptions of all of the hiking routes on these peaks.

If you suspect there are any errors in the above information, please email gparsons66@hotmail.com so that it can be fixed.

summit of Mt. Eisenhower
summit of Mt. Eisenhower

GREAT 4000-FOOTER READS



Two great books have been written in the past few years that detail special journeys that climbed all of the 4000 footers. Both of these books are fun and interesting reads, and come highly recommended:

Up: A Mother & Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure

Following Atticus:


EASIEST 4000-FOOTERS



Here are the easiest 4000-footers to climb, along with the easiest routes on each of these mountains:

Cannon - via Lonesome Lake > Kinsman Ridge Trail or via Kinsman Ridge Trail (from the Cannon Mountain ski resort)
Eisenhower - via Edmunds Path
Field - via Avalon Trail > Willey Range Trail
Garfield - via Mt. Garfield Trail > Garfield Ridge Trail
Hale - via Hale Brook Trail
Moosilauke - via Gorge Brook Trail > Carriage Road > Snapper Trail loop
Osceola - via Mt. Osceola Trail (from Tripoli Road)
Pierce - via Crawford Path
Tecumseh - via Mt. Tecumseh Trail (from the Waterville Valley ski resort)
Tom - via Avalon Trail > A-Z Trail > Mt. Tom Spur
Waumbek - via Starr King Trail; don't miss the great views 0.1 mile beyond the summit of Waumbek

The easiest 4000-footer to climb is Mt. Tecumseh via the Waterville Valley Ski Resort trailhead. Mt. Tecumseh has great views, so all who make it to the top will likely enjoy this first trip on their journey to hike all of the 4000-footers.

The easiest way to climb two 4000-footers in just one hike is probably Tom & Field, However, if you only hike Tom & Field, you may end up regretting not also hiking nearby Willey while you are already up in that area. North Hancock & South Hancock, and Jackson & Pierce are other pairs of peaks that are easily combined, although hiking them is by no means easy.

view of the Pemigewasset Wilderness from Mt. Garfield
view of the Pemigewasset Wilderness from Mt. Garfield

MOST DIFFICULT 4000-FOOTERS



These 4000-footers are considered the most difficult. There are no easy trails that climb these tough peaks:

Adams - lots of elevation gain; some sections of trail are extremely rocky; weather can be extremely nasty
Bond - extremely remote; requires a hike of more than 19 miles round trip
Bondcliff - remote; requires a hike of at least 18 miles round trip
Isolation - remote; trails are often very wet/muddy
Owl's Head - remote; requires a hike of at least 18 miles round trip; involved hiking up a steep slide that has some loose rock
Washington - lots of elevation gain; most trails are extremely rocky; the weather can be very nasty
West Bond - extremely remote; requires a hike of more than 19 miles round trip
Wildcat & Wildcat D - all trails are steep and rocky

the classic shot of Bondcliff
the classic shot of Bondcliff

4000-FOOTERS WITH THE BEST VIEWS



These 4000-footers will blow you away with their outstanding and completely unobstructed views:

Adams
Bond
Bondcliff
Carrigain
Eisenhower
Garfield
Jefferson
Lafayette
Liberty
Lincoln
Madison
Monroe
Moosilauke
Washington
West Bond

Of all of these peaks, my opinion is that the firetower atop Mt. Carrigain offers the finest view.

Star Lake with Mt. Madison in the background
Star Lake with Mt. Madison in the background

FAVORITE 4000-FOOTERS



Here are my favorite 4000-footers, along with what makes them so great:

Bondcliff - wide-open, completely road-less views; awesome cliff-top photo-opportunity
Carrigain - the fire tower deck at the summit has perhaps the best view in the White Mountains; Signal Ridge is equally spectacular
Monroe - fantastic alpine views of Lakes of the Clouds and Lakes of the Clouds Hut, along with Mt. Washington
Lafayette - part of the incredible Franconia Ridge Trail; combine with Mt. Lincoln for an 8.9 mile loop
Lincoln - part of the incredible Franconia Ridge Trail; combine with Mt. Lafayette for an 8.9 mile loop

