View Full Version : White Mountain winter hikes

08-26-2010, 11:24 AM
Hey everyone, I won't be back in the mountains again until winter time, so I was wondering if you could recommend any good winter hikes. I've never been winter hiking before but I'd really like to give it a try. I'd like to do just day hikes and even bag a 4000 footer if possible (but perhaps I should start smaller haha). I plan on buying crampons for my boots, but I've read that they are not always necessary for day-hikes. I'm sure it's good to have them just in case.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

08-26-2010, 01:12 PM
If you wanna start with something small, Arethusa Falls is a great winter hike and you might get to see ice climbers on the frozen falls. Mt Willard is short and sweet. And if you do decide to do a 4000 footer, Jackson was great! Exposed at the top, so you'll want to go when the winds aren't too heavy. Lonesome Lake is a great hike also, and you can hike across the lake to the hut, which is open in the winter.

08-26-2010, 08:06 PM
The list of great winter hikes in the Whites is nearly endless. We started winter hiking just a few years ago and fell in love with it. We got our first few winter 4Ks this year and those were fantastic. To date our gear has only gone as far as snowshoes and microspikes - no crampons. I'd try to list our favorites but all the ones we've done so far would be on the list. Lonesome Lake is definitely a great one for a starter as is Mt Willard. Kearsarge North was a great one last winter as well. Some of our first winter hiking was at Mt Cardigan (not technically in the Whites). We've stayed at the lodge twice in the winter and loved it. The ledges on Cardigan definitely call for either crampons or microspikes (we used microspikes last winter) but you can also do really nice out-and-backs to below the summits of both Firescrew and Cardigan without getting out onto the ice. Most of our winter hikes from the last few years are here: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42 (sorry, you'll have to wade through all the rest of the albums and find album covers with snow). Just a note - if you don't have gear and want to try out winter hiking (and have a nice place to stay in the process) spend a weekend at AMC Cardigan Lodge or Highland Center. Both provide free loaner gear (snowshoes) and are in perfect locations for into winter hikes.

08-28-2010, 01:37 PM
I love North Kearsarge - but Pierce seems to be a favorite for lots of folks.

08-31-2010, 08:50 AM
I think there are some great suggestions here (that I certainly want to try in the winter) like Arethusa and Willard. Cardigan sounds like a great winter one too, which I had never thought about before.

My first winter hike, and please understand I haven't gone on many, was Boulder Loop off the Kanc. That was a great little loop for me starting out in the winter. Certainly a different experience than in the summer. (TR for this is here - http://www.hikenewengland.com/BoulderLoopNH100214.html).

I'm sure N. Kearsarge and Pierce are incredible in the winter too...I just have to try to tackle them in the snow free months first before I can comment! :)


Snow Miser
08-31-2010, 10:38 AM
Karl, Boulder Loop in your TR looks really nice. Any hike no matter how short or long during winter is GREAT!

08-31-2010, 08:10 PM
Actually another great way to find winter hikes in the Whites (which we used this winter) is 52 With A View. http://www.mv.com/ipusers/fs/hike/lists/52view.html Many of these are short-ish hikes and as the name says, they all have great views. The web site is good since it has photos from multiple hikes for each and many are winter. We've done about a dozen of these and they've all been great. Kearsarge North, Cardigan and Starr King were the ones from that list we did this winter.