Hiking New Hampshire
by Larry Pletcher (Falcon Guides)
© Larry Pletcher/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
I climbed Chocorua with two friends during a four-day trip to New Hampshire that included Cardigan, Moosilauke, and Smarts, and I must say this climb was by far my favorite. I had originally wanted to do Washington this day, but because of time constraints, we had to pick a smaller peak. A friend of a friend suggested Chocorua, promising that we wouldn't regret it... and we definitely didn't. It was a fantastic hike - started out as a pretty easy climb following the Champney Brook... It had a good ammount of steep ascent towards the summit, but nothing too intimidating. Once you come out of treeline and see the rock face you are about to climb, the hike gets really exciting. We definitely couldn't have made it without our crampons, however. The trail the whole way was pretty packed down and slick, and the rocks were covered in ice at some parts. Crampons are a must if you are attempting the summit in winter. Climbing the rock slabs to the summit was a blast, albeit a bit scary at some points, since the wind was gusting at about 25-30 mph. We had to hold on at some points so as not to get blow over. The view from the summit is spectacular, and well worth the scramble it took to get there. I highly recommend this hike!
I hiked this with my 12-year old son. Also hiked Liberty Trail in May with an adult. Liberty was less crowded, more challenging in places, but less interesting as much of it is through the woods and the beginning and end just feel too long. Champney has the falls 1/3-1/2 of the way up, which is a great destination in itself. I had read that there may not be much to the falls in the summer but with all the rain we've had, they were gorgeous. My son's observations were that the stairs around the falls looked just like the Temple of Doom, and the rock summit looked just like a scene from the Lord of the Rings (we overheard another kid saying this, too!). A great hike, either trail. Took 6 hours up and back on Champney with a 1/2 hour rest at the top; and about the same for the Liberty trail. Gorgeous views at summit. Saw dogs and kids, large and small, on both trails and at the summit. Bugs were worse in late May than July. Overall, I preferred Champney despite the many people.
Beautiful hike,a bit tough but not too difficult.When we hit the summit the clouds and crowds deterred us from ascending to the peak(luckily we didn,t it started to rain when we hit the tree line on the way back down,makes for slippery granite!The falls were the balls,i got some great pics,next year hopefully we can dip in them.Noticed a lot of novice(unprepared)people either on the trail or heading up when we got down(@3:15,hopefully they were just going to the falls)See ya next year!
Great trail, one that while persistant it's not terrible for the average hiker. While it was too cloudy to see much when i went i imagine the view from the top is amazing. Blazing over the summit isnt the best but with some wandering you can easily find your way to the summit.
Great views of the surrounding White Mountain National Forest that can't be beat on a clear day. Start early and get a good morning hike in before the crowds arrive. Dog friendly, I even saw a few dogs at the summit!
Sign in/up to upload photos.
Keep Me Informed
Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.
We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.