If I had to choose one favorite peak, it would be Carrigain on a perfectly clear day with low-humidity.

view from Zeacliff, a quick and easy side trip on the way to Zealand Mountain
view from Zeacliff, a quick and easy side trip on the way to Zealand Mountain

MOST POPULAR 4000-FOOTERS



It's tough to beat the crowds on these popular 4000-footers. I recommend hiking them mid-week or starting really early (before 7:00 or 8:00am) to beat the crowds:

Adams
Cannon
Carrigain
Eisenhower
Garfield
Jackson
Jefferson
Lafayette
Liberty
Lincoln
Madison
Monroe
Moosilauke
Osceola
Pierce
Washington
Whiteface

winter views of Mt. Washington from Signal Ridge on Mt. Carrigain
winter views of Mt. Washington from Signal Ridge on Mt. Carrigain

LEAST CROWDED 4000-FOOTERS



All of the 4000-footers see a fair amount of hiker traffic these days, but these peaks are generally considered to be the least crowded:

Cabot
Carter, Middle
Carter, South
Hale
Hancock
Hancock, South
Isolation
Moriah
Osceola, East
Owl's Head
Tripyramid, Middle
Tripyramid, North
Waumbek
Wildcat
Wildcat, D Peak
Willey

Mt. Liberty from the summit of Mt. Flume
Mt. Liberty from the summit of Mt. Flume

UNOBSTRUCTED 360-DEGREE VIEWS AT THE SUMMIT



Nothing obscures the excellent 360-degree views from the top of these peaks:

Adams
Bond
Bondcliff
Cannon
Carrigain
Eisenhower
Flume
Garfield
Jackson
Jefferson
Lafayette
Liberty
Lincoln
Madison
Monroe
Moosilauke
Moriah
Twin, South
Washington
West Bond
Wildcat, D

BEST 4000-FOOTERS FOR RAINY DAYS



These 4,000-footers make for good hikes to do in the rain:

Cabot - the views are limited, so you aren't missing much if you hike this peak in the rain
Field - as long as the river crossings are expected to stay low enough
Hale - the views are limited, so you aren't missing much if you hike this peak in the rain
Hancock - as long as the river crossings are expected to stay low enough or you do the Black Pond bushwhack
Hancock, South - as long as the river crossings are expected to stay low enough or you do the Black Pond bushwhack
Owl's Head - as long as the river crossings are expected to stay low enough or you do the Black Pond bushwhack
Tom - as long as the river crossings are expected to stay low enough
Willey - as long as the river crossings are expected to stay low enough

In my opinion, the best 4,000-footers to hike in the rain are Cabot and Hale. These peaks don't really offer any great views, and there are no major river crossings to contend with either.

I would avoid hiking Waumbek, Galehead, Tecumseh, Carter Dome, North Carter, South Carter, or Zealand in the rain because they offer good views, either at the summits themselves and/or nearby. Save those peaks (and most others for that matter) for nice weather days.

While many people hike the Hancocks, Owl's Head, and the Willey Range peaks (Tom/Field/Willey) in the rain, you have to be certain that the river crossings are not going to swell up to dangerous levels. This can be tough to predict if you aren't familiar with the watershed size of those areas.

WATERFALLS NEAR 4000-FOOTERS



You see see quite a few waterfalls along your journey to hike the 4000-footers, depending on the trails you select and the number of spur trails/detours you are willing to take:

Adams - various falls of Appalachia (there are many of them, so refer to a detailed map to see them all)
Bond - Zealand Falls, Franconia Falls
Bondcliff - Zealand Falls, Franconia Falls
Jackson - unnamed falls above Silver Cascade
Jefferson - various falls on several of the northern approach trails
Lafayette - various falls on the Falling-Waters Trail
Lincoln - various falls on the Falling-Waters Trail
Madison - various falls of Appalachia
Monroe - Ammonoosuc Ravine, Gem Pool
Owl's Head - Franconia Falls
Pierce - Gibbs Falls
Washington - Crystal Cascade, Weetamoo Falls, Ammonoosuc Ravine, Gem Pool, several others
West Bond - Zealand Falls, Franconia Falls
Zealand - Zealand Falls

