Mount Carrigain (4,682 feet) is one of the most popular of the NH 48 due to its outstanding 360 degree views, and gorgeous ridge line trail. This 10 mile hike is worth it before you even hit the summit. A fire tower at the summit gives hikers an incredible view of nearly all of the 4000 footers. There are a few trail options that we will discuss below.
Height: 4,682 feet (1,427.1 m)
Length: 10 miles round trip (16.09 km)
Duration: 5-8 hours
Elevation Gain: 3,250 feet (990.6 m)
Video by Joseph Getts of Getts Wild
Signal Ridge Trail – 10 miles
This is the most popular route up Carrigain. This 10 mile round trip trail starts off Sawyer road, and features amazing views from Signal Ridge. The first two miles of the hike don’t feature much elevation gain, but the final three miles get more difficult. This trail features 3,220 feet of elevation gain from Sawyer Road to the summit. Keep in mind that Sawyer road is not maintained in winter. When the road is closed you will have to walk an extra 2.1 miles each way. Adding 4.2 miles to your hike. The link to check road status is below.
Once hikers ascend to Signal Ridge, they get incredible views, and a few fantastic places to sit for lunch. Hikers are exposed to the elements on the ridge, but the views of the Whites are outstanding.
Trail Map – Signal Ridge
The desolation trail is a far less traveled option and features a 1.9 mile very steep section up the other side of Mt. Carrigain. You can access this trail from the signal ridge trail. You can also take the Nancy Pond Trail to the Desolation Trail. You can see directions to this trail below.
Winter Hiking Mount Carrigain
Carrigain is a great option for winter hiking, but keep in mind that Sawyer Road is closed in Winter adding around 4 miles to your winter hike. Most of the hike is gradual and consistent gain. In winter, you should also have either Microspikes or Snowshoes for Carrigain on you. Snowshoes are recommended in times of high snow, especially after recent snowfall.
To Signal Ridge Trailhead on Sawyer Road. Sawyer Road can be shut down in winter meaning you will have to park at the beginning of the road where there is a parking lot. Making you have to park just off of 302. Check this website for road closage: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/whitemountain/home/?cid=stelprdb5183538
Want to take a look at mount Carrigain from the distance? Zeacliff has some awesome views. Read about Zealand Mountain
To Signal Ridge Trailhead:
Directions to Nancy Pond Trailhead
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 16. Wind chill values as low as -7. West wind 20 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph.
Snow showers likely after 11pm. Mostly cloudy. Low around -17, with temperatures rising to around -8 overnight. Wind chill values as low as -40. West wind 30 to 40 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
Mostly sunny. High near -13, with temperatures falling to around -24 in the afternoon. Wind chill values as low as -62. Northwest wind around 40 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Mostly cloudy, with a low around -26. Wind chill values as low as -66. Northwest wind 35 to 45 mph, with gusts as high as 70 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near -5. West wind 35 to 40 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph.
A slight chance of snow showers after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around -10. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.
A slight chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 24. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.
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