HIKING THE 52-WITH-A-VIEW LIST (52 WAV)


view from the ledges on Middle Sugarloaf in Twin Mountain Black Mountain Cabin, Jackson Mt. Cardigan summit

Welcome to the Newenglandwaterfalls.com guide to hiking New Hampshire's 52-With-A-View list!

A group called the Over the Hill Hikers created the 52-With-A-View ('52 WAV') club as a way to draw attention to New Hampshire's great peaks that are between 2,500 and 4,000 feet in elevation. The idea was to create a new hiking list that would compliment the New Hampshire 4000-footers club. The idea caught on, and now hundreds of hikers have now completed this special journey.

After you hike all 52 mountains on the list, you can apply for a patch to formally acknowledge your achievement. Information on applying for the patch can be found here.

If your plan is to hike the 52 WAV, pick up a copy of the latest edition of these long-trusted and excellent guidebooks: AMC's White Mountain Guide and the AMC's Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide. These two guidebooks offer detailed instructions and maps to all but a few of the 52 peaks.

If you want to read an excellent non-fiction book that details the journey of two friends hiking the 52 WAV, check out The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie: A Hiking Journey of Discovery Through New Hampshire's "52 With a View" Mountain List




PEAK
(summit elevation)
LOCATION OVERALL VIEW / SCENIC RATING LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
(of the easiest route; see below for route)
CROWD
LEVEL
TRAIL INFO / TRAIL MAPS
AVALON
(3,442 feet)
US 302 / Crawford Notch 9
(Excellent)
Moderate Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
BALDFACE, NORTH
(3,610 feet)
NH 113 / Evans Notch 10
(Outstanding)
Very Difficult High AMC White Mountain Guide
BALDFACE, SOUTH
(3,570 feet)
NH 113 / Evans Notch 10
(Outstanding)
Very Difficult High AMC White Mountain Guide
BLACK-Benton
(2,830 feet)
Lime Kiln Road / Benton 10
(Outstanding)
Moderate Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
BLACK-Jackson
(2,757 feet)
Melloon Road / Carter Notch Road / Jackson 5
(Poor/Fair)
Moderate Low AMC White Mountain Guide
BLUEBERRY-Benton
(2,662 feet)
Long Pond Road / Benton 6
(Good)
Moderate Low AMC White Mountain Guide
CARDIGAN
(3,155 feet)
Alexandria & Orange
(several different trailheads)
10
(Outstanding)
Moderate Extremely High AMC Southern New Hampshire Guide
CHOCORUA
(3,500 feet)
NH 112 & NH 16 / Albany (several different trailheads) 10
(Outstanding)
Difficult Extremely High AMC White Mountain Guide
CRAWFORD
(3,119 feet)
US 302 / Crawford Notch 9
(Excellent)
Moderate / Difficult High AMC White Mountain Guide
CUBE
(2,909 feet)
NH 25A / Orford 9
(Excellent)
Moderate / Difficult Low AMC White Mountain Guide
DOUBLEHEAD, NORTH
(3,053 feet)
Dundee Road / Jackson 8
(Great)
Moderate Low AMC White Mountain Guide
EAGLE CRAG
(3,030 feet)
NH 113 / Evans Notch 7
(Good)
Difficult / Very Difficult Low AMC White Mountain Guide
EASTMAN
(2,939 feet)
NH 113 / Evans Notch 5
(Poor/Fair)
Moderate but long Low AMC White Mountain Guide
HAYES
(2,555 feet)
Hogan Road / US 2 / Gorham 8
(Great)
Moderate Low AMC White Mountain Guide
HEDGEHOG
(2,532 feet)
NH 112 / Kancamagus Highway 8
(Great)
Moderate Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
HIBBARD
(2,940 feet)
Old Mast Road / Ferncroft Road / NH 113A / Wonalancet 7
(Good)
Moderate Low AMC White Mountain Guide
HORN
(3,905 feet)
Mill Brook Road or York Pond Road / Berlin 6
(Good)
Difficult Low AMC White Mountain Guide
IMP FACE
(3,165 feet)
NH 16 / Pinkham Notch 8
(Great)
Moderate Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
IRON
(2,726 feet)
Iron Mountain Road / Jackson 9
(Excellent)
Moderate Low AMC White Mountain Guide
ISRAEL
(2,630 feet)
Diamond Ledge Road / Sandwich 8
(Great)
Moderate Low AMC White Mountain Guide
JENNINGS
(3,460 feet)
NH 49 / Waterville Valley
9
(Excellent)
Difficult Low AMC White Mountain Guide
KEARSARGE
(2,930 feet)
Winslow State Park & Rollins State Park / Warner 9
(Excellent)