GREAT 4000-FOOTER SNOWSHOE HIKES



These 4000-footers can make for an extremely enjoyable snowshoe trek if the snow conditions are good:

Cabot
Carrigain - this is quite a long day-hike in winter because the normal access road is closed (adds 4.0 miles round-trip)
Field
Garfield - this is quite a long day-hike in winter because the normal access road is closed (adds 2.4 miles round-trip)
Hale
Kinsman, North - this is quite a long day-hike; hiking via the Mt. Kinsman Trail off NH 116 is recommended
Kinsman, South - this is quite a long day-hike; hiking via the Mt. Kinsman Trail off NH 116 is recommended
Passaconaway
Pierce
Tecumseh
Tom
Waumbek
Willey

I highly recommend checking www.trailsnh.com for current trail and snow conditions.

4000-FOOTERS TO WANT TO AVOID IN POOR WEATHER



People hike the 4000-footers in all sorts of weather conditions, but many will prefer to avoid these peaks if storms or heavy wind are predicted:

Adams - significant amounts of above-treeline hiking
Bond - significant amounts of above-treeline hiking
Bondcliff - significant amounts of above-treeline hiking
Eisenhower - significant amounts of above-treeline hiking
Isolation - extremely remote plus significant amounts of above treeline hiking if you come via Glen Boulder
Jackson - some above-treeline hiking
Jefferson - significant amounts of above-treeline hiking
Lafayette - significant amounts of above-treeline hiking
Lincoln - significant amounts of above-treeline hiking
Madison - significant amounts of above-treeline hiking
Monroe - significant amounts of above-treeline hiking
Moosilauke - significant amounts of above-treeline hiking
Pierce - a small amount of above-treeline hiking
Tripyramid, Middle - has steep, slabby trails can be very slippery
Tripyramid, North - has steep, slabby trails can be very slippery
Twin, South - some above-treeline hiking
Washington - significant amounts of above-treeline hiking
West Bond - significant amounts of above-treeline hiking

EXTREMELY DIFFICULT IN WINTER



These peaks are particularly tough, and even potentially dangerous, when climbed during the winter conditions season (which is generally from mid-October through mid-May):

Adams
Bond
Bondcliff
Eisenhower
Isolation
Jefferson
Lincoln
Lafayette
Madison
Monroe
Moosilauke
Owl's Head
Tripyramid, Middle
Tripyramid, North
Washington
West Bond
Whiteface
Wildcat & Wildcat D
....some routes on other peaks may also be extremely difficult and potentially dangerous in winter

FAVORITE COMBINATIONS OF 4000-FOOTERS



Many hikers love knocking off a few great 4000-footers in one hike. Here are some of the best combinations you can make:

Madison & Adams
Zealand, Bond, Bondcliff & West Bond
Tom, Field & Willey
Liberty & Flume
Jackson & Pierce
Lincoln & Lafayette
Monroe & Washington
Whiteface & Passaconaway
North Twin & South Twin

4000-FOOTERS WITH FUN SCRAMBLING POSSIBILITIES



These trails are not for everybody, but there is a lot of fun rock scrambling that can be found on the 4000-footers:

Adams - via King Ravine Trail, Star Lake Trail, Chemin des Dames, Great Gully Trail, or Air Line Trail
Cannon - via Hi-Cannon Trail
Flume - via the Flume Slide Trail
Jefferson - via Caps Ridge Trail, Castle Ravine Trail, Six Husbands Trails, or Castle Trail
Madison - via Madison Gulf Trail
Moosilauke - via Beaver Brook Trail
Osceola - via the optional "chimney" on the Mt. Osceola Trail (a side-trail bypasses the Chimney if desired)
Osceola, East - via the optional "chimney" on the Mt. Osceola Trail (a side-trail bypasses the chimney if desired)
Owl's Head - although I'm not sure if I would call this "fun"
Tripyramid, Middle - via the "North Slide" and/or "South Slide"
Tripyramid, North - via the "North Slide" and/or "South Slide"
Washington - via Huntington Ravine or Great Gulf Trail
Wildcat - via Wildcat Ridge Trail
Wildcat, D - via Wildcat Ridge Trail
Whiteface - via Blueberry Ledge Trail

For a complete list of all known rock scrambles in New England, click here.

