Please review our Winter Hiking page if you are planning on hiking anytime between September and May.
Summer Hiking Tips for the White Mountains
Do you dream of mountain summits at sunrise and countless miles of hiking trails to check off your list? If so, the White Mountains of New Hampshire is your hiker's paradise.
Here, you are welcome to make your way from trailhead to ridgeline, to tackle NH's famous 4,000-footers (there are 48 of them!), and soak in the serenity of endless vistas and untamed woods. There are so many things to do in White Mountain National Forest and the White Mountains at large, and hiking is one of the best ways to see it all.
While most of our hikers walk away with fond memories and a few sore muscles, many others have also faced serious injury or death due to a lack of preparedness. Remember: being on vacation isn’t an excuse to forget common sense.
Keep reading for our top White Mountains hiking tips to keep you informed and enjoying every environment throughout your adventures.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page serves as general recommendations for visitors to the White Mountains region. The White Mountains Attractions Association and its employees are not experts or professionals in the outdoor recreation field, and are not liable for any accident, injury, or fatality resulting from outdoor recreation.
Hiking Recommendations for the White Mountains, NH
Now that you’ve read up on our hiking tips, it’s time to pick your path. Our Trip Ideas are a great place to begin. We would also recommend contacting the White Mountain National Forest with additional questions, doing your own research online, consulting with friends and family who are well versed in the great outdoors, and maybe even booking a guided hike for your first adventure.
The White Mountains are a wonderful place to explore when you are well prepared. We hope to see you out there!
Helpful Websites & Resources
- White Mountain National Forest
- NH Fish & Game
- Appalachian Mountain Club (and in particular, “A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking in the White Mountains”)
- Mount Washington Observatory’s Higher Summits Forecast
- Leave No Trace
- Hike Safe
For Current Trail Conditions
Build a strong foundation for future adventures and book a hike with a guide service. The Appalachian Mountain Club has two educational outposts in the White Mountains, including the AMC Highland Center in Crawford Notch and the Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch. Both options offer programming designed to get you trained for the trail.
Last but not least, REI.com offers guided hikes in the White Mountains on select dates. To register, search under “Appalachian Trail” on the REI Adventures page.
Outdoor outfitters can advise on the best hiking gear (including the 10 Essentials) based on your budget, experience, and desired adventure. Here are some local White Mountains hiking shops to get you started!
- Franconia Basecamp (Franconia, NH)
- Great Glen Trails Outfitters Shop (Gorham, NH)
- Burgeon Outdoor (Lincoln, NH)
- L.L Bean Outlet (North Conway, NH)
- REI (North Conway, NH)
- Sport Thoma (Lincoln, NH)
- Rodgers Ski & Sport (Lincoln, NH)
- Ski Fanatics (Plymouth, NH)
Local maps and guidebooks for the White Mountains are also a great addition to your pack. You can find these resources plus more at the Mountain Wanderer Map & Book Store (Lincoln, NH) and the Little Village Toy and Book Shop (Littleton, NH), as well as some area gas stations in Lincoln and beyond.