Franconia Ridge Loop – White Mountains, NH
FRANCONIA RIDGE TRAVERSE: 10 miles
FALLING WATERS TRAIL (3.4 MILES)
FRANCONIA RIDGE TRAIL (AT) (3 MILES)
GREENLEAF TRAIL (1 MILES)
OLD BRIDLE PATH (2.6 MILES)
Franconia Ridge Loop is by far my favorite day hike I’ve ever done. I like doing this loop counter clockwise as Falling waters Trail is very steep and lots of water crossing so it’s safer to go up this trail than down. Falling water trail also has a beautiful waterfall about half way up making for some awesome pictures. Franconia Ridge also traverses the two popular 5000 footers of Mount Lincoln and Mount Lafayette and one sub-peak, Little Haystack, which isn’t so little (4,760ft). This is also not a hike you want to do in bad weather. The entire ridgeline from Haystack to Lafayette is basically above treeline and completely exposed. Winds can easily exceed 60mph and weather in the white mountains can change very fast so be careful!
Note: After Lafayette make sure to turn left onto the Greenleaf Trail! I missed this trail once and kept walking straight down Lafayette mountain. what should have been a 10mile day hike turned into a 18mile hike with having to hitchhike back to the parking area.