For a guide to the challenging Terrifying 25 hike list, click here.

UNDER-APPRECIATED 4000-FOOTERS



These 4000-footers tend to get overlooked or are generally underapprecated, but they shouldn't be:

Cannon - lots of hikers don't like how tourists can take a tram to the summit, but you can't deny how awesome the views are
Carter Dome - assuming you also bag Mt. Hight, which offers the best views in the area
Tecumseh - newly cleared views at the summit
Waumbek - newly cleared views at Starr King and also good views just past the summit

DANGEROUS WATER CROSSINGS



Consider avoiding these trails when water levels are running high, which includes the spring season and after heavy rains:

Galehead - Gale River via Gale River Trail
Hancock - North Fork Cedar Brook via Cedar Brook Trail
Hancock South - North Fork Cedar Brook via Cedar Brook Trail
Moriah - Stony Brook via Stony Brook Trail
Owl's Head - Franconia Brook & Lincoln Brook via Lincoln Brook Trail; can be bypassed via Black Pond bushwhack
North Twin - via North Twin Trail; two of the three stream crossings can be bypassed by bushwhacking
South Twin - via North Twin Trail; two of the three stream crossings can be bypassed by bushwhacking
Wildcat - Ellis River via Wildcat Ridge Trail; can be bypassed by taking the Lost Pond Trail from the AMC Pinkham Notch center
Wildcat D - Ellis River via Wildcat Ridge Trail; can be bypassed by taking the Lost Pond Trail from the AMC Pinkham Notch center

Take note that other routes on these peaks and other peaks may also have dangerous water crossings under high-water conditions.

ROADS THAT ARE CLOSED IN WINTER



Some 4000-footer trailheads are located on roads that are closed in winter. Expect a longer hike in winter for these peaks:

Carrigain - Sawyer River Road (adds 2.0 miles each way)
Eisenhower - Mount Clinton Road (typically climbed in winter via Mt. Pierce instead)
Galehead - Gale River Loop Road (adds 1.5 miles each way; can be shortened if you hike along herd paths / X-C ski trails)
Garfield - Gale River Loop Road (adds 1.2 miles each way)
Hale - Zealand Road (adds 1.0 miles each way)
Jefferson - Jefferson Notch Road (typically climbed in winter via Jewell Trail)
Moosilauke - Ravine Lodge Road (adds 1.6 miles each way)
North Twin - Haystack Road (often hiked via Little River Road / herd-paths in winter)
South Twin - Haystack Road (often hiked via Little River Road / herd-paths in winter)
Zealand - Zealand Road (adds 2.5 miles each way)

The status of all major roads in the White Mountains can be found on the WMNF Roads Status page of the US Forest Service's website. Generally speaking, all roads in the White Mountains are generally open from mid-to-late May through early-to-late October.

4000-FOOTERS NEAR AMC HUTS



You can reach many of the 4000-footers by staying in the AMC High Huts. Here are the peaks that reside within close striking distance of the huts:

Adams - AMC Madison Hut
Cannon - AMC Lonesome Lake Hut (this hut is open year-round!)
Carter Dome - AMC Carter Notch Hut (this hut is open year-round!)
Galehead - AMC Galehead Hut
Jackson - AMC Mispah Hut
Lafayette - AMC Greenleaf Hut
Madison - AMC Madison Hut
Monroe - AMC Lakes of the Clouds Hut
Pierce - AMC Mispah Hut
Twin, South - AMC Galehead Hut
Washington - AMC Lakes of the Clouds Hut
Wildcat - AMC Carter Notch Hut (this hut is open year-round!)
Zealand - AMC Zealand Hut (this hut is open year-round!)

