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5 Family Hikes in the White Mountains

July 27, 2017

From breathtaking views to alluring rock formations, the White Mountains are a great place to plan your next family hiking adventure. Stay at one of our AMC Lodges and Huts or take a day trip with your kids. The outdoors are calling!

Mount Willard

Mt. Willard

Location: Crawford Notch
Distance: 3.2 miles round-trip from AMC Macomber Family Information Center at Crawford Depot / AMC Highland Center
Description: Stand at the head of a grand glacial landscape and stare for miles down the broad U-shaped valley carved by the mighty tongues of ice that once smothered this region. The 900 feet of elevation gain may be a challenge for the littlest hikers, but the view from the open summit ledges conquers all.

Elephant Head

View from Elephant Head

Location: Crawford Notch
Distance: 1.2 miles round-trip from AMC Highland Center
Description: The distinctive bulge of Elephant Head is apparent from US Route 302; its bare and rocky brow trumpets a dramatic vista of the surrounding landscape. The short, easy walk from the Highland Center first tours the shores and boulders of Saco Lake, then makes a short climb to the memorable view.

Square Ledge

View from Square Ledge

Location: Pinkham Notch
Distance: 1.0 mile round-trip from AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
Description: Marvel at the high peaks of the White Mountains from this exceptional viewpoint. The vista looks out across Pinkham Notch toward the soaring flanks of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range, including the sheer headwall of Huntington Ravine. Few hikes offer such superlative scenery for so little effort.

Lila’s Ledge

Lila's Ledge

Location: Pinkham Notch
Distance: 1.8 miles round-trip from AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center via Old Jackson Road and the Crew-Cut Trail
Description: Stand upon the small rocky prow of Lila’s Ledge and feast your eyes upon the heart of Pinkham Notch, including mighty Mount Washington and the ski area flanks of Wildcat Mountain—an inspiring and accessible view for hikers of all ages.

The Ramparts

The Ramparts

Location: Carter Notch
Distance: 7.6 miles round-trip via the Nineteen Mile Brook Trail
Description: A rubble field of massive stones lies shattered in the deep cleft of Carter Notch, a rugged and alluring destination for your inner mountain-goat scrambler. The Ramparts are located a stone’s throw from AMC Carter Notch Hut, which is readily accessed via a steady, but generally easy-cruising, 1,700-foot ascent over well-used trail.

Get more suggestions for family-friendly hikes, guided activities, and tips and advice for getting outdoors as a family at outdoors.org/outdoor-activities/families.

Looking for trail conditions or weather? Check AMC conditions and/or call us at Pinkham Notch. We are available by phone at (603)466-2721 every day from 6:30am to 9:00pm or by email at amcpinkhaminfo@outdoors.org. To make reservations at AMC Lodges and Huts, please call (603)466-2727, Monday through Saturday, 9am-5pm.

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Nina Paus-Weiler

AMC Outdoors, the magazine of the Appalachian Mountain Club, inspires readers to get outside and get engaged. Learn more.