Easy / Moderate Extremely High AMC Southern New Hampshire Guide
KEARSARGE NORTH
(3,268 feet)
Hurricane Mountain Road / North Conway 9
(Excellent)
Moderate / Difficult High AMC White Mountain Guide
MAGALLOWAY
(3,383 feet)
spur dirt road off Magalloway Road / Pittsburg 9
(Excellent)
Easy / Moderate Low 50 Hikes North of the White Mountains
MARTHA/CHERRY
(3,573 feet)
NH 115 / Twin Mountain 7
(Good)
Moderate Low AMC White Mountain Guide
MOAT, NORTH
(3,196 feet)
Dugway Road or West Side Road / North Conway 10
(Outstanding)
Difficult / Very Difficult Low/Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
MOAT, SOUTH
(2,770 feet)
Dugway Road or West Side Road / North Conway 10
(Outstanding)
Difficult Low/Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
MONADNOCK
(3,165 feet)
Mount Monadnock State Park / Jaffrey & Dublin 10
(Outstanding)
Moderate Extremely High AMC Southern New Hampshire Guide
PARKER
(3,004 feet)
Cobb Farm Road / US 302 / Crawford Notch 8
(Great)
Difficult Low AMC White Mountain Guide
PAUGUS
(3,198 feet)
NH 113A / Wonalancet 8
(Great)
Difficult Low AMC White Mountain Guide
PEMIGEWASSET
(2,557 feet)
US 3 / Franconia Notch 9
(Excellent)
Moderate Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
PERCY, NORTH
(3,430 feet)
Nash Stream Road / NH 110 / Stafford 10
(Outstanding)
Moderate Low AMC White Mountain Guide
POTASH
(2,680 feet)
NH 112 / Kancamagus Highway 8
(Great)
Moderate Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
RESOLUTION
(3,415 feet)
US 302 / Crawford Notch 7
(Good/Great)
Difficult Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
ROBERTS
(2,582 feet)
NH 171 / Castle in the Clouds / Moultonborough 9
(Excellent)
Moderate Moderate AMC Southern New Hampshire Guide & the LRCT Map
ROYCE, WEST
(3,210 feet)
NH 113 / Evans Notch 5
(Poor/Fair)
Moderate Low AMC White Mountain Guide
SANDWICH DOME
(3,980 feet)
NH 49 / Waterville Valley 7
(Good)
Difficult Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
SHAW
(2,990 feet)
NH 171 / Castle in the Clouds / Moultonborough 8
(Great)
Moderate / Difficult Low AMC Southern New Hampshire Guide & the LRCT Map
SHELBURNE MORIAH
(3,735 feet)
US 2 / Shelburne 8
(Great)
Difficult Low AMC White Mountain Guide
SISTER, MIDDLE
(3,340 feet)
NH 112 & NH 16 / Albany 10
(Outstanding)
Difficult / Very Difficult Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
SMARTS
(3,238 feet)
Lyme-Dorchester Rd / Lyme 10
(Outstanding)
Difficult Low AMC White Mountain Guide
SQUARE LEDGE-Sandwich
(2,620 feet)
NH 112 / Sandwich 8
(Great)
Moderate but long Low AMC White Mountain Guide
STAIRS
(3,463 feet)
US 302 / Crawford Notch 8
(Great)
Difficult Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
STARR KING
(3,907 feet)
US 2 / Jefferson 7
(Good)
Moderate but long Moderate AMC White Mountain Guide
STINSON
(2,900 feet)
Lower Doe Town Road / Rumney 8
(Great)
Moderate Low AMC White Mountain Guide
SUCCESS
(3,565 feet)
Success Pond Road / Berlin 8
(Great)
Moderate / Difficult Low AMC White Mountain Guide
SUGARLOAF-Stratford
(3,710 feet)
Nash Stream Road / NH 110 / Stratford 8
(Great)
Moderate Low AMC White Mountain Guide
SUGARLOAF-Twin Mtn
(2,539 feet)
Zealand Road / US 302 / Twin Mountain 9
(Excellent)
Moderate High AMC White Mountain Guide
TREMONT
(3,371 feet)
US 302 / Bartlett 8
(Great)
Moderate / Difficult Low AMC White Mountain Guide
WEBSTER
(3,910 feet)
US 302 / Crawford Notch 9
(Excellent)
Moderate / Difficult High AMC White Mountain Guide
WELCH & DICKEY
(2,734 feet)
Orris Rd / NH 49 / Waterville Valley 10
(Outstanding)
Moderate Extremely High AMC White Mountain Guide
WILLARD
(2,865 feet)
US 302 / Crawford Notch 9
(Excellent)
Easy / Moderate Extremely High AMC White Mountain Guide

Take note that there are two peaks that were formerly on the 52 With-A-View List. Mt. Carr was replaced by Black Mountain (Jackson) in 2001 and Mt. Wolf was replaced by Mt. Roberts in 2010.

view of the main summit of Mt. Cardigan as seen from the south summit
view of the main summit of Mt. Cardigan as seen from the south summit