4000-FOOTERS ABOVE TREELINE



New Hampshire has a lot of alpine zone hiking terrain. Here are the peaks that have "above treeline" trails:

Adams
Bond
Bondcliff
Eisenhower
Jackson - only has a limited amount of terrain above treeline
Jefferson
Lafayette
Lincoln
Madison
Monroe
Moosilauke
Pierce - only has a limited amount of terrain above treeline
Twin, South - only has a limited amount of terrain above treeline
Washington
West Bond - only has a limited amount of terrain above treeline

4000-FOOTERS ALONG THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL



Here are all the peaks that can be easily seen along the Appalachian Trail or a quick stem from it. This list is ordered from south-to-north, and some peaks require a short spur trail to reach as the Appalachian Trail does not directly pass over them.

Moosilauke
South Kinsman
North Kinsman
Liberty (short spur trail off the A.T. required)
Lincoln
Lafayette
Garfield
Galehead (short spur trail off the A.T. required)
South Twin
Zealand (short spur trail off the A.T. required)
Jackson
Pierce (short spur trail off the A.T. required)
Eisenhower (short spur trail off the A.T. required)
Monroe (short spur trail off the A.T. required)
Washington
Jefferson (short spur trail off the A.T. required)
Adams (short spur trail off the A.T. required)
Madison
Wildcat D
Wildcat
Carter Dome
South Carter
Middle Carter
Moriah (short spur trail off the A.T. required)

4000-FOOTERS THAT CAN BE VERY TOUGH ON DOGS



Depending on the individual dog, many of these peaks can be challenging for dogs:

Adams - extremely rocky
Bond - long hike involved; very rocky
Bondcliff - long hike involved; some scrambling involved
Isolation - long hike involved; can be wet and/or very rocky, depending on route
Jefferson - extremely rocky; scrambling also involved on almost all routes
Kinsman North - long hike involved
Kinsman South - long hike involved
Lafayette - rocky
Lincoln - rocky; one section of scrambling on the Falling-Waters Trail
Madison - rocky
Monroe - rocky
Moriah - rocky; some scrambling involved on most routes
Owl's Head - long hike involved; slide is very steep with loose rocks
Middle Tripyramid - lots of miles; rocky and steep
North Tripyramid - lots of miles; rocky and steep
Washington - extremely rocky
West Bond - long hike involved
Whiteface - steep scrambling
Wildcat - steep scrambling; rocky
Wildcat, Peak D - steep scrambling; rocky
Zealand - long hike involved
....take note that some routes on other peaks may also be extremely difficult for dogs

FAVORITE RUNNABLE 4000-FOOTERS



If you want to go for a mountain trail run, these 4000-footers can deliver that:

Bondcliff - at least the first 4-5 miles of the trail
Carrigain - portions of the lower half of the Signal Ridge Trail
Garfield - almost the entire way from the trailhead to the summit
Hale - almost the entire way from the trailhead on Zealand Road to the summit
Hancock - almost the entire lower half of the trail
South Hancock - almost the entire lower half of the trail
Owl's Head - at least the first 5-6 miles of the trail
Passaconaway - a few miles along the bottom half of the Dicey Mill Trail
Tecumseh - much of the Mount Tecumseh Trail from the Waterville Valley side is runnable
Zealand - almost the entire route from the parking area on Zealand Road to the Hut is runnable
....there are many other peaks and routes that have some runnable sections (email me if you know of any: gparsons66@hotmail.com)

ABANDONED/BUSHWHACKING TRAILS



There are some abandoned trails or bushwhack routes you can take to beat the crowds and climb some peaks a different way. All of these are hiked fairly frequently, but you may still need map/compass/GPS skills in order to follow the correct route.

Adams - Adams Slide Trail (abandoned trail)
Hale - Firewarden's Trail (abandoned trail)
Hancock - Arrow Slide (bushwhack)
Owl's Head - Black Pond (bushwhack)
South Hancock - Arrow Slide (bushwhack)

4000-FOOTERS THAT CAN BE PARTIALLY SKIED



You can ski down some of these peaks if the snow conditions are favorable enough (which can be rare):

Cannon - ski resort trails & backcountry trails
Flume - Flume Slide Trail
Hale
Moosilauke - Carriage Road
Tecumseh - ski resort trails
Washington - various routes
Wildcat - ski resort trails & backcountry trails

TRAILS WITH GOOD BUTT-SLIDING / SLEDDING IN WINTER



These trails have great butt-sledding/sledding in winter, although good snow conditions were rare over the past few winter seasons. As a note of precaution, be very careful when partaking in these activities as the 4000-footers are now very popular in winter and you obviously do not want to collide with another hiker making their way up the mountain.

