Located within The White Mountain National Forest, The Franconia Ridge is a widely popular hike that draws hikers from around the globe.  Weekends on the ridge and surrounding trails it is common to come across dozens if not hundreds of other hikers.

The Franconia Ridge is accessible via a number of well marked and well maintained trails.  Much of the ridge is located above the treeline in the alpine zone where there is fragile plant life.  Weather on the ridge and in The Whites in general is highly unpredictable.  It is strongly recommended to check weather forecasts not only for base elevation but also for higher elevations particularly elevations above treeline where there is zero cover from the harsh weather of The Whites.  It is common for trailhead base temperatures to be 30 degrees warmer than higher elevations in The Whites.  Wind is also a factor.  Some of the highest recorded wind speeds have been recorded on Mount Washington and it is common to have strong winds throughout The Whites.

The most popular and common route hikers take to reach the ridge is what is known as "The Franconia Ridge Loop".  This nearly 9 mile loop has over 3,800ft of elevation gain and has a wide variety of terrain from dense forest, streams, waterfalls, rocky, and alpine zone.  Parking for The Franconia Ridge Loop is located at The Lafayette Place/Old Bridle Path parking area.  This is located on I-93 in Franconia Notch State Park.  The Lafayette Place/Old Bridle Path parking area is not to be confused with The Lafayette Place Campground.  Parking at the campground is for campers only and not day hikers.  Although The Lafayette Place/Old Bridle Path parking area is large with around 150 spots it does fill very early and parking is no longer tolerated on I-93.  It is recommended to arrive at the lot at 6:00am at the latest.  In the event the lot is full there is a hiker shuttle provided there is a shuttle on weekends provided by the Franconia Notch State Park, more info in link below.


The Franconia Ridge
The Franconia Ridge
Location Franconia, NH
Coordinates 44.142187, -71.681583
Max El. 5249ft
Difficulty 9/10
Popularity Very High