Crawford Notch, NH: Mount Webster and Mount Jackson

Claim a rare feat on this classic-in-waiting loop.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Claim a rare feat on this classic-in-waiting loop.

Score a New England hat trick with one of the best mountaintop views in the Presidential Range, one of New Hampshire’s tallest waterfalls, and two summit climbs—all in one 6.9-mile loop. Bonus: For the effort of an extra 2.6-mile round-trip from mile 4.3, make this an overnighter with a stay at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Mizpah Spring Hut or the Nauman Tentsite next door, both north of Jackson’s summit.

From the Webster-Jackson trailhead, hike east. Plan to make side trips to two overlooks in the first mile of trail, Elephant Head (.2 mile one-way) and Bugle Cliff (50 yards), for views of the steep wooded mountainsides of Crawford Notch. Back on trail, pass the 30-foot Silver Cascade Falls at mile 1.1.

From the summit of Mt. Webster .9 mile later, take the Webster Cliff Trail (also part of the Appalachian Trail) northwest toward Jackson, and scramble up granite slabs along the final stretch to Jackson’s summit and unobstructed views of Mt. Washington and the Pemigewasset Range. Gray jays frequent the summit in summer, plying hikers for food. The 3.3-mile Jackson branch of the Webster-Jackson Trail drops south back to the trailhead; a 1.3-mile hike to the north leads to Mizpah Spring Hut.

GUIDEBOOK: Hiking New Hampshire, by Larry Pletcher ($17, falcon.com)

PERMITS: None, but for Mizpah Spring Hut, reserve a spot at least 2 months in advance ($121 per person, per night; outdoors.org/lodging). Or call (603) 466-2727 for last-minute openings. Nauman Tentsite has 7 platforms, first-come, first-served ($8).

CONTACT: (603) 447-5448, fs.fed.us/r9/white

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 14.3

Waypoints

MWJ001

Location: 44.215232, -71.408343

From the Webster-Jackson trailhead, hike east. Plan
to make side trips to two overlooks in the first mile of trail, Elephant Head (.2 mile one-way) and Bugle Cliff (50 yards), for views of the steep wooded mountainsides of Crawford Notch.

MWJ002

Location: 44.205866, -71.393795

Bear right at Y-junction, and cross Silver Cascade. Pass the 30-foot Silver Cascade Falls at
mile 1.1.

MWJ003

Location: 44.194805, -71.388259

Mt. Webster (3,910 ft.): From the summit of Mt. Webster, take the Webster Cliff Trail (also part of the Appalachian Trail) northwest toward Jackson.

MWJ004

Location: 44.201343, -71.375728

Scramble up granite slabs along
the final stretch to Jackson’s summit.

MWJ005

Location: 44.203282, -71.375556

You'll get unobstructed views of Mt. Washington and the Pemigewasset Range from Mt. Jackson's 4,052-foot summit. Gray jays frequent the summit in summer, plying hikers for food. Next: The 3.3-mile Jackson branch of the Webster-Jackson Trail drops south back to the trailhead. Optional: A 1.3-mile hike to the north leads to Mizpah Spring Hut.

MWJ006

Location: 44.219246, -71.370149

To make this trip an overnighter, stay at the Appalachian Mountain Club's Mizpah Spring Hut or the Nauman Tentsite next door. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.