Blogs > Current Conditions

5 Water-tastic Hikes in the White Mountains

August 17, 2017

These five rocky waterfalls and tranquil bodies of water in the White Mountains are sure to please, from shorter family hikes to more challenging ascents above treeline. No matter which one you pick, AMC Lodges and Huts are well-located basecamps or backcountry destinations for these adventures.

Zealand Falls

Zealand Falls
Ed Sikora/AMC Photo Contest

Location: Twin Mountain
Distance: 5.6 miles round-trip from Zealand Road trailhead via the Zealand Trail
Description:  Zealand Falls splashes through a sculpture garden of blocky stones in a waterfall setting unlike any other in the Whites. Accessed via the easy-cruising Zealand Trail—which follows an old railroad grade—the falls are located close to AMC Zealand Falls Hut, a tempting opportunity for an overnight stay.

Lonesome Lake

Lonesome Lake
AMC Photo Contest

Location: Franconia Notch
Distance: 3.2 miles round-trip from Lafayette Campground via the Lonesome Lake Trail
Description: The glittering disc of Lonesome Lake invites you in for a refreshing dip—a welcome cool-down after the short but steep climb that leads you there. A grand view east across Franconia Notch toward mile-high Mount Lafayette adds to the appeal. This hike circles the lake for the full experience; for an extended savor, consider staying at adjacent AMC Lonesome Lake Hut.

Lakes of the Clouds

Lakes of the Clouds
AMC Photo Contest

Location: Presidential Range
Distance: 6.2 miles round-trip via the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
Description: A mile high, these crystalline lakes perch on the spine of the Presidential Range in an alpine setting of brain-blowing beauty. Mount Washington looms just to the north, while the welcome shelter of AMC Lakes of the Clouds Hut is a short stroll away for a rest stop or overnight stay. The strenuous hike to get there is not soon forgotten.

Lost Pond

Lost Pond

Location: Pinkham Notch
Distance: 1.0 mile round-trip from AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center via the Lost Pond Trail
Description: From the shores of Lost Pond, you can watch for resident beavers and enjoy inspiring views of Mount Washington’s many landmark features, including Huntington Ravine, Lion Head, and Boott Spur. Despite the short distance and easy access from NH Route 16, it’s a destination that feels far more remote than you might expect.

Crystal Cascade

Crystal Cascades

Location: Pinkham Notch
Distance: 0.6 mile round-trip from AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center via the Tuckerman Ravine Trail
Description: The Cutler River cascades in a triangular veil at these distinctive and easily visited falls. Located a short distance up the slopes of Mount Washington, Crystal Cascade provides an ideal destination for discovering the diverse and beautiful woodlands of the lower mountain.

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.

, ,

Search AMC Outdoors and Blogs


Search for:

Nina Paus-Weiler

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