Hiking the Great Whites
The White Mountains of New Hampshire are a hiker’s paradise. Too often overshadowed by bigger mountain ranges, such as the Rockies, and more famous natural locations, such as the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone, the White Mountains sit quietly in the Northeast of the United States, waiting to be explored. Those who know about them however, cannot get enough, and once you have paid a visit to the White Mountains, you may find that they are an addiction that is hard to kick.
Visiting the White Mountains
Where to Stay: When visiting the White Mountains, your best bet for accommodation is the nearby city of North Conway. Hotels, motels, and hostels range in price and luxury, depending on your specific style. You will be able to find anything that you need in this area. Alternatively, you can camp in any number of sites, both in this area, and in White Mountain National Forest.
Where to Eat: This area has something of a reputation for fine dining. The Stonehurst Manor in particular features award-winning foods and wines that many say are the best in the state.
What to Do: When you are done with hiking for the day, you probably want to kick back and relax, but if you would like to do this with a beer in hand, there are a lot of great bars in the area. If you are there with your family, there are also a lot of family-friendly attractions, such as Ruggles Mine or the State Capitol.
Now let’s get down to the important details. That is, which White Mountain hikes stand out from the rest. Here are three of the best in a location that is saturated with exciting hikes and breathtaking views.
Length: 10 miles
Put the hike to the Mount Chocorua summit at the top of your list for this trip. It is a challenging hike, but for the experienced hiker, it should not be too troublesome. One of the best things about this hike is the ability to complete it in less than a day. And if you are fast, you can be back in time for lunch. There are great views throughout, but nothing will prepare you for the summit, which opens up into a beautiful panorama of the White Mountains. Be sure to bring cash for the trailhead, as parking there will cost $3 per car, per day.
Length: 4 miles
Perhaps you don’t have the time to hike Mount Chocorua, or maybe you don’t have the energy, but that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the chance to get some pictures from the summit of a White Mountain peak. At just four miles round trip, Mount Potash will only take you a few hours to complete, but the views at the finish line are equally rewarding. Watch out for the steep ledges along the way though!
Boulder Loop Trail
Length: 2.8 miles
Boulder Loop is often cited as a must-hike by visitors to the White Mountains. You will find that you can accomplish it in a relatively short amount of time however, as the trail is under three miles long, and not too strenuous for anyone who is in adequate hiking condition. There are a few steep parts, but for the most part you can take a steady pace and enjoy the scenery. Visit it in the winter, and you can do the trail on snowshoe.