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.
Mount Moosilauke, at 4,802 feet, is the western-most 4,000-footer in NH. The alpine summit, on a clear day, affords hikers stunning views, to the east, of the Franconia Ridge and Presidentials, and to the west, the Green Mountains of Vermont and, in the distance, the Adirondacks in New York State.
Moderate: The Gorge Brook Trail offers a long yet moderate climb to the summit, offering views of the Franconia Ridge to hikers as they approach the top.
Strenuous: The Beaver Brook Trail is the shortest, yet most difficult route to Moosilauke’s summit due to extremely steep and rough trail conditions around the Beaver Brook Cascades. The Appalachian Trail follows the Beaver Brook Trail to Kinsman Notch. Note: This trail may be extremely dangerous in icy conditions.
There are no AMC huts or campsites in this region. Area shelters maintained by the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) include Jeffers Brook Shelter, just off the Town Line Trail, and Beaver Brook Shelter, on the Beaver Brook Trail.
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 Mount Moosilauke
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 Mt. Moosilauke 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.
Note: Moosilauke’s exposed summit is prone to bad weather and there is no longer any shelter on or near the summit. Hikers are advised to pay particular attention to weather conditions for the area before setting out.
The name Moosilauke is the Algonquin word for “bald place,” referring to the mountain’s bare summit.