Adams - Lowe's Path
Cannon - Kinsman Ridge Trail
Carter Dome - Carter-Moriah Trail (very steep!)
Field - Avalon Trail (a total blast!)
Hale - Hale Brook Trail
Hancock - Hancock Loop Trail (lots of fun, but the snow pack needs to be very deep)
Hancock South - Hancock Loop Trail (lots of fun, but the snow pack needs to be very deep)
Liberty - Mount Liberty Trail (only a few sections near the top)
Middle Tripyramid - Pine Bend Brook Trail
Moosilauke - Glencliff Trail
North Tripyramid - Pine Bend Brook Trail
Pierce - Crawford Path
Tecumseh - Mount Tecumseh Trail
Tom - A-Z Trail (only a few sections of the trail)
Waumbek - Starr King Trail
Willey - Avalon Trail (a total blast!)

FAVORITE 4000-FOOTER RECOVERY MEALS



Here are my favorite meals in the White Mountains:

Woodstock Station, North Woodstock - huge/diverse menu, and they brew their own beer
Common Man, Lincoln - free cheese and crackers and generally great food; rustic atmosphere
Six Burner Bistro, Plymouth
Common Man, Ashland - free cheese and crackers and generally great food; rustic atmosphere; one of the coolest bars in the Whites
Red Fox Bar & Grill, Jackson
Moat Mountain Brewery, North Conway - they brew their own beer (the Pilsner is a favorite); try the buffalo wings, BBQ chicken pizza, Longhorn nachos, Cajun burger, brisket, and chips with mango salsa
May Kelly's Cottage Restaurant, North Conway
Delaney's Hole in the Wall, North Conway - you'll love the buffalo wings, honey hot wings, teriyaki burger, sushi, and fish'n'chips
Flatbread, North Conway - delicious, fresh and mostly organic pizza; hippy-like atmosphere

4000-FOOTER PEAKBAGGING RECORDS



Here are some current 4,000 footer records:

All 48 peaks, any/all season, men's = Andrew Thompson, 3 days, 14 hours, 59 minutes from July 7-10, 2014.
All 48 peaks, any/all season, women's = Brianna Tidd, 4 days, 19 hours, 40 minutes from September 8-13, 2014.
All 48 peaks, winter, men's = Ryan Welts, 7 days, 17 hours, 7 minutes from January 16-22, 2016.
All 48 peaks, winter, women's = Sue Johnson, 8 days, 4 hours, 2 minutes from March 10-18, 2010.
Diretissima thru-hike, completely unsupported = Ariel & Anna Feindel, 8 days, 8 hours, 37 minutes from August 29-September 6, 2015.
Diretissima thru-hike, supported or self-supported = Andrew Drummond, 5 days, 23 hours, 58 minutes from July 24-30, 2016.
Oldest age at which the 4000 footers were completed = unknown
Youngest age at which the 4000 footers were completed = unknown

More great information on the 4000 footer records, including the records of each peak, can be found here

Please email me @ gparsons66@hotmail.com if any of these records are broken so that this information can be updated.

WAYS TO CLIMB THE 4000-FOOTERS



There are dozens of fun and wacky ways you can climb the 4000-footers if you are so inclined:

