HIKING MOUNT WHITEFACE

View from Whiteface. Photo by Fred Shirley
Fred Shirley

Mount Whiteface | 4,020' | Strenuous

Mt. Whiteface (4020') shares a prominent ridge with Mt. Passaconaway (4,043') the easternmost 4,000 footer of the Sandwich Range Wilderness. Lookout ledges south of Mt. Whiteface's wooded summit offer great views of New Hampshire's Lakes Region.

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: The Gale River Trail is likely the most convenient & direct way to access this part of the Twin Range from the local roadways & AMC Hiker Shuttle. From there, Galehead's summit is reached by way of the Frost Trail, which begins close to Galehead Hut, near the intersection of the Garfield Ridge Trail, Twinway and Twin Brook Trail.

Trip Planning

The AMC's Galehead Hut is located at 3,800 ft. on the Garfield Ridge, near the Twinway, Garfield Ridge, Frost, and Twin Brook Trails. The hut is open from mid-May to mid-October (caretaker basis in May), offering meals and overnight accommodations.

The AMC's Garfield Ridge Campsite is located on the Garfield Ridge Trail, just northeast of Mt. Garfield's summit.

The AMC's Thirteen Falls Tentsite is located at the junction of the Franconia Brook & Twin Brook Trails.

The AMC's Hiker Shuttle stops at the Gale River Trailhead, connecting hikers with Lafayette Place Campground and the Highland Center.

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 Mt. Whiteface

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 Whiteface 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

The ridge system that connects Mt. Whiteface, Mt. Passaconaway, and Mt. Wonalancet (2728’) creates a secluded valley, or cirque. This area, known as The Bowl Natural Area, has never been logged.

Additional Resources

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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