Artist’s Bluff Hike – NH White Mountains – Best Short Hike in Franconia Notch


Article Categories: Hiking

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)
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 1-2 hours
Elevation Gain: 387 feet (118 meters)
Height: 2,340 feet (713.2 meters)
Pets Allowed? Yes

Links to info on this page:
Trails | Trail Map | Hiking in Winter | Directions | Nearby Hikes


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

Artists Bluff Trail Map

Artists Bluff 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.


Artist’s Bluff is located in Franconia Notch. Directions to the trailhead are located below:

Bigger Hikes in Franconia Notch

Cannon Mountain
Mount Lafayette
Franconia Ridge
Mount Lincoln
Mount Flume
Mount Liberty

Weather Forecast

Bethlehem, NH

A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 8pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 47. West wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Sunny, with a high near 67. West wind 0 to 5 mph.

Saturday Night
A chance of rain showers after 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. Southeast wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

A chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 61. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Sunday Night
A chance of rain showers before 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 48. West wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Partly sunny, with a high near 59.

Monday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 47.

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

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