Source: AMC's Best Day Hikes in the White Mountains
What You’ll See:
The hike up this 2,815-foot spur of the Willey Range is fairly steep and closed in by trees. The end of this hike, though, rewards with stunning panoramic views of Crawford Notch.
What You’ll Experience
What’s in the Area
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Distance: 3.2-miles round-trip
- Elevation change: 900-foot elevation gain
- Estimated time: 3–4 hours
- Maps: AMC White Mountain National Forest Map and Guide, AMC White Mountain Guide, 27th edition, Map 2: Franconia–Pemigewasset
- Winter Notes: The Mount Willard Trail is an advanced (most difficult) cross-country ski trail
- Hitchcock Flume, accessible via a rough side trail, an impressive chasm in the side of Mount Willard
- A hike through northern hardwoods and paper birch which transitions to more spruce and fir and finally to boreal forest dominated by balsam fir
- Crawford Notch, one of the best examples of a glacially carved U-shaped valley anywhere in the world
- Evidence of rock slides on Mount Webster and Mount Willey
- Peregrine falcons occasionally nest in the area
- The Highland Center at Crawford Notch, a unique lodge that offers lodging, meals, walk-on naturalist programs, plus complimentary use of gear from L.L. Bean
The trailhead for Mount Willard is located at the Gateway of Crawford Notch behind the Crawford Depot Information Center off US 302.
- From the Jackson-North Conway area, follow US 302 west at Glen where it splits from NH 16. US 302 passes through Bartlett, then heads north through Crawford Notch. At the top of the Notch, roughly 20 miles from the junction of NH 16 and US 302, the road goes through a narrow pass between two cliffs. The parking area for Crawford Depot, is a few hundred yards up the road on the left.
- From Twin Mountain, take US 302 east. Crawford Depot is on the right just beyond the turnoff for the AMC’s Highland Center, about eight miles south of the junction of US 302 and US 3.