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

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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

Trails

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.

Directions

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

Overnight
Patchy drizzle and isolated rain showers before 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 54. Northwest wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. New rainfall amounts less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Friday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 76. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Friday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 55. Northwest wind 0 to 10 mph.

Saturday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. Southwest wind 0 to 5 mph.

Saturday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 61. South wind around 5 mph.

Sunday
A slight chance of rain showers after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 77.

Sunday Night
A slight chance of rain showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 60.

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor 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. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about