Artist’s Bluff is one of the most popular short and easy hikes in NH. Located in Franconia Notch, this out and back or loop hike features stunning views of the notch, Echo Lake, Cannon Mountain, and the surrounding peaks. This trail is a perfect quick family trek.
Distance: 1.5 miles (2.41 km)
Duration: 1-2 hours
Elevation Gain: 387 feet (118 meters)
Height: 2,340 feet (713.2 meters)
Pets Allowed? Yes
Artist’s Bluff – Out and Back Route (Quickest Route) – 1 Mile Round Trip
Many hikers will just want to quickly do an out and back hike to Artist’s Bluff. This short trip has a few steep sections, but is still a great family friendly spot. There are some steep sections that parents may need to help smaller children navigate. If you have a little extra time, we recommend doing the full loop and summiting Bald Mountain as well.
This route, hikers will park at the parking area across Route 18 from the Peabody Base Area (directions below). They will hike shortly to a junction, left towards bald mountain, and to the right, directly to Artist’s Bluff.
Artist’s Bluff & Bald Mountain Loop – 1.5 miles round trip – 387 feet of elevation gain
Most hikers will do the entire loop hike to vary the terrain and also summit the appropriately named Bald Mountain. This is considered an easy hike, but there are some steep sections.
Hikers can head to Artist’s Bluff first, or to Bald Mountain. The recommended path is to head counter clockwise, especially in winter to avoid the steepest icy sections on the way down.
Artist’s Bluff & Bald Mountain Hiking Trail Map
Hiking Artist’s Bluff in Winter
This is a very frequented winter hike due to ease of access and trail difficulty. In winter months, the steep sections can get icy, so we highly recommend utilizing microspikes for traction. Hikers often say counterclockwise is the better direction in winter.
Artist’s Bluff in the Fall
This is one of the best and most packed fall foliage spots. The trees in Franconia Notch get incredible colors, and reflections off of Echo lake can be stunning. The surrounding peaks tower over hikers on either side of the notch.
Bigger Hikes in Franconia Notch
Partly cloudy. Low around -7, with temperatures rising to around 4 overnight. Wind chill values as low as -5. Northwest wind around 5 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 16. Wind chill values as low as -7. West wind around 5 mph.
Snow showers after 9pm. Cloudy. Low around 9, with temperatures rising to around 17 overnight. South wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 25. Wind chill values as low as -1. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
A slight chance of snow showers before 8pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 0. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 3.
Mostly clear, with a low around -15.
Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and sharing experiences with others. Max is a published author for various outdoor websites and digital marketing websites. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about