White Mountain National Forest: Baldface Mountain Loop

Climb nearly 4,000 vertical feet, scramble up rock ledges, explore a gorge, and summit two mountains on this 8.3-mile White Mountain adventure.
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Climb nearly 4,000 vertical feet, scramble up rock ledges, explore a gorge, and summit two mountains on this 8.3-mile White Mountain adventure.

Just west of the New Hampshire/Maine state line, this 8.3-mile lollipop in the White Mountain National Forest begins on a gradual one-mile climb before tackling a 2,500-foot ascent to the first of two rocky summits. Along the way, the hike encounters gorges, technical scramble sections, cairn-to-cairn navigation, and even a bit of easy creek-hopping. The two summits, South Baldface and North Baldface, are fairly bare and open (as their names suggest) and offer distant views of Mount Washington (New Hampshire’s highest peak) to the west.

-Mapped by Kari Bodnarchuk

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 13.4

Waypoints

BFM001

Location: 44.2374839782715, -71.0149688720703

Head W on dirt-packed, yellow-blazed trail with seasonal lady's-slippers; listen for high-pitched blue-jay calls

BFM002

Location: 44.2371673583984, -71.0292358398438

Turn L onto Baldface Circle Trail toward South Baldface. Optional: For a dip, R for .2-mi. round trip to Emerald Pool

BFM003

Location: 44.2358665466309, -71.0365524291992

Go L for .5-mi. horseshoe to Chandler Gorge, a rocky chasm cut by a cascading stream; narrow, leafy path with steep dropoffs; turn L @ jct. to reconnect with main trail

BFM004

Location: 44.2346496582031, -71.0606307983398

Cross stream; pass 3-sided storm shelter; leave trees behind on steep climb up ledges; use hands to scramble up rock face

BFM005

Location: 44.2327156066894, -71.0692138671875

Turn R on false summit (marked with large cairns)

BFM006

Location: 44.2309837341309, -71.0777969360352

South Baldface (3,569 ft.): Endless views, including Mt. Washington to the W. Turn R and head NW on ridgetop to North Baldface; cut through pine forest; cairns and blazes lead up steep boulders and rock slabs

BFM007

Location: 44.2428817749023, -71.0868682861328

North Baldface (3,591 ft.). Head NE on rooty, rocky, pine-needle trail

BFM008

Location: 44.25, -71.0759658813476

Continue straight toward Eagle Crag

BFM009

Location: 44.2524337768555, -71.0742034912109

Hard R @ 4-way; head E on Baldface Circle Trail for very steep, rocky descent; cross several small brooks

BFM010

Location: 44.2424850463867, -71.0383529663086

Continue straight

BFM011

Location: 44.2377014160156, -71.0319976806641

Cross brook on slick rocks (if high water, cross on ledge upriver). In 150 ft., stay straight @ Circle Jct.; retrace to trailhead

Emerald Pool

Location: 44.2382965087891, -71.0296783447266

©Kari Bodnarchuk

South Baldface Summit

Location: 44.2308158874512, -71.0791473388672

View of Mt. Washington from South Baldface. ©Kari Bodnarchuk

Rock Ledges

Location: 44.2351989746094, -71.0624847412109

©Kari Bodnarchuk