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Backpacker Magazine – June 2013

Grand Traverses: Franconia Ridge

Enjoy panoramic views on an exposed, granite ridgewalk.

by: Brendan Leonard

Franconia Ridge, NH (Erin Paul Donovan)
Franconia Ridge, NH (Erin Paul Donovan)

Distance 8.9 miles
Gain 3,900 feet
Difficulty 6

Why it’s grand This 9-mile hike is among the best single-day samplers of the White Mountains, and a good warmup for the classic Presidential Traverse (backpacker.com/pres). You’ll tag three summits, cross alpine terrain, and pass three waterfalls as you traverse 1.7 miles of Franconia Ridge.

Do it From the Lafayette Place trailhead, ascend via the steep Falling Waters Trail, and come down via the Greenleaf and Old Bridle Trails. Weekdays are less busy. 

Nineteenth-century logging in this area helped inspire the legislation that created the East’s national forests.

Contact
(603) 536-6100; fs.usda .gov/whitemountain)

Season
May to October 


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