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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

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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

You can view and online map with a downloadable GPX file of Artist’s Bluff here.


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

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. West wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Sunny, with a high near 40. Northwest wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Monday Night
Clear, with a low around 24. West wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 53. South wind 5 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.

Tuesday Night
Rain showers likely after 8pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 37. South wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Rain showers before 2pm, then rain and snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 43. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Wednesday Night
Rain and snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais

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, backcountry skier, 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 climbed all of the Colorado 14ers, is always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about

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