New Hampshire is lucky to have not five, not ten, but forty-eight mountains that soar beyond 4,000 feet to explore. It’s almost daunting to consider that the Granite State could have so much natural beauty in one place. Not only are these awesome mountains perfect to explore during the winter months where skiing, snowboarding and other winter activities are at their prime, they are also fantastic places to take early to mid-spring hikes when the weather is finally warming up. Obviously it would be quite the challenge to tackle every single one of these mountains, but we figured we would invite you to try it anyways.
How do I know which mountain to hike first?
Realistically, it doesn’t matter which mountain you chose first. However, some mountain hikes and trails are definitely more difficult than others so it is wise to do some research in advance. For assistance choosing which mountain is the best fit for you or your companions, definitely check out this link for further information: New Hampshire 4,000 Footer List by Difficulty. Additionally, here is a map that shows the location of each mountain to help you understand which peaks are clustered together and which are farther apart: Mountain Map. As far as the tallest mountains are concerned, the five tallest mountains in New Hampshire, in order are: Mount Washington (6,288 feet), Mount Adams (5,774 feet), Mount Jefferson (5,712 feet), Mount Monroe (5,384), and Mount Madison (5,367). If you know your presidential history, this is the order of the first five presidents with the one exception of Monroe and Madison being switched. Also, if you find that you will be needing gear for your venture up the mountain, definitely check out these two links to get you started: Guides and Outfitters and Gear Shop.
Does it cost anything to hike these mountains?
That’s the beauty of hiking here in New Hampshire. You simply park your car at one of the base sites, grab your pack and go! Every park advises a carry-in, carry-out policy but other than that you are basically free to explore as long as the trails remain open. One of the other great benefits of hiking in the mountains during the springtime is the fact that you can bring your favorite canine companion to run and explore alongside with you!
What should I bring with me?
As you will be out in the woods up on the tops of tall mountains, it is very important to pack the items you will need before you carry on with your trek. Here is a bulleted list of important items to pack for your hike. Keep in mind that this list can be shortened or extended depending on the length of the hike you intend to take:
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Layered clothing
- Small comfortable backpack to store items
- Water bottle
- Snacks such as trail mix, granola bars, fruit or other kinds of food that are healthy and sustaining
- Sunscreen (SPF 30+ is preferred)
- Small first aid kit
- Bag to store trash
- Camera (for pictures!)