TIPS FOR HIKING THE 52 WITH-A-VIEW LIST



1. BUG SEASON - Unless you are a masochist, avoid hiking the 52 WAV in New Hampshire from late-May through early July. This is black fly season and they can be absolutely intolerable (think Alaskan mosquito-bad). You can try to use bug spray or DEET-based products, but they don't always work well for all people. If you absolutely must hike during this time-frame, do yourself a favor and consider getting a wide-brimmed hat and a mesh bug net.
2. TRAIL CONDITIONS - Review Trailsnh.com to obtain the latest in trail conditions (especially in winter and early spring, when snow & ice conditions can be highly variable).
3. READ GUIDEBOOKS - Buy the revelent hiking guidebooks and actually read each relevant chapter before you take your hiking trip. You'll understand potential dangers and also make sure you don't miss any scenic views or other interesting diversions along the way.
4. USE TREKKING POLES - Save your knees so that you can still hike when you are in your 70's (tip: use trekking poles 100% of the time).
5. LEAVE A NOTE - Always leave a note or tell someone which trails and mountains you will be hiking (too many people get lost and/or injured in the mountains of New Hampshire).
6. BEWARE OF BREAK-INS - Don't leave anything valuable in your car (unfortunately, too many break-ins have occurred in New Hampshire).
7. GET CREATIVE - Learn the value of hitch-hiking, using a car-spot, and/or mountain biking between trailheads (note: a traverse is almost always more interesting than an out-and-back hike).
8. START HIKING EARLY - Start your hikes early (i.e. before 7:30am) to beat most of the crowds on the popular peaks.
9. REVIEW MAPS - Study hiking maps because they can help you become creative in the routes you take. You don't always have to take the easiest or most-straightforward trails.
10. HIKE IN SEPTEMBER - Mid-week September hiking is amazing. Hike at least once during this time-frame (call out sick from work if you have to).
11. CARRY APPROPRIATE FOOD - Carry the appropriate type and amount of food based on the season you are hiking in (some foods will melt in summer, and some foods become rock-solid in winter) and the length of your hike.
12. REFUEL - Attack some great local restaurants after at least some of the hikes (or all of them). You've earned it. In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, many of the best restaurants are found in the towns of North Conway, Jackson, Lincoln and Woodstock.
13. VISIT THE MOUNTAIN WANDERER - Introduce yourself to Steve Smith at the Mountain Wanderer in Lincoln at some point (there aren't many people as passionate about New Hampshire's trails as he is).
14. GET AN REI MEMBERSHIP - Purchase a $20 REI membership to save 8-10% on all full-price REI purchases for the rest of your life (you have no idea how much time you'll probably spend at their stores and on rei.com). Also, strongly consider applying for the REI credit card (you can earn hundreds of dollars in dividends each year if you use this credit card as your primary card for your non-REI purchases).
15. BLUEBIRD DAYS - Do the great mountains on the bluebird days, and the less interesting mountains on the overcast or lousy-weather days.
16. PEAK FOLIAGE - Don't miss hiking some of the 52 WAV during peak fall foliage in early October.
17. GET SOME ELECTROLYTES - Bring some Gatorade (or something similar) to get some electrolytes into your system.
18. VITAMIN I - Ibuprofen can be extremely helpful in controlling pain and/or reducing swelling.
19. ADVERSE WEATHER - New Hampshire's mountains can be nasty (even deadly) in adverse weather conditions. Snow and ice can also be very problematic, sometimes as early as early October and often extending well into May. .
20. MEETUP.COM - If you are short on hiking partners, consider joining a Meetup hiking group (there are several groups and they always have good hikes planned) or ask for partners on a Facebook hiking 'group'.
21. WILDERNESS FIRST AID - Take a wilderness first aid course to prepare you in case something goes wrong.
22. CATCH A SUNRISE OR SUNSET - Catch a sunset or sunrise from a mountain top or above treeline (bring at least one headlamp to help you get down safely).
23. TREAT WATER - Always treat water before drinking it (use iodine, boil, or use a filter). You don't want to risk catching giardia, even though many hikers believe the risk of catching it in moving streams is relatively low.
24. BRING A REAL CAMERA - Don't forget your camera, and remember to label the pictures after you are done with each hike (you'll want to capture these moments). A real point-and-shoot or DSLR camera is recommended instead of taking pictures with your smart-phone. The reason is because the camera resolution on your smart-phone will not look good on tablet and computer monitors 10 or 20 years from now. Photos from smart-phones generally don't print or enlarge very well, either.
25. AMC WHITE MOUNTAIN GUIDE - The AMC White Mountain Guide literally describes every single trail in the White Mountains. There are no pictures in this guidebook, but it's the finest and most accurate hiking guidebook on the planet. In fact, it's widely known as the 'Hikers Bible'.
26. 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).

view from the Webster Cliff Trail south of the summit of Mt. Webster
view from the Webster Cliff Trail south of the summit of Mt. Webster

