Mount Monadnock is a 3,165 foot mountain located in New Hampshire. It is the highest peak in Southern New Hampshire and also the highest point in Cheshire County. Mount Monadnock is ranked one of the most hiked mountain in the world.

Elevation: 3,165 feet

Elevation gain: 1,748 feet

Distance: 3.8 miles round trip

Duration (book time): 3-4 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Trails

White Dot Trail – 3.8 miles round trip

There are multiple trails that reach the summit Mount Monadnock. The White Dot trail is the most popular route to reach the summit. Begins your hike at the Monadnock State Park Headquarters. About 0.6 miles in, there will be a junction with the White Cross Trail, continue along the White Dot Trail until you reach a “halfway point” sign, indicating you have made it 1/2 of the way to the summit.  The trail begins to steepen and become rocky for a bit. The White Dot passes the Smith Connecter at 1.5 mile then joins the White Cross Trail at 1.6 mile.  Just past the White Cross junction the White Dot drops back into treeline, and then steeply climbs until reaching the exposed summit of Mount Monadnock. To descend, there is a rock with “to State Park Headquarters”  painted on it to show which direction to go. Follow the trail for roughly 1.9 miles until you reach the State Park Headquarters where you started.

White Dot Trail Map

Mount Monadnock Trail Map

Alternative routes

White Cross Trail

The White Cross is said to be less steep in places than the White Dot. Both trails are very rocky. The White CrossTrail is marked with white cross shaped blazes along the rocky trail. Begin your hike on the White Dot trail roughly 0.6 mile from headquarters. Follow the White Cross Trail, passing by a few springs of water, climbing moderately through the woods on rocky trail. Continue until you reach the Smith Connecter junction at 1.6 mile, then the White Cross joins up with the White Dot Trail until you reach the summit of Mount Monadnock  at 1.7 miles.  To descend from the summit look for “to State Park Headquarters” painted in rock and follow White Dots down to White Cross junction. It is roughly 2 miles of hiking until you reach the bottom where you began.

Elevation gain: 1,742 feet

Distance: 3.8 miles roundtrip

Duration (book time): 3-4 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Mount Monadnock White Cross Trail Map

White Arrow Trail

Elevation gain: 1,627 feet

Distance: 4.3 miles roundtrip

Duration (book time): 4 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Mount Monadnock White Arrow Trail Map

Hiking in winter

Mount Monadnock is a mountain that is hiked year-round. Though the summit is below 4,000 feet, genera precaution should be taken. The trail is very rocky and crampons and/or microspikes will be necessary in icy and snowy conditions. Always be prepared beforehand.

Camping and overnight hiking options

Monadnock State Park has designated camping areas and tent sites within the state park. Call ahead for a reservation. Fees will apply.

Parking

For the White Dot trail, the parking area is on a small side road off Poole Road near the end of Poole Road on the left side. The main entrance to the state park (the trailheads of white spot, white cross, cascade link) is a large parking area. Admission is $3.00 per person over 12 years old.

Directions

 To get to the White Dot Trail parking area (Monadnock State Park)

On a GPS, type in the address of 116 Poole Road, Jaffrey, New Hampshire for Monadnock State Park. From Route 124 West Turnpike Road, and then take a sharp right turn onto Dublin Road. Continue on the road for roughly 1.3 miles and turn left onto Poole Road.

Weather Forecast

Troy, NH

Tonight
A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. West wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Friday
Partly sunny, with a high near 60. Northwest wind 15 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.

Friday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 46. North wind 5 to 15 mph.

Saturday
A slight chance of rain showers after 3pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 67. West wind 0 to 10 mph.

Saturday Night
Rain showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Sunday
Rain showers likely before 8am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 74. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Sunday Night
A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 8pm, then scattered showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 55. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Additional photos

Mount Monadock Winter Hiking

Photo credit – Whit Andrews

Mount Monadnock Views

Photo credit – Todd Van Hoosear