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.
Mt. Lincoln (5,089 feet), a part of the popular and scenic Franconia Ridge, bears a sharp, rugged peak with excellent views of the surrounding area and an array of alpine plants.
Strenuous: Mt. Lincoln’s summit is most frequently accessed by way of the Falling Waters Trail to Franconia Ridge Trail. Hikers may also wish to turn the trip into a two-day excursion, starting out on the Old Bridle Path, spending a night at the Greenleaf Hut, continuing on the Greenleaf Trail to Mt. Lafayette, then turning south onto the Franconia Ridge Trail to Mt. Lincoln.
The AMC’s Greenleaf Hut is located at the junction of the Old Bridle Path and Greenleaf Trail on nearby Mt. Lafayette, overlooking Eagle Lake. The hut is open from mid-May to mid-October (caretaker basis in May), offering meals and overnight accommodations.
The AMC’s Hiker Shuttle stops at the Old Bridle PathTrailhead, connecting 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.
Note: Franconia Ridge is extremely susceptible to high winds and bad weather, and is particularly exposed and prone to severe lightning strikes. Hikers are advised to pay particular attention to weather conditions for the area and avoid the ridgecrest on Mts. Lafayette, Lincoln and Little Haystack when storms approach.
Winter Hiking on Mount Lincoln
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 Mount Lincoln 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.
Franconia Ridge Trail has numerous areas of alpine habitat, including on the stretch between Mt. Lafayette and Mt. Lincoln.