HIKING NORTH TWIN MOUNTAIN

View of Franconia Ridge from the summit of North Twin. Photo by Fred Shirley
Fred Shirley

NORTH TWIN MTN. | 4,761' | Strenuous

North Twin Mountain (4,761 feet), adjacent to the taller South Twin Mountain, offers a challenging climb to superb outlook ledges near its summit.

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: North Twin's summit can be reached directly via the 4.3 mile North Twin Trail, a steep trail that can be difficult - and sometimes impassable due to high waters of the Little River, which the trail crosses three separate times. South Twin's summit is easily accessible from here via the North Twin Spur, which connects the North Twin Trail with the Twinway.

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 Zealand Falls Hut is located at 2,630 ft. on the north end of Zealand Notch, near the Twinway, Zealand and Ethan Pond Trails. The hut is open for full-service from early June to mid-October, offering meals and overnight accommodations, and is open for self-service during the rest of the year.

The AMC's Hiker Shuttle stops at the Zealand and Gale River Trailheads, 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 North Twin

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 North Twin Mtn. 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

Together with the Franconia Range, the Twin Range forms a horseshoe enclosing the western portion of the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

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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