HIKING MOUNT FLUME

Fred Shirley

MOUNT FLUME | 4,328' | Strenuous

Mt. Flume (4,328'), 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.

Note: for complete trail descriptions, times, elevation, trailhead directions, and major features, see the AMC White Mountain Guide or try our White Mountain Guide Online.

Suggested Routes

Strenuous: To climb Mt. Flume in a day, begin by taking Liberty Spring Trail, part of the Appalachian Trail. At 2.6 miles, adventurous hikers may wish to depart Liberty Springs Trail and take the rugged, rocky, steep, and often slippery Flume Slide Trail, which ends 0.1 miles south of the summit of Mt. Flume. Flume Slide Trail can be avoided by staying on steadily ascending Liberty Spring Trail, which ends at the Franconia Ridge Trail. Follow the ridgeline south for just over a mile to the summit of Mt. Flume. Do not descend via Flume Slide Trail, as it tends to be wet and slippery year round.

Trip Planning

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 Liberty Spring Tentsite is located along the Liberty Spring Trail, below the junction with the Franconia Ridge Trail.  

The AMC’s Hiker Shuttle stops at the Liberty Spring Trailhead, connecting hikers with Lafayette Place Campground, The Highland Center and Shapleigh Bunkhouse.

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 Mt. Flume

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 Flume 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 .

Fun Fact

Franconia Ridge Trail has numerous areas of alpine habitat, including on the stretch that accesses Mt. Flume.

White Mountain Guide Online

AMC's online edition of the White Mountain Guide combines our expert descriptions of over 500 White Mountain trails and detailed maps in an online format that is easy to use and continually updated as conditions change, all for one low annual subscription fee.


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