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
A chance of rain showers between 3pm and 4pm, then rain. Cloudy, with a high near 40. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Rain before 9pm, then rain and snow between 9pm and 5am, then a slight chance of rain showers. Cloudy, with a low around 34. Southwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
A chance of rain showers before 2pm, then a chance of rain between 2pm and 3pm, then a chance of rain and snow between 3pm and 4pm, then a slight chance of rain and snow. Cloudy, with a high near 37. West wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts less than a tenth of an inch possible.
A slight chance of rain before 7pm, then isolated rain showers between 7pm and 4am, then a chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 32. East wind 0 to 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
A chance of rain before 11am, then rain and snow likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 34. Southeast wind 0 to 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Rain and snow. Cloudy, with a low around 31. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Rain and snow before 7am, then snow likely and isolated rain showers. Cloudy, with a high near 33. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about