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Mount Monroe Hiking Trail Guide: Map, Trail Descriptions, Pictures & More


Article Categories: Hiking

Mount Monroe is a 5,372 foot mountain in the Presidential Range in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It is the 4th highest mountain on the official NH 48 4,000 footers list of New Hampshire. The highlighted route for Mount Monroe passes by the Lakes of the Clouds Hut. The exposed, rugged summit offers panoramic views of Mount Washington and rest of the Presidential Range. This mountain is often paired with Mount Washington, looping back down to the Cog Railway parking area by taking the Jewell trail after reaching Washingtons summit.

Elevation: 5,372 feet (1,637 meters)

Elevation Gain: 2,824 feet

Distance: 7 miles roundtrip

Difficulty: Strenuous

Duration (book time): 5 hours


Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail 

The most common way to summit Mount Monroe is by taking the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail, located off of Base Road in Thompson and Meserve’s Purchase, NH. Begin hiking on the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail where the first mile or so will be rather flat and rocky. You will then reach a junction with a 0.3 mile trail leading to Base Station, keep right and continue on the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail for another 1.1 miles until you reach the Gem Pool and its waterfall. After crossing over the falls, the trail begins to steeply climb for 0.8 miles until you reach the Lakes of the Clouds Hut and the junction for the Crawford Path, also part of the Appalachian Trail. At the junction, follow the Crawford Path for 0.1 miles and then follow along the Mount Monroe Loop to the summit. The summit of Mount Monroe is only 0.3 miles from there. After summiting, you can descend either side of the loop trail back to the hut.

Trail Map

Mount Monroe Trail Map

Nearby Hikes – Monroe and Washington Loop

Mount Monroe is often paired with its Northern neighbor, Mount Washington as a loop hike. Hikers will start at the Ammonoosuc Ravine trailhead and climb up to the summit of Monroe. After summiting Monroe, you will then hike back down to the Lakes of the Clouds Hut and continue along the Crawford Path(AT) until you reach the summit of Washington at 6,288′. To descend, you will follow the Great Gulf Trail from the summit for roughly 0.3 miles until you reach the Jewell Trail junction. Continue for another 0.5 miles until you reach a junction with the West Side Trail. Here, continue straight for 0.4 miles until you reach another junction with the Jewell trail. Here, you will stay left and follow the