Note: For complete trail descriptions, times, elevation, trailhead directions, and major features, see the AMC White Mountain Guide or try our new White Mountain Guide Online.
A part of the Carter-Moriah Range, Middle Carter Mountain (4,610'), though wooded, rewards hikers 70 yards north of its summit with a view of the Presidential Range.
Moderate-Strenuous: The most direct route to access the summit of Middle Carter is via the North Carter Trail, which begins at the middle of the looped Imp Trail. The climb is gradual but rough in a few spots and becomes steeper as the trail approaches the Carter-Moriah trail near the summit of Middle Carter.
The AMC’s Carter Notch Hut is located at 3288 ft. at the junction of the Carter-Moriah and Nineteen-Mile Brook Trails (4.7 miles south of the Middle Carter summit). The hut is open for full-service from early June to mid-September, offering meals and overnight accommodations, and is open for self-service during the rest of the year.
The AMC’s Imp Campsite is located 2.5 miles north of Middle Carter’s summit just on the Imp Shelter spur trail, just off the Carter-Moriah trail.
The AMC’s Hiker Shuttle stops at the 19 Mile Brook Trailhead, giving hikers access to The Highland Center and the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.
Safety in Summer and early Fall
The AMC recommends all hikers check weather conditions in advance, carry a current map and guidebook, along with a compass and knowledge of how to use it. For recommendations on how to plan a safe hike in the White Mountains, see: The 10 essentials for a safe and pleasant hike.
Winter Hiking on Middle Carter Mountain
Winter hiking anywhere in the White Mountains requires specialized equipment and skills, and experience in coping with weather, navigation, and winter gear. Extremely severe storms can develop suddenly and unexpectedly, especially above treeline. The combination of high wind and low temperatures has such a cooling effect that the worst conditions on Middle Carter Mountain are approximately equal to the worst reported from Antarctica, despite the much greater cold in the latter region. Hikers interested in extending their activities into winter are strongly advised to seek out organized trips with leaders who have extensive winter experience. Several AMC chapters offer winter hiking and backpacking instruction, and AMC offers several guided winter mountaineering trips; search for "Instruction" in AMC's activity listings. Helpful information can also be found in the AMC Guide to Winter Hiking and Camping.