STANDARD HIKING ROUTES



Here are the most common routes used to hike each of the 52 WAV, along with their mileage and elevation gain. However, please keep in mind that many of these peaks offer one (or more) alternate trails, some of which offer better scenery and/or fewer crowds than the standard route.
  • AVALON = US 302 trailhead > Avalon Trail > short spur trail to summit
    • 3.8 miles round-trip; 1,600ft gain; moderate
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  • BALDFACE, NORTH = US 113 trailhead > Baldface Circle Trail > South Baldface summit > Baldface Circle Trail > North Baldface summit > Baldface Circle Trail > end; consider also adding Eagle Crag (adds 0.2 mile round trip)
    • 9.8 mile clockwise loop; 3,600ft gain; very difficult
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  • BALDFACE, SOUTH = US 113 trailhead > Baldface Circle Trail > South Baldface > Baldface Circle Trail > North Baldface > Baldface Circle Trail > end; consider also adding Eagle Crag (adds 0.2 mile round trip)
    • 9.8 mile clockwise loop; 3,600ft gain; very difficult
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  • BLACK-Benton = Lime Kiln Road trailhead > Chippewa Trail > summit
    • 3.6 miles round-trip; 1,550ft gain; moderate
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  • BLACK-Jackson = Melloon Road trailhead > Black Mountain Ski Trail > summit
    • 3.2 miles round-trip; 1,500ft gain; moderate
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  • BLUEBERRY-Benton = Long Pond Road trailhead > Blueberry Mountain Trail > summit
    • 3.6 miles round-trip; 1,100ft gain; moderate
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  • CARDIGAN = there are a half-dozen popular ways to climb this mountain, but here are the two standard routes:
    • From the West: Mount Cardigan State Park trailhead > West Ridge Trail > summit
      • 3.0 miles round-trip; 1,250ft gain; moderate
    • From the East: AMC Cardigan Lodge Trailhead > Manning Trail > Holt Trail > Holt-Clark Cutoff > Clark Trail > Mt. Cardigan summit > Mowglis Trail > Manning Trail > end
      • 5.5 mile loop; 1,950ft gain; moderate/difficult
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  • CHOCORUA = there are a half-dozen popular ways to climb this mountain, but here are the two standard routes:
    • From the North: Kancamagus Highway trailhead > Champney Falls Trail > Piper Trail > summit
      • 7.6 miles round-trip; 2,300ft gain; difficult
    • From the East: Piper Trail Road trailhead > Piper Trail > summit
      • 8.6 miles round-trip; 2,700ft gain; difficult/very difficult
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  • CRAWFORD = US 302 trailhead > Davis Path > spur trail to summit
    • 5.0 miles round-trip; 2,100ft gain; moderate/difficult
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  • CUBE = NH25A trailhead > Appalachian Trail > summit
    • 6.8 miles round-trip; 2,100ft gain; moderate/difficult
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  • DOUBLEHEAD, NORTH = Dundee Road trailhead > Doublehead Ski Trail > Doublehead Cabin > spur trail to views behind Doublehead Cabin > Old Path > New Path > South Doublehead summit > New Path > short road walk > end
    • 4.0 mile clockwise loop; 1,800ft gain; moderate
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  • EAGLE CRAG = this summit is typically added as part of a loop over the Baldfaces
    • 10.0 mile clockwise loop; 3,650ft gain, including both Badlfaces and Eagle Crag; difficult / very difficult
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  • EASTMAN = Slippery Brook Road trailhead > Slipper Brook Trail > Eastman Mountain Trail > summit
    • 9.3 miles round-trip; 1,600ft gain; moderate but long
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  • HAYES = Hogan Road trailhead > Mahoosuc Trail > summit
    • 5.0 miles round-trip; 1,750ft gain; moderate
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  • HEDGEHOG = NH 112 trailhead > UNH Trail > summit > UNH Trail > end
    • 4.8 mile counterclockwise loop; 1,350ft gain; moderate
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  • HIBBARD = Old Mast Road > Wonalancet Range Trail > summit
    • 5.4 miles round-trip; 1,800ft gain; moderate
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  • HORN = this mountain is most commonly hiked with Mt. Cabot (a 4000-footer) via the following loop: York Pond Road trailhead > York Pond Trail > Bunnell Notch Trail > Kilkenny Ridge Trail > Mt. Cabot summit > Kilkienny Ridge Trail > spur to The Horn > The Horn summit > spur to The Horn > Kilkenny Ridge Trail > Uknown Pond Trail > short roadwalk > end
