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Mount Major Hike – The Best Views of Lake Winnipesaukee


Article Categories: Hiking

Mount Major is one of New Hampshire’s most hiked mountains. Just south of the White Mountains and Lake Winnipesaukee, it offers incredible views of the lake, Alton Bay, and the White Mountains to the north. On a clear day, Mount Washington is visible from the summit. (Scroll down for trails)

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Trail Options | Trail Map | Hiking In Winter | Parking | Directions | Weather

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Mileage: 4 Miles (6.4 km)
Hike Time: 1-3 Hours
Height: 1,786 feet (544.4 meters)
Elevation Gain (cumulative): 1,150 feet


Mount Major Hiking Trails


Mount Major Trail

Length: 1.5 miles to summit

This is the shortest and steepest route up Mount Major. It features great views near the top, a little bit of simple rock climbing (with trails to walk around), and is one of the most frequented trails.


Brook Trail

Length: 1.8 miles to summit

The brook trail breaks off of the Mount Major trail, and is slightly longer in distance, but less steep. This is a great option for the down route.


Boulder Loop Trail

Length: 1.6 miles to summit

The Boulder Loop Trail is another popular trail up Mount Major that is just another quick ascent option.

Beaver Pond Trail

Length: 2.6 miles via Straightback Mountain

This is the longest trail to the summit, but the least traveled. It takes you out of the way to Beaver Pond, and up Straightback mountain which has great views of Alton Bay and south of the Belknap Range. In the summer, you will come across tons of blueberries.

Start on the Boulder Loop trail, and take the first left onto Beaver Pond Trail. Continue on Beaver Pond Trail until you reach the Jesus Valley Road Trail. (See map below). You can choose to take the route straight up to Major (quickest route), or go over Straightback Mountain (recommended due to view and blueberries in the summer).


Trail Map

Here is another trail map option:

Mount Major Trail Map


Hiking Mount Major In Winter

Mount Major is accessible year round, and the parking lot is plowed during winter months. This is a fantastic winter hike, but hikers need to be prepared for icy conditions. Microspikes are essential on Mount Major due to the amount of ice build up, especially on steeper sections. Microspikes will prevent falls, and keep you much safer.

All trails are great during winter, however the main Mount Major Trail (blue) has several steep sections that make it far more difficult in winter. If you are not comfortable with steep icy sections, it is recommended to take another trail during winter months.

Snowshoes may also be required depending on depth of snow.



The parking lot is large off of Mt. Major Hwy, however on busy days, you will need to park along the road as the lot fills up quickly. Expect weekends and holidays to have very busy trails.


Driving Directions


Weather Forecast

Alton, NH

A chance of rain showers before 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 44. West wind 10 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Mostly clear, with a low around 21. Northwest wind 10 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Sunny, with a high near 44. Northwest wind around 10 mph.

Thursday Night
Clear, with a low around 27. Northwest wind 0 to 10 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 54. West wind 5 to 10 mph.

Friday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 33.

Mostly sunny, with a high near 57.


Additional Pictures

Beaver Pond Trail

Views of Beaver Pond from Beaver Pond Trail

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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