every peak in any season
every peak in winter
every peak in one calendar winter
every peak twice in one calendar winter
every peak in every month (the 'Grid')
every peak in every month in one calendar year (a hiker named Sue Johnson has actually done this!)
every peak on Leap Day (February 29th)
every peak every year for 48 years
stand on each peak's summit at midnight
every peak via all maintained trails that go to the summit
diretissma (all peaks in a row via one big hike, including walking between trailheads)
solo
ski a portion of one trail on every peak
fastest in summer (fewest amount of days/hours)
fastest in winter (fewest amount of days/hours)
longest (most amount of years)
youngest person to finish
oldest person to finish
climb each peak twice in the same day (have fun on Owl's Head!)
barefoot
backwards
every peak from all points of the compass
every peak on your birthday
every peak on each day of the week
every peak as the finish to someone else's 4000-footer completion
every peak during a full moon
every peak on new years eve through the start of the next year
every peak during sunrise
every peak during sunset
every peak as part of a separate hike
carry something of personal importance to you across all summits
each peak as part of the Flags on the 48 event
each peak with a different person
hike if you are blind (this has already been accomplished!)
hike if you have one or more prosthetic legs
extreme ironing on each peak (yep, that's a real thing)

OTHER GREAT HIKING LISTS



There are several more Northeast hiking lists worth exploring. Here are the most popular ones:

4,000 Footers of New Hampshire in Winter = link
4,000 Footers of New England ('New England 4,000 Footers'; 67 peaks)
4,000 Footers of New York ('ADK 46ers'; 46 peaks)
4,000 Footers of the Northeast ('Northeast 115' or 'Northeast 111'; 115 peaks)
New Hampshire's 52 With-A-View ('52 WAV') = link
New England 100 Highest
The Terrifying 25 = link
NH Firetower Quest
Trailwrights 72
Catskill 3500

If you are interested in hiking New Hampshire's spectacular 52 With-A-View ('52 WAV') list, you can find an online guide here: link

If you are interested in hiking New Hampshire's challenging Terrifying 25 ('T25') list, you can find an online guide here: link

OTHER EXCELLENT MOUNTAINS/VIEWS



There are dozens of peaks in New Hampshire that are below 4000-feet that offer scenery and views as good (or even better) than many of the official 4000-footers:

Avalon
Baldface, North
Baldface, South
Bald Mountain & Artist Bluff
Bald Peak
Black (Benton)
Boulder Loop
Cardigan
Caribou Mountain
Cathedral Ledge
Chocorua
Crawford
Crawford Cliff
Cube
Doublehead, North
Hayes
Hedgehog
Imp Face
Iron
Kearsarge
Kearsarge North
Lowe's Bald Spot
Lucia's Lookout
Major
Magalloway
Martha/Cherry/Owl's Head
Middle Mountain (North Conway)
Moat Mountain, North
Moat Mountain, South
Monadnock
Morgan & Percival
North Pack Monadnock
Parker
Paugus
Peaked Mountain (North Conway)
Pemigewasset
Percy, North
Pine
Potash
Red Hill
Roberts
Rogers Ledge
Sandwich Dome
Shaw
Shelburne Moriah
Sister, Middle
Smarts
South Pack Monadnock
Square Ledge (Sandwich)
Stairs
Success
Sugarloaf, Middle
Sugarloaf, North
Sugarloaf (Nash Stream)
Table Rock
Webster
Welch & Dickey
West Rattlesnake
Willard

TOP 4000-FOOTER WEBSITES



These are the top websites on the internet dedicated to the 4000-footers of New Hampshire:

4000-FOOTER COMMUNITIES ON FACEBOOK



I highly recommend that you strongly consider joining these groups on Facebook. You will learn about the 4000-footers extremely quickly (through posts & pictures), and you will also get up-to-date trail conditions

4000-FOOTER LOG/SPREADSHEET



Click here to download a Microsoft Excel 4000-footer logbook/spreadsheet that you can use to track all your 4000-footer hikes (including fields for listing the dates & your hiking partners).

GUIDEBOOKS TO GET YOU THERE



The following guidebooks are trusted resources to help lead you to many or all of the 4000-footers of New Hampshire. Click on any book to read reviews and/or purchase on Amazon.com. I personally own (and love) each of these four guidebooks.









MAP OF THE 4000-FOOTERS



Feel free to save or print this .JPEG map that I have made to the 4,000-footers (which are marked in blue). I've also listed many other of the top attractions in the White Mountains with a red star. At some point in the near future, I hope to update this map to make it larger and include more of the best attractions of the White Mountains.

Map of the New Hampshire 4000-footers

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