Quite simply, Bondcliff has some of the most unforgettable views in all of New Hampshire. As you approach the cliffs of the summit, you get 360 degree views of the heart of the White Mountains, the Pemi Wilderness, Franconia Ridge in the distance, and the rockslides of the bonds.
Height: 4,265 feet
Distance: 18.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,100 feet
Hike Time: 6-10 hours (trail running: 3-6)
Bondcliff lies just south of Mount bond. It is within the Pemigewasset Wilderness and part of the Twin Range.
The most efficient way to access the summit of Bondcliff is via the Lincoln Woods Trailhead, located at the Lincoln Woods Visitor’s Center parking lot (directions below).
Lincoln Woods Trail
This trail begins by crossing an incredible bridge over the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River and continues on very flat ground for 1.2 miles until you reach the bridge crossing Franconia Brook. The trail goes along an old logging railroad, so it is flat, wide, and features old railroad ties.
The Wilderness Trail continues after the bridge across Franconia Brook for another 1.8 miles before connecting with the Bondcliff trail. This is another mostly flat section along the old logging railroad. Between the Lincoln Woods Trail and Wilderness trail is a great way to make up time by running or moving fast. You will see many casual walkers out on these trails as they are wide, flat, and offer views of the East Branch.
The trail gains the majority of the elevation up Bondcliff. There are not many viewpoints until nearing the summit.
Camping on Bondcliff
There are a few campsites along the way which can make this long day hike easily split into two shorter days of hiking.
Franconia Brook Campsite is located about 3 miles from the Visitor’s Center on the east side trail (Not the highlighted route above). This is an option for hikers to save 3 miles by camping out here, but there is no bridge to cross the East Branch, so in times of high water, the only safe way is to come all the way back to the suspension bridge (Which won’t save you mileage).
AMC’s Guyot Campsite is located about .6 miles from the summit of Mount Bond. It is a caretaker managed campground with a fee of $10/person/per night. Features four single platforms, two double platforms, composting outhouse, dishwashing area, and metal food boxes for bear protection.
AMC’s Galehead Hut This is a full AMC hut located off of South Twin and Galehead mountain north of the bonds.
AMC’s Zealand Falls Hut This is another full AMC hut located next to Zealand falls.
Both Galehead and Zealand hut are pretty far from the bonds, but are options for individuals hiking the Pemi Loop, or hiking along the entire Twin Range. There are also some sites along the trail between Guyot and South Twin which you may be able to set up a tent or hang your hammock from a tree.
Directions to Lincoln Woods Trailhead
Popular Ways to Summit Bondcliff
Many choose to take the out and back route highlighted in the above map for a day hike or an overnight hike. Others will choose to traverse the entire Twin Range, come from Zealand Mountain, or cross Bondcliff off via an entire Pemigiwasset Loop.