Welch-Dickey Loop Trail is a hiking trail in Grafton County, New Hampshire. It is within White Mountain National Forest. It is 4.1 miles long and begins at 1,053 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,805 feet. The Paved Parking Area for Welch-Dickey Loop Trail parking is near the trailhead. There are also restrooms. Welch Mountain (elevation 2,605 feet) and Dickey Mountain (elevation 2,733 feet) can be seen along the trail.
Welch Mountain and Dickey Mountain Loop Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"A loop over two small peaks with lots of open rock and fun ledges to climb. Considering that both Welch Mountain (elevation 2,605 feet) and its taller brother, Dickey Mountain (elevation 2,734 feet), are about half the size of their towering 4,000-foot neighbors, they offer one of the most exposed hikes and sustained views in this part of the Whites. Most people hike the loop going up Welch and down Dickey, which is the obvious route from the parking lot. In this direction, even if the lot looks full, you will only see those you catch up to or those that pass you."
--Lisa Densmore, Hiking the White Mountains (Falcon Guides).
"This was the most-suggested family hike in the White Mountains among the people I talked to. The summits of Welch and Dickey command excellent views for relatively modest effort. The hike is substantial enough to give you a feeling of accomplishment, yet manageable for most everyone above age 6 or so."
--Robert N. Buchsbaum, AMC's Best Day Hikes in the White Mountains (Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
"This perfect, ledgy loop hike up and over two small mountains leads to amazing views of Franconia Ridge, Waterville Valley, and the Pemigewasset Valley. This popular hike over Welch and Dickey mountains is perhaps one of the most beautiful and satisfying trips in New England, with everything you could ask for: a mostly gentle grade (with some exciting slabs to climb near the top), excellent views from the ridge, two summits, and the satisfaction of a loop hike! While it may be challenging for the toddlers (although it’s totally possible with an occasional ride from mom or dad), kids age 6 and up will love this hike for the wide-open skies and amazing granite slabs. In bad weather and wet conditions, be cautious on this hike: the slabs can be very slippery and the ridgeline is exposed."
--Ethan Hipple and Yemaya St. Clair, Outdoors with Kids: Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
"Ravaged by fires in the 1880s, today Welch and Dickey’s smooth granite domes provide some of the finest views in the White Mountain National Forest. This popular loop scales both summits and offers great dividends for the effort; however, do not underestimate the challenge. Steep in sections, the trail scrambles up exposed rocks from one dramatic perch to another. While accessible year-round, it is to be avoided when icy or when thunderstorms threaten. The mountains and their scenic ridges are especially enticing on crisp autumn days when the Mad River Valley is aglow in a potpourri of colors."
--Jeffrey Romano, 100 Classic Hikes in New England (The Mountaineers Books).
"If the Cascade Path doesn't promise enough excitement, but a 4,000-foot summit is more than you're ready to try, Waterville Valley has a solution. Standing well under 3,000 feet, the summits of Welch and Dickey Mountains offer a moderate, half-day loop hike with all the satisfaction of a much more ambitious climb. Terrific views and the chance to scamper over bare ledges and faces of soaring granite make this hike a hit with the kids. Just save it for a day when these sloping rocks are certain to stay dry."
--Larry Pletcher, Hiking New Hampshire (Falcon Guides).
"Welch and Dickey Mountains were two of the earliest mountains visited regularly by summer tourists. In the 1850s, Nathaniel Greeley, who had pioneered in Waterville Valley in the 1830s, created a system of trails in the area for visitors to his inn. This was the first true system of trails in the White Mountains. Today the Welch-Dickey Loop Trail is a popular hike with families because it has good views for a relatively low amount of effort, as most of the hike follows moderate grades. Welch and Dickey Mountains are well below 3,000 feet in elevation, but they both have several open rocky ledges. Naturalists also will enjoy this hike because of its high diversity of trees, including one of only four stands of jack pine in New Hampshire. The hike is close to Waterville Valley and is one of the first White Mountain hikes reached from Boston via I-93. This is a great hike to do in the off-season, when the crowds are nonexistent and the weather on higher peaks may be uncertain."
--Jerry & Marcy Monkman, Discover the White Mountains of New Hampshire (Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
"Welch Mountain and its taller brother, Dickey Mountain are about half the size of their towering 4000-foot neighbors, yet they offer one of the most exposed hikes and sustained views in this part of the Whites. Most people hike the loop going up Welch and down Dickey, which is the obvious route from the parking lot. In this direction, even if the lot looks full, you will only see those you catch or those who pass you. (Note: This hike can be treacherous if the rocks are wet.) While a superb hike for any human who loves acres of open rock and huge panoramas, it is best reserved for larger, agile dogs. There are a couple of tricky spots on the upper elevations that require a dog to stretch up the rock, or bound off it, depending on the spot."
--Lisa Densmore, Best Hikes with Dogs: New Hampshire & Vermont (The Mountaineers Books).
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