5 White Mountain Hikes Under 5 Miles

1. Black Cap Mountain

Elevation: 2,356′

Trail: Black Cap Trail

Distance: 2.3 miles (Out & Back)

Difficulty: Easy

Black Cap Mountain is the perfect option for those looking for a shorter, less demanding hike without sacrificing incredible views. The trail begins off Hurricane Mountain Road in Conway, a seasonal, rugged and steep road that closes before winter. The first section of the trail remains relatively flat until the top, and then begins to climb rock slab as you emerge from the trees. Oh, and the views are unbelievable. This is an awesome sunrise or sunset hike option, as it takes roughy 1 hour to complete top to bottom!

2. Mount Avalon

Elevation: 3,430′

Trail: Mount Avalon Trail

Distance: 3.4 miles (Out & Back)

Difficulty: Easy, until last 0.7 miles, then the trail becomes moderately-steep

3. Welch and Dickey

Elevation:  (Welch) 2,605′ (Dickey) 2,734′

Trail: Welch and Dickey Loop Trail

Distance: 4.4 miles (Loop)

Difficulty: Moderate

This popular 4.4-mile loop will bring you up and over two summits in under 5 miles. The entire hike takes roughly three hours for a seasoned hiker, and the views from both summits are well worth the effort. This is the classic ‘bang-for-your-buck’ hike, as it bags two peaks with low mileage, with relatively easy terrain the entire route. This is a excellent option for families, hikers with pups, and leaf-peepers during the fall.

4. Mount Crawford

Elevation: 3,119′

Trail: Davis Path Trail

Distance: 5 miles (Out & Back)

Difficulty: Moderate

If you’re looking to get away from the summer crowds and still get those picture perfect NH alpine views, Mount Crawford is a great option! The Davis Path trail begins off Rt. 302 in Bartlett and is easy-going for the first mile or so. The trail begins to steepen as it climbs upswitchbacks through thickly settled woods. Once you pop out of the trees near the summit, the views are phenomenal. The summit offers near 360-degree views from its exposed ledges. This is a great hike for anyone aspiring to hike a 4,000 footer, but wants to start smaller first.

5. Mount Jefferson

Elevation: 5,712′

Trail: Caps Ridge Trail

Distance: 5 miles (Out & Back)

Difficulty: Strenuous

Mount Jefferson is one of the northern Presidential peaks in the White Mountains. A 2.5 mile one-way trek will welcome hikers to astonishing 360-degree alpine views from the 5712′ entirely-exposed summit. Don’t let the short distance fool you – this hike is not for the weak. Hiking Mt. Jefferson via the Caps Ridge Trail is a fun, challenging hike that involves many steep climbs and rock scrambles to reach the summit. If you are uncomfortable with heights or rock climbing in general, it’s best to avoid this hike all together. Caps Ridge has earned its spot on the official “terrifying 25” list.

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