Hiking Mount Chocorua – NH White Mountains

Mount Chocorua is a moderately difficult hike located at the southern end of NH’s White Mountains. Standing at 3,478 feet, it offers outstanding 360 degree views on its rocky and uniquely shaped summit. A perfect view to the north and west into the heart of the white mountains, or the many surrounding lakes and peaks nearby.

Mount Chocorua - Three Sisters

Trails

Liberty Trail

Parking off of Rt 16 next to Chocorua lake. This trail is 3.9 miles each way, 7.8 miles total. It offers a gradual incline and elevation gain of around 2,500 feet. It meets up with Jim Liberty Cabin .5 miles away from the summit, where you begin some rock scrambling. It features gorgeous views near the top with a few different cool cliff views. Parking information below. This trail will take 1.5 to 3 hours each way, depending on your hiking speed.

Champney Falls Trail

This trail offers gorgeous views as you walk past Champney Falls to Chocorua. Round trip around 8.4 miles with about 2,300 feet of elevation gain. It is accessed from the Kancamagus highway. It is only shortly after the Rocky Gorge Scenic area coming from Route 16. There is a good sized parking lot at the trailhead. Directions below. This trail should take 2 to 3.5 hours each way depending upon your hiking speed.

Piper Trail

This trailhead is located off of Route 16. With a 4.5 mile and 2,700 foot elevation gain, this trail is a great workout. See directions to this trail below.

How long does it take to hike Chocorua?

Champney Falls – 2 to 3.5 hours each way depending on your hiking speed. (8.4 miles total)

Liberty Trail – 1.5 to 3 hours each way. (7.8 miles total)

Piper Trail – 2 to 3.5 hours each way. (9 miles total)

Trail Maps

Piper and Carter Ledge Trail Map

Chocorua Trail Map
Piper and Cathedral Ledge Trail Map. (click to see full size)

Champney Falls Trail Map

Champney Falls Trail Map (Click to see full image)

Directions

To Kancamagus (Rt 112) Trailhead (Champney Falls Trail)

From Route 16, follow route 12 for 14 miles. The trailhead will be on your left with a noticeable parking lot.

To Chocorua Lake Trailhead

On Route 16, take the road to Chocorua lake, you will be able to see the lake and the small bridge crossing the narrow portion of the lake from Route 16. Follow the dirt road signs to the hiking trailhead. The signs mark the path well.

To Piper Trailhead

On Route 16, this trailhead is only a few miles after Chocorua lake.

Camping

Camping is prohibited in the forest protected areas of Chocorua, which are marked by signs on the trails. Anywhere below these areas, you can legally set up a tent. Basically, you have to stay at a relatively low elevation.

Jim Liberty Hut

The Jim Liberty hut has a table in it, as well as a few wooden beds that would be great to sleep on with a sleeping pad and sleeping bag.

Trail Conditions

Mount Chocorua’s trails are generally in very good condition. They are well traveled, and pretty safe. During wet times, you can experience mud, and the rock scrambles can be a bit more dangerous and difficult to traverse. Simply be much safer during wet conditions. Winter hiking poses some concern as the summit is exposed to high winds, and is largely just rock, making for very icy and slippery surfaces. Exercise a lot of caution in these conditions and wear crampons.

Weather

I have hiked Chocorua and various weather conditions, rain, sun, wind, clouds and snow. All are great options and offer a unique experience. Just simply be cautious and have the right equipment during times of year where the temperatures can cause icy and windy conditions. Always be prepared with the proper gear.

Jim Liberty Cabin
Jim Liberty Cabin

Pictures:

Mount Chocorua Summit

Liberty Spring Trail Pano

Mount Chocorua Map

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