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.
The summit of Zealand Mountain (4,260 feet) is wooded and viewless, but the trip is nonetheless worthwhile when hikers include a stop at the nearby Zeacliff outlook along the way.
Strenuous: Zealand’s summit is reached along the Twinway, between the Bondcliff and Zeacliff Trails. A side path (marked by a small cairn) will take you the .1 miles off the Twinway to reach Zealand’s true summit. Continuing east along the Twinway will lead you to the Zeacliff outlook, located on a small loop path just past the junction with the Zeacliff Trail.
The AMC’s Zealand Falls Hut is located at 2630 ft. on the north end of Zealand Notch, near the Twinway, Zealand and Ethan Pond Trails. The hut is open on a full-service basis from early June to mid-October, offering meals and overnight accommodations. It is open the rest of the year on a caretaker basis.
The AMC’s Guyot Campsite is located on the Bondcliff Trail, between Mts. Bond and Guyot.
The AMC’s Hiker Shuttle stops at the Zealand and Gale River Trailheads, connecting hikers with The Highland Center and Lafayette Place Campground.
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 Zealand 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 Zealand 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.
Fires ravaged the Zealand Notch area around 1900, but the area has almost completely regenerated.