North and South Baldface

Loop • 9.7 mi • 3600 ft

While both North and South Baldface top out at less than 4,000 feet, this hike near Evans Notch contains a long stretch of hiking over open ledges. It is somewhat removed from the traditional hiking centers in the White Mountains and thus receives far less foot traffic than trails in the Presidential Range, Pemigewasset Wilderness Area, and Franconia Notch. It does attract some hikers, though, because the views over the Wild River valley to the Carter Range and Mount Washington are spectacular. This is a difficult hike with substantial exposure that creates dangerous conditions in bad weather. One crossing of Charles Brook can be treacherous in high water. In good weather, however, this is one of the best loop hikes in New England.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Fryeburg
Length: 9.7 total miles
Elevation Gain: 3,600 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Strenuous
Duration: 7 hours
Season: Spring through fall, weather dependant
Trailhead Elevation: 500 feet
Local Contacts: White Mountain National Forest
Local Maps: AMC White Mountain Map #5, USGS Wild River, Chatham
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Recent Trail Reviews


This trail is EXTREMELY strenuous. Yet it is magnificent. Are you an extreme hiker? With poles and superior hiking gear? Then you could do this hike in 5-7 hours. Are you an occasional hiker, loves the outdoors and are relatively fit? Plan on 9 even 10 hours. (And plan on hurting for two days afterwards!) This includes stops for lunch and resting and careful scaling of the rock ledges. Take note: coming down is as precarious as climbing up! But you will not be disappointed. The views are incredible and no one is on the trail. I would suggest taking a dip in Emerald pool (we didn't have the time as we were leaving the woods around 6:30p). We picked a beautiful day -- clear, warm, not a cloud in the sky, Sept 13 so the kids are in school and # of vacationers have significantly dwindled. We started way too late -- 10:20 -- and got back to our car at 6:45. We really should have started at 7 or 8. Bring bug spray.


My family (10 and 16 year old boys, wife and me) hiked Chocorua from Kankamangus Highway via Champney Falls Trail on June 17, 2006. The trail itself was in great condition. The falls were beautiful. We saw lots of flowers, but were especially thrilled to see wild orchids in bloom. Views from the summit were terrific. The round trip took us 5 hours including about 45 minutes on the summit.

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