Mount Chocorua, Champney Brook Trail

Conway, New Hampshire 3818

Mount Chocorua, Champney Brook Trail

Mount Chocorua, Champney Brook Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Originating from the magnificent Kancamagus Highway, the Champney Brook Trail ascends the gradual, northern facet of Mount Chocorua’s jutting peak. From this bearing, it may be difficult to recognize Chocorua as the same mountain that asserts itself so boldly when seen from Route 16. Compared to the southern approach on the Liberty Trail, the Champney Brook route is more scenic in its lower reaches, less difficult near the summit, but far more heavily traveled.

There are ample reasons for this trail’s popularity. As an appealing family hike, the route explores delicate cascades and reveals a wonderful alpine vista from boulders at the head of Champney Falls. For more energetic hikers, the optional second half of the journey leads to an alluring peak with extensive mountain views. One caution is in order if the falls are your principal destination. Dry spells or midsummer conditions can reduce the water flow to levels that may cause disappointment. Check the volume of the stream early in the hike and plan your trip accordingly."

Mount Chocorua, Champney Brook Trail Reviews

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The waterfall here is one of my favorites in New England although it's not always there all year long so go in the spring if you can. It's not a difficult hike and my dog did great and I could see children being able to tackle it, though maybe not the whole length. It is a bit of a climb up but not too steep and forest does a good job of keeping you shaded. The views on the summit of the White Mountains are spectacular. Sometimes there can be a good amount of mosquitoes so bring bug spray just in case you run into any.
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!
i went up the "piper trail" from rt 16. not mentioned on for some reason. easy hike but VERY crowded. the views are fantastic. at 3000 ft. aprox. .75 miles from the top is a great section of stone pavement that has views of the east. worth doing but try it mid-weak if possible to avoid crowds.
The champney brook trail up Mount Chocorua is a very nice and well maintained trail. In the beginning of the trail your walking through forests with roots which are easy to trip on, all through the trail. After a little while you can stop at champney falls, but the falls are usually minimal to non-existant in summer, but they are very nice in spring. Then your walking on a long series of switchbacks mostly on rock which can get slippery when wet. Then you will slowly get up to the final part of the trail in the trees where it is steeper than earlier but still not that steep. After this you will find to be in the open and nearing the top. Then the trail gets tricky because you are walking up rocks trying to keep along with the yellow marks on them, but the top of the trail is the nicest with a flat top with 360 degree views of everything. Also, the top can become very dangerous in the early spring. The trail overall in the trees isnt the best because you dont have any views except for one and its a pounding on your legs on the way back where you must watch out for the roots. Though the trail isnt the greatest it is still extremely well kept and it leads to a beautiful 360 vista which makes up for it. The only problem with the top is that one time when i got to the rock section the winds were around 60 mph where you can barely stand up. The top in winter isnt that great either as it is dangerous. I do think its better than the liberty trial though.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
700 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Saco Ranger Station
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Chocorua quad.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018