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 Pierce (4,312 ft.), part of the southern Presidential Range, has a flat summit with a broad, open area on the east side that offers striking views of the surrounding area.
Moderate: The Crawford Path, the oldest maintained footpath in America, provides the most direct access to Pierce’s summit, which is reached by turning right at the Crawford Path’s junction with the Webster Cliff Trail and going .1 miles.
The AMC’s Highland Center and Shapleigh Bunkhouse, located near the Crawford Path Trailhead, are open year-round, offering meals and overnight accommodations.
The AMC’s Mizpah Spring Hut & Nauman Tentsite are located approximately .8 miles along the Webster Cliff Trail to the southwest of the summit of Mt. Pierce, providing an overnight stop for those who wish to continue hiking in the Southern Presidential range. The hut is open from mid-May (self-service in May) to mid-October, offering meals and overnight accommodations.
The AMC’s Hiker Shuttle stops at the Highland Center, connecting hikers with area overnight accommodations and other local trailheads.
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: All peaks of the Presidentials above the treeline are nearly as exposed to the elements as Mt. Washington, and should be treated with the same degree of respect and caution. Severe winter-like storms can occur at any time of the year.
Winter Hiking on Mount Pierce
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 Pierce 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.
Mount Pierce was named for President Franklin Pierce, the only U.S. President born in New Hampshire.