MOUNT OSCEOLA & EAST OSCEOLA | 4,340′ & 4,156′ | Moderate to strenuous
Mt. Osceola (4,340′) is the highest peak in the Waterville Valley Region and offers great views of the Pemigewasset Wilderness to the north. East Osceola (4,156′) is the subordinate peak to Mt. Osceola. Immediately to the south of Mt. Osceola is Mt. Tecumseh (4,003′), the shortest official 4,000 footer. East, across the valley, is the Tripyramid Massif, which includes North Tripyramid (4,180′) and Middle Tripyramid (4,140′).
Note: for complete trail descriptions, times, elevation, trailhead directions, and major features, see the AMC White Mountain Guide.
Moderate-Strenuous: The Osceolas are best done in warm months, as the primary access road is closed in the winter. From this road, ascend Mt. Osceola Trail 3.2 miles to the summit of Mt. Osceola. An additional mile along this trail leads to the subordinate peak, East Osceola (4,156′). Descend the same way.
The WMNF Osceola Vista Campground, located on nearby Tripoli Road, is open from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.
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 the Osceolas
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 Osceola 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 .
Mt. Osceola is named after the great chief of the Seminole people.