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Thread: Franconia Loop Hike

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    Default Franconia Loop Hike

    My wife and I are going to be hiking weekend after next and would like to do what I have heard called the Franconia Loop. What I can't seem to find is a definitive description of this hike. I know it's obviously described somewhere but cannot locate it. Would someone please either point me in the right direction or simply tell me what trails comprise this loop hike?
    Thanks in advance.
    Russ

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    I'm doing this hike on Saturday, and can post my TR so you can see what you're in for. I'm heading up "Falling Waters Trail" to the summit of Little Haystack, then taking "Franconia Ridge Trail across Mt Lincoln over to Lafayette. Then I'm going down "Greenleaf" to the hut and taking the "Bridal Path" back down. You should be able to find a trip report on this forum, or 'hike the whites'

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    The trails involved are Falling Waters trail, Franconia Ridge Trail, Greenleaf Trail, and the Old Bridle Path, starting and finishing at the Lafayette Place campground/trailhead. The more popular way is to do the route CCW which would be to go up the Falling Waters trail to the summit of Little Haystack 3.2 miles, then take the Franconia Ridge Trail North for 1.6 miles to the summit of Mt Lafayette going over Mt Lincoln on the way. Then down the Greenleaf trail to the Greenleaf hut 1.1 miles, then down the Old Bridle Path back to the trailhead 2.9 miles. This route is super popular but is also above treeline for quite a while so keeping an eye on the weather is very critical as once you get on the ridge there's really no where to take cover if the weather gets severe.


    Note: Addicted types much quicker than I do.

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    The Franconia Ridge Loop was one of my favorite hikes from this past summer. The trail has a very nice trail-head right off of I-93. Most people hike the loop South to North, but I personally think North to South is the way to go. If you hike North to South, you take Old Bridle Path 2.9 miles to the Greenleaf Hut (4200 ft). I thought the most difficult sections of the hike were in this first stretch, over Agony Ridge. Once you arrive at Greenleaf Hut, it's a 1.1 mile climb to the summit of Mt. Lafayette (5260 ft). From here, assuming good weather, you'll have the classic view looking over the Franconia Ridge Trail toward Mt. Lincoln. From the summit of Lafayette, continue over Franconia Ridge Trail to "Mt. Truman" (a minor peak between Lafayette and Lincoln), Mt. Lincoln, and finally Little Haystack Mountain. From Little Haystack, take the Falling Waters Trail down to the trailhead. I found the Falling Waters descent to be much more rough than ascending Old Bridle Path.
    That said, it is one of the most incredible hikes in the White Mountains.
    Here's some good info: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~doc/hiking/franconiaridge/

    My times:
    Time to get from trailhead to Greenleaf Hut via Old Bridle Path: 1 hour, 5 min
    Time to get from Greenleaf Hut to Lafayette summit via Greenleaf Trail: 47 min
    Time to get from Mt. Lafayette summit to Mt. Lincoln summit: 53 min
    Time to get from Mt. Lincoln summit to Little Haystack summit: 25 min
    Time to get from Little Haystack to trailhead via Falling Waters Trail: 2 hours
    Total hiking time (including breaks, etc.): 6 hours

    Happy trails!

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    As most here know, I've often cited Franconia Ridge as my favorite place on earth. You've already gotten the necessary directions from the previous posts. I'll just say that we've done the loop CCW each time since I really don't think that I'd enjoy going down the Falling Waters trail all that much. I'm sure that at some point we'll do it that way though. Take heed to the advice from Bill - watch the weather forecast, there's no place to take shelter on the ridge if things turn bad. I'd also recommend that you be prepared for cold conditions as well - even in early September. We did this hike on 9/19 last year and you can see what the conditions looked like here: http://www.mountwashington.org/forum...9-19-9-20-2009. Then again, it can be like this on a perfect summer day: http://www.mountwashington.org/forum...and-Hut-to-Hut. Either way, it's an absolutely incredible place!!!
    Mark

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir


    Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
    Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/
    Seek the 2011 Peak page: Mark Truman's Pledge Page

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    I believe that it will be a fabulous day tomorrow, when I'm up there! If not, I will of course be prepared. Can't wait!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Addicted View Post
    I believe that it will be a fabulous day tomorrow, when I'm up there! If not, I will of course be prepared. Can't wait!
    Tomorrow looks PERFECT. Can't wait for the TR and pics. We're taking advantage of the great day and coming up to hike tomorrow as well (but haven't decided exactly where yet).
    Mark

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir


    Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
    Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/
    Seek the 2011 Peak page: Mark Truman's Pledge Page

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    Can't wait to see your TR and pictures. Have a great hike! I'm planning on doing this loop on Labor Day.
    Bob

    I never want to see a day
    That's over forty degrees
    I'd rather have it thirty,
    Twenty, ten, five and let it freeeeEEEEEEeeze!

    My Seek the Peak 2013 Photo Set

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow Miser View Post
    Can't wait to see your TR and pictures. Have a great hike! I'm planning on doing this loop on Labor Day.
    What happened to Carter Dome?
    _____________
    Anna

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    Anna, this thread made us change our minds. This loop is just too enticing. :-)

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