    • 11.0 mile clockwise loop; 2,900ft gain; difficult/very difficult
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  • IMP FACE = NH 16 trailhead > Imp Trail > summit
    • 4.4 miles round-trip; 1,850ft gain; moderate
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  • IRON = Iron Mountain Road trailhead > Iron Mountain Trail > summit > south cliffs
    • 3.2 miles round-trip; 850ft gain; moderate
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  • ISRAEL = Diamond Ledge Road trailhead > Wentworth Trail > summit
    • 4.2 miles round-trip; 1,700ft gain; moderate
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  • JENNINGS = this mountain is most commonly hiked with Sandwich Dome via the following semi-loop: NH 49 trailhead > Sandwich Mountain Trail > short spur trail to Jennings Peak > Sandwich Mountain Trail > Sandwich Dome summit > Sandwich Mountain Trail > Drakes Brook Trail > end
    • 8.4 mile counter-clockwise semi-loop; 2,600ft gain; difficult
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  • KEARSARGE = Winslow State Park trailhead > Barlow Trail > summit > Winslow Trail > end
    • 2.8 mile clockwise loop; 1,100ft gain; easy/moderate
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  • KEARSARGE NORTH = Hurricane Mountain Road trailhead > Mount Kearsarge North Trail > summit
    • 6.2 miles round-trip; 2,600ft gain; moderate/difficult
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  • MAGALLOWAY = spur dirt road off Magalloway Road > Coot Trail > summit
    • 1.8 miles round-trip; 800ft gain; easy/moderate
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  • MARTHA/CHERRY = NH 115 trailhead > Cherry Mountrain Trail > spur trail to summit
    • 3.8 miles round-trip, 1,900ft gain; moderate
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  • MOAT, NORTH = West Side Road trailhead > Moat Mountain Trail > Red Ridge Trail > Moat Mountain Trail > North Moat Mountain summit > Moat Mountrain Trail > end
    • 10.2 mile clockwise loop; 2,800ft gain; difficult/very difficult
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  • MOAT, SOUTH = Dugway Road trailhead > Moat Mountain Trail > summit
    • 7.8 miles round trip; 2,150ft gain; difficult
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  • MONADNOCK = there are a dozen or so different ways to climb this mountain, but here's the standard route: Mount Monadnock State Park trailhead > White Dot Trail > summit > White Dot Trail > White Cross Trail > White Dot Trail > end
    • 4.2 mile counterclockwise semi-loop; 1,800ft gain; moderate
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  • PARKER = Cobb Farm Road trailhead > Mt. Langdon Trail > Mt. Parker Trail > summit
    • 7.8 miles round trip; 2,550ft gain; difficult
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  • PAUGUS = NH 113A Trailhead > Cabin Trail > Lawrence Trail > Old Paugus Trail > Big Rock Cave Trail > Cabin Trail > end
    • 8.2 mile clockwise loop; 2,600ft gain; difficult
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  • PEMIGEWASSET = Flume Visitor Center trailhead > Mount Pemigewasset Trail > summit
    • 3.6 miles round-trip; 1,250ft gain; moderate
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  • PERCY, NORTH = Nash Stream Road trailhead > Percy Peaks Trail > summit
    • 4.4 miles round-trip; 2,200ft gain; moderate
    • Special Note: The trailhead can be tough to spot. Look for a few parking spots on the right hand-side and an almost-hidden trail sign.
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  • POTASH = NH 112 trailhead > Mount Potash Trail > summit
    • 3.8 miles round-trip; 1,400ft gain; moderate
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  • RESOLUTION = US 302 trailhead > Davis Path > Mt. Parker Trail > summit
    • 8.4 miles round-trip; 2,600ft gain; difficult
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  • ROBERTS = Ossipee Park Road trailhead (across from the Castle Springs bottling plant) > short road walk > Mt. Roberts Trail > summit
    • 5.0 miles round-trip; 1,300ft gain; moderate
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  • ROYCE, WEST = NH 113 trailhead > East Royce Trail > northern viewpoint of East Royce > East Royce Trail > Royce Connector Trail > Royce Trail > Basin Rim Trail > West Royce Mountain summit
    • 6.2 miles round-trip; 1,800ft gain; moderate
