How to Hike Mt. Monadnock Via the White Arrow Trail



With a bald rock summit rising 3,166 feet (965.0 m) above southern New Hampshire, Mount Monadnock offers views of New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. With some controversy, it is considered the world's most climbed or second most climbed mountain after Mt. Fuji in Japan.[1] More than 60 poems have been written about it. Scores of paintings adorn museum walls with images of it.[2] Given the beautiful views the summit offers, it is no surprise that it draws a crowd of poets, artists, and hikers from around the world. The White Arrow trail is one of the most strenuous, but most direct routes to the summit.

Steps

  1. Image titled Hike Mt. Monadnock Via the White Arrow Trail Step 1
    1
    Park at the old toll house trail head and pay the State Park entrance fee of $3.
  2. Image titled Hike Mt. Monadnock Via the White Arrow Trail Step 2
    2
    Choose between the two different trail options to the spot of the old halfway house. One option is to walk up the wide, gravel Old Tollhouse Road pictured here. Another option is to take the Halfway House Trail. Both routes are of approximately equal distance, over parallel areas, but the trail offers a more "wilderness feel" and is the more recommended route.
  3. Image titled Hike Mt. Monadnock Via the White Arrow Trail Step 3
    3
    Hike up the gentle sloping Old Halfway House Trail (or Old Tollhouse Road) to the Halfway House. You will pass a variety of deciduous trees and will see beautiful foliage if you do the hike in October.
  4. Image titled Hike Mt. Monadnock Via the White Arrow Trail Step 4
    4
    Reach the site of the historic Halfway House. While the house is no longer there, the historical marker will remind you that you are about halfway in distance to the summit. That said, at this point the trail becomes much steeper and the real work is still ahead of you.
  5. Image titled Hike Mt. Monadnock Via the White Arrow Trail Step 5
    5
    After leaving Halfway House, the trail will quickly turn steeper. At times it will be a staircase like series of rocks. As you climb, the trees will change from deciduous trees to evergreens till the point you eventually pass the timberline.
  6. Image titled Hike Mt. Monadnock Via the White Arrow Trail Step 6
    6
    Climb till you reach above the timberline. The evergreen trees will give way to series of bushes and allow a view of the summit. While the summit looks tantalizingly close at this point, some relatively slow climbing over steep rock remains ahead.
    • At this point the trail becomes a bit less obvious and it helps to follow the white paint trail markings found on the rocks every 30 feet (9.1 m) or so.
      Image titled Hike Mt. Monadnock Via the White Arrow Trail Step 6Bullet1
  7. Image titled Hike Mt. Monadnock Via the White Arrow Trail Step 7
    7
    Keep climbing past the false summit to the real summit. Enjoy the fantastic view.

Tips

  • Fit hikers moving reasonably fast can do the hike round trip in 2.5 - 4 hours. Allow about 2.5 hours for the climb up and 45 minutes or more for the descent.
  • From the parking lot, the total length of the hike is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) with a 1,700 foot (518.2 m) elevation gain. The average grade is 27%.[3]
  • During peak times, arrive early as parking spots are limited.

Warnings

  • The trail becomes wet after a rain or during mud season. Parts of the trail can essentially turn into a waterfall occasionally. In cold weather, it may be icy or treacherous.
  • Bring enough supplies to complete the hike safely. The hike is strenuous and on a hot day the risk of dehydration is real. New Hampshire weather changes rapidly so bring clothes for warm and wet weather.

Article Info

Categories: Backpacking and Hiking