The White Mountains in New Hampshire are known for their beauty and offer some of the best hiking in the United States. Mount Washington’s highest peak stands tall at 6,288 feet of elevation and is notorious for its unpredictable weather – with recorded wind gusts of 231 miles per hour and -47° temperatures.

New Hampshire's 4,000 FootersThere are forty-eight “4,000 Footers” in New Hampshire, and hiking them all has been a popular goal for generations. Some choose to hike them over a lifetime, while others race to the summits to finish them all in one season.

One of the most spectacular peaks is Mount Bond (4,698 ft.) and the Bond Cliffs, located in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This peak (4,698 ft.) offers 360-degree views as far as Canada. Arguably the most popular hikes are in the Presidential Range including Mount Adams, Madison, Monroe, Jefferson and Washington. On a clear day, these hikes offer amazing views from the summit. Lake of the Clouds, a pristine mountain lake nestled between the summits of Washington and Monroe, presents breathtaking views of the Dry River Wilderness. Trust me, you will definitely want to bring your camera on this hike!

Looking for the perfect weekend adventure? Overnight backpacking offers hikers the opportunity to summit multiple mountains over several days. The tradeoff being the extra weight of a tent, sleeping bag, food, water, and clothes that you have to carry on your back. One of my favorite overnight backpacking destinations is the 45,000-acre Pemigewasset Wilderness. Hike the “Pemi Loop” and reach eight summits mentioned on New Hampshire’s forty-eight “4,000 Footers” list. But beware – Backpacker Magazine ranked the Pemi Loop as the second hardest day hike in America.

There are many websites, like 4000footers.com, which can provide valuable information about trails, stream crossings and elevation gain to help you plan your hike. It is important to remember that the 4,000 Footers are all considered moderately difficult to difficult hikes and require planning, as weather can change rapidly. Please be safe when hiking on these trails! For safe hiking tips, visit HikeSafe.com

I have hiked on the Long Trail in Vermont, Adirondack’s in New York, Selkirk’s in Idaho, Grand Teton’s in Wyoming and the Elk Mountain Range in Colorado. Out of all of the hikes that I have been on, I continue to hike the White Mountains because we have some of the best hiking right in our own backyard!

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Written by Ken Sawyer