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  • SANDWICH DOME = NH 49 trailhead > Sandwich Mountain Trail > short spur trail to Jennings Peak > Sandwich Mountain Trail > Sandwich Dome summit > Sandwich Mountain Trail > Drakes Brook Trail > end
    • 8.4 mile counterclockwise semi-loop; 2,600ft gain; difficult
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  • SHAW = there are several ways to climb this peak, but there is no known good trail map that shows all the routes; these links will be helpful in designing your trip: link #1 and link #2
    • distance varies based upon route selected; minimum of 2,000ft gain; moderate/difficult
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  • SHELBURNE MORIAH = US 2 trailhead > Rattle River Trail > Kenduskeag Trail > summit
    • 11.2 miles round-trip; 3,200ft gain; difficult
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  • SISTER, MIDDLE = there are several popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. The following is recommended: trailhead off NH 16 > Piper Trail > Nickerston Ledge Trail > Carter Ledge Trail > Middle Sister Trail > Middle Sister summit > Piper Trail > Mt. Chocorua summit > Liberty Trail > Hammond Trail > Weetamoo Trail > Piper Trail > end
    • 9.5 mile counterclockwise loop; 3,000 ft gain; difficult/very difficult
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  • SMARTS = Lyme-Dorchester Road trailhead > Lambert Ridge Trail/Appalachian Trail > combined Ranger Trail/Lambert Ridge Trail > summit/firetower > combined Ranger Trail/Lambert Ridge Trail > Ranger Trail > end
    • 7.8 mile clockwise loop; 2,400ft gain; difficult
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  • SQUARE LEDGE-Sandwich = there are several popular ways to climb this mountain, and so there's really no standard route. Here's one popular option: NH 112 trailhead > Oliverian Brook Trail > Passaconaway Cutoff > Square Ledge Trail > Square Ledge > Square Ledge Trail > Square Ledge Branch Trail > Oliverian Brook Trail
    • 8.5 mile counterclockwise loop; 1,350ft gain; moderate but long
    • Special Note: This peak is typically closed from April 1st until August 1st due to peregrin falcon nesting.
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  • STAIRS = US 302 trailhead > Davis Path > spur trail to summit
    • 9.2 miles round-trip; 2,800ft gain; difficult
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  • STARR KING = this mountain is most commonly hiked with Mt. Waumbek (a 4000-footer) via the following route: Starr King Road trailhead > Starr King Trail > summit of Starr King > Starr King Trail > summit of Mt. Waumbek
    • 7.2 miles round-trip; 2,650ft gain; moderate but long
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  • STINSON = Lower Doe Town Road trailhead > Stinson Mountain Trail > summit
    • 3.6 miles round-trip; 1,400ft gain; moderate
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  • SUCCESS = Success Pond Road trailhead > Succecss Trail > Mahoosuc Trail > summit
    • 6.0 miles round-trip; 1,950ft gain; moderate/difficult
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  • SUGARLOAF-Stratford = Nash Stream Road trailhead > Sugarloaf Mountain Trail > summit
    • 4.2 miles round-trip; 2,200ft gain; moderate
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  • SUGARLOAF-Twin Mtn = Zealand Road trailhead > Sugarloaf Trail > North Sugarloaf summit > Sugarloaf Trail > Middle Sugarloaf summit
    • 3.4 miles round-trip; 1,100ft gain; moderate
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  • TREMONT = US 302 trailhead > Mount Tremont Trail > summit
    • 5.6 miles round-trip; 2,550ft gain; moderate/difficult
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  • WEBSTER = US 302 trailhead > Webster-Jackson Trail > Webster Cliff Trail > summit
    • 5.0 miles round-trip; 2,100ft gain; moderate/difficult
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  • WELCH & DICKEY = Orris Rd trailhead > Welch-Dickey Loop Trail > Welch summit > Welch-Dickey Loop Trail > Dickey summit > Welch-Dickey Loop Trail > end
    • 4.4 mile counterclockwise loop; 1,800 feet of elevation gain; moderate
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  • WILLARD = US 302 trailhead > Avalon Trail/Mount Willard Trail > Mount Willard Trail > summit
    • 3.2 miles round-trip; 900ft gain; moderate
If you suspect there are any errors in the above information, please email me @ gparsons66@hotmail.com or leave a Facebook comment at the bottom of this page.

