Hancock Notch Trail

Grafton County, New Hampshire 03860

Distance6.3mi
Elevation Gain2,093ft
Trailhead Elevation2,136ft
Top2,833ft
Elevation Min/Max1773/2833ft
Elevation Start/End2136/2136ft

Hancock Notch Trail

Hancock Notch Trail is a hiking trail in Grafton County, New Hampshire. It is within White Mountain National Forest. It is 6.3 miles long and begins at 2,136 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 12.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,093 feet. The Hancock Notch Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. This trail connects with the following: Cedar Brook Trail, Sawyer Run Trail and Sawyer Pond Trail.

Hancock Notch Trail Professional Review and Guide

"A number of trails run south from the Kancamagus Highway to access peaks more readily reached from the Lakes Region or Waterville Valley. The Hancock Notch hike is one of the energetic few that runs north from the road to a collection of unique New Hampshire views.

From the summit of Mount Hancock’s North Peak, even newcomers to the region will easily identify the stark profile of Mount Carrigain atop bumptious Signal Ridge and enjoy the bird’s-eye view of the encompassing forests of the Sawyer River Valley that spread southeast from the adjacent Pemigewasset Wilderness. Special attractions: Sweeping views of Signal Ridge and the Sawyer River Valley, easy walking to pleasant camp sites, and a stream that disappears."

Hancock Notch Trail Reviews

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8/6/2013
Good hike and great day. It was also a nice hike for Wyler. We hiked up North and down South. The hike up had a bunch of small stream crossings and was fairly easy. There of course was some steep areas since you did need to go above 4000. The trail between the two would have been muddier but there was a lumber yard up there to help (see picture). Going down was no problem as well. My friend said to reverse loop in winter cause you can sled down North in some areas.
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8/17/2008
Nice hike, very easy until the last half mile up North Peak. It was pretty muddy along the ridge. I sank in to about mid-calf a couple of times. Good hike for dogs. Recommend you go up North peak and down South peak.
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12/2/2007
Hancock Notch to Cedar Brook to Hancock Loop South to North and back. Easy winter hike. Well used trails, all hard packed from the previous day's hikers. Crampons required up the South trail. ~12-18 inches of snow on the south section of ridge. North summit view very nice. Crampons not required down but the North Slide used anyway. All in all, a nice, quiet (1 other hiker) stroll in the woods.
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9/29/2007
took some rookie boy scouts backpacking on this trail,fairly rough terrain but very good trip to begin the year all 16 of us had a great two days of hiking.the website has very informative guides. as we gain more experience the trips wiil get evan better
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9/4/2005
Nice trail. The first 2-3 miles are very well groomed and flat. upon recahing the loop junction we decided to ascend south peak and take the loop over to north. The hike up south peak was aggressive and rocky, but the rocks were sturdy and there was very little hazard. The view at the niche on south peak was wonderful, but my favorite part of the trip was hiking over to north peak. north peak was crowded, but they soon took off over to south. My time on north was pleasent. The descnet of North peak was shaky. It has an agressive pitch and the ground is very loose. I think it would be easier to ascend then descend; however, at least if you fall coming down you are headed in the right direction. anyway all and all it was a spirted hike.
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3/21/2005
I snowshoed this trail, taking the trail to the north peak, in mid March. Up to the last .7 miles it was gentle and picturesque following streams through the forest. The last .7 miles to the summit was very steep, in fact it was nearly straight up. The views from the summit were spectacular! I highly recommend this hike. If going in winter/spring beware the spruce traps and very deep snow just off the trail! I took one step off the trail and sunk 6+ feet through the snow and tumbled downhill about 20 feet. It took quite a strenuous while to right myself. The trail is very popular. I encountered no less than 20 people on my Saturday morning/afternoon hike.
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Hancock Notch Trail Photos

Trail Information

Grafton County
Nearby City
Saco Ranger Station
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Osceola and Mount Carrigain quads.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018