Also, there are several alternate routes for most of the mountains listed above. Consult the AMC White Mountain Guide or AMC Southern NH Guide for detailed descriptions of all the hiking routes on these peaks.

ledges on the Welch-Dickey loop
ledges on the Welch-Dickey loop

FAVORITE WAV PEAKS



Here are the 52 WAV peaks that are often considered the best. The views on each of these peaks range from excellent to downright outstanding.
  • Black Mountain-Benton
  • Cardigan - the best peak in central NH
  • Chocorua
  • Crawford
  • Kearsarge North - the second best firetower on the 52 WAV
  • Monandock - the best peak in southern NH
  • North Baldface - tied for the best view of all the 52 WAV peaks
  • North Moat - tied for the best view of all the 52 WAV peaks
  • Percy, North
  • Roberts - favorite trailhead
  • Smarts Mountain - the best firetower on the 52 WAV
  • South Baldface
  • Sugarloaf-Twin Mountain
  • Webster
  • Welch & Dickey - the best 52 WAV loop for beginners
  • Willard - the best 52 WAV for snowshoeing
views from near the summit of South Baldface
views from near the summit of South Baldface

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF HIKING THE 52 WAV



Here are some general tips to help you make the most of your journey to hike the 52 With a View list.
  • Black - make advance reservations to stay in the the USFS cabin below the summit
  • Black - in good snow conditions, you can ski or snowboard from the USFS cabin almost all the way back to the trailhead
  • Cardigan - don't miss more excellent (and less crowded) views from the South Summit
  • Cardigan - rent the AMC High Cabin exclusively (capacity=12)
  • Cardigan - consider doing the scramble up the very steep (but also very fun) Holt Trail
  • Chocorua - don't miss more excellent (and less crowded) views from nearby Middle Sister
  • Chocorua - hike all the different routes on this excellent mountain
  • Chocorua - hike the Champney Falls Trail after recent rains to see Champney Falls in all its glory
  • Chocorua - stay at night at the Jim Liberty Cabin or the shelter at Camp Penacook
  • Doublehead - don't miss the good views from behind the cabin and also the excellent views between North & South Doublehead
  • Doublehead - make advance reservations to stay in the the USFS cabin below the summit.
  • Doublehead - in good snow conditions, you can ski or snowboard from the USFS cabin almost all the way back to the trailhead
  • Eagle Crag - snag this peak when doing a loop hike of the Baldfaces
  • Horn - visit soon because the views are becoming obstructed by fast-growing trees
  • Horn - backpack to the tentsites at Unknown Pond
  • Horn - combines nicely with a loop hike of both Mt. Cabot and Unknown Pond
  • Iron - enjoy the beautiful view of Mt. Washington from the trailhead (people sometimes get married here, myself included!)
  • Iron - make sure to continue past the summit for excellent views from open ledges
  • Jennings - combine with Sandwich Dome to grab two 52 WAV peaks in one hike
  • Kearsarge North - bring a picnic for the enclosed firetower
  • Magalloway - reserve a night (or two) in the Watchman's Cabin below the firetower
  • Middle Sister - combine with a hike of Mt. Chocorua
  • Moat, North - consider a (9.7 mile) traverse of North, Middle & South Moat if you have two vehicles available.
  • Monandock - hike the lesser-used trails on the mountain (such as the Pumpelly Trail); here's a great trail map
  • Monadnock - learn about and try to find the secret spots on this beloved mountain
  • North Baldface - combine with South Baldface for an outstanding loop
  • North Baldface - take a dip in Emerald Pool (one of the finest swimming holes in the Northeast)
  • North Baldface - stay a night at the Baldface Shelter
  • North Percy - stay a night at the Percy Tentsite
  • North Percy - follow a herd path to the summit of South Percy
  • Roberts - refer to the Lakes Region Conservation Trust trail map (which can be hard to find) to see the various loop options available here
  • Roberts - make sure to take all the spur trails to catch the best views
  • Sandwich Dome - don't miss the great views from nearby Jennings Peak
  • Shaw - in addition to the trails seen on the Lakes Region Conservation Trust trail map (which can be hard to find), there are other popular hiking trails that are not shown
  • Smarts - climb to the top of the firetower for outstanding views (the tower was reopened in 2016)
  • Smarts - stay a night in the Smarts Mountain Shelter
  • South Baldface - take a dip in Emerald Pool (one of the finest swimming holes in the Northeast)
  • South Baldface - stay a night at the Baldface Shelter
  • South Baldface - combine with North Baldface for an outstanding loop
  • Square Ledge-Sandwich - this peak is typically closed from April 1st through August 1st due to nesting peregrin falcons
  • Starr King - hike an additional 1.0 mile (one way) to Mt. Waumbek and then check out the great views 0.1 mile past its summit
  • Success - go off-trail to find the remains of a 1954 aircraft crash near the summit
  • Sugarloaf-Twin Mountain - don't miss the awesome views from both Middle and North Sugarloaf
  • Webster - the most scenic route to the peak is via the Webster Cliff Trail from the south
  • Webster - combine with a trip to Mt. Jackson and/or Mt. Pierce (these are two of the NH 4,000-footers)
  • West Royce - combine with East Royce, which has better views (especially if you follow a herd path to the north)
  • Willard - this is an outstanding beginner/intermediate snowshoe hike
Have any other tips on hiking the 52 WAV that you'd like to share with everyone? Please email your tips to gparsons66@hotmail.com or leave a Facebook comment at the bottom of this page.

views north from Middle Sister
views north from Middle Sister

EASIEST 52 WAV PEAKS



Here are the easist peaks to climb on the 52 With a View list.
  • Black (Benton)
  • Cardigan (from the west side)
  • Iron
  • Kearsarge
  • Magalloway
  • Pemigewasset
  • Sugarloaf (Twin Mountain)
  • Willard
Of all these peaks, Willard is probably the easiest hike overall. Magalloway is also easy, but it is one heck of a long drive to get there for most hikers.

Mt. Cardigan's summit
Mt. Cardigan's summit

BACKPACKING THE 52 WAV LIST



Here are all known official backpacking opportunities on the 52 With A View hiking list. Keep in mind that you can also camp pretty much anywhere you want in the White Mountain National Forest so long as you follow strict rules (i.e. a certain number of feet from the trail, from water sources, etc.) and also use LNT principles. The list below simply represents the established shelters and tent-sites:
  • Baldface, North - Baldface Shelter (off the southern leg of the Baldface Circle Trail)
  • Baldface, South - Baldface Shelter (off the southern leg of the Baldface Circle Trail)
  • Black Mountain (Jackson) - Black Mountain Cabin (reservations are required; rented exclusively)
  • Cardigan - AMC High Cabin (reservations are required; rented exclusively; sleeps 12)
  • Cardigan - Crag Shelter (off the Mowglis Trail)
  • Chocorua - Jim Liberty Cabin (off the Liberty Trail)
  • Chocorua - Penacook Cabin (off the Piper Trail)
  • Cube - Hexacube Shelter (off the Kodak Trail)
  • Doublehead, North - Doublehead Cabin (reservations are required; rented exclusively)
  • Eagle Crag - Baldface Shelter (off the southern leg of the Baldface Circle Trail)
  • Eastman - Baldface Shelter (off the southern leg of the Baldface Circle Trail)
  • Horn - Unknown Pond Tentsite (no shelter)
  • Imp Face - Imp Shelter & Tentsite (although this is well above the Imp Face)
  • Kearsage North - firetower
  • Magalloway - Magalloway Cabin (reservations are required; rented exclusively)
  • Parker - Mt. Langdon Shelter
  • Percy, North - Percy Tentsite (no shelter)
  • Shelburne Moriah - Rattle River Shelter
  • Sister, Middle - Jim Liberty Cabin (off the Liberty Trail)
  • Sister, Middle - Penacook Cabin (off the Piper Trail)
  • Smarts - Smarts Mountain Shelter & Tentsite
  • Stairs - Stairs Mountain Tentsite (no shelter)
  • Success - Gentian Pond Shelter & Tentsite
  • Success - Carlo Col Shelter & Tentsite
  • Webster - AMC Mizpah Hut (reservations are required)
  • Webster - Nauman Tentsite (no shelter)
views from the firetower atop Kearsarge North in North Conway
views from the firetower atop Kearsarge North in North Conway

MORE GREAT PEAKS BELOW 4,000 FEET



There are many other great peaks in New Hampshire that are below 4,000 feet in elevation and are NOT currently on the 52 WAV list for one reason or another. Don't miss these hiking classics:
  • Bald Mountain & Artist Bluff (near northern end of Franconia Notch)
  • Boulder Loop (eastern side of the Kancamagus Highway)
  • Caribou Mountain (near the northern end of Evans Notch)
  • Cathedral Ledge (off West Side Road in North Conway)
  • Crawford Cliff (Beans Grant, near Mt. Pierce)
  • Lowe's Bald Spot (Pinkham Notch)
  • Lucia's Lookout (Goshen)
  • Middle Mountain (North Conway)
  • Mount Major (Alton Bay)
  • Mount Morgan & Mount Percival (Squam Lake area)
  • North Pack Monandock (Greenfield)
  • Peaked Mountain (North Conway)
  • Pine Mountain (Gorham)
  • Red Hill (Moultonborough)
  • Rogers Ledge (Kilkenny Township)
  • South Pack Monandock (Peterborough)
  • Table Rock (Dixville Notch)
  • West Rattlesnake (Squam Lake area)
Do you know of any other peaks below 4,000 that should be included in the above list? If you do, please email gparsons66@hotmail.com or leave a Facebook comment at the bottom of this page.

Black Mountain Cabin, Jackson
USFS Black Mountain Cabin, Jackson

summit of Mt. Chocorua
summit of Mt. Chocorua

summit of Kearsarge (South)
summit of Kearsarge (South)

views from the ledges on Middle Sugarloaf in Twin Mountain
views from the ledges on Middle Sugarloaf in Twin Mountain

summit of North Moat Mountain
summit of North Moat Mountain

view from Smarts Mountain firetower
view from the Smarts Mountain firetower

views from North Percy Peak
some of the views from North Percy Peak

views from ledges on Mt. Roberts
views along the Mt. Roberts Trail on Mt. Roberts (1.3 miles from parking area)

HELPFUL LINKS



Here are some helpful links covering the 52 WAV:
  • 52 WAV Map = link
  • 52 WAV Trip Reports = link
  • 52 WAV Photos = link
  • 52 WAV Trail Conditions = link
  • 52 WAV Printable Checklist = link
  • 52 WAV Group on Facebook = link
  • Over The Hill Hikers = link
  • The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie: A Hiking Journey of Discovery Through New Hampshire's 52-With-a-View Mountain List = link

HIKING GUIDEBOOKS



The following two guidebooks are the most trusted resources that will guide you to all but a few of the 52 WAV peaks in New Hampshire. Click on either book to read reviews and/or to purchase them on Amazon.com. I personally own (and love) each of these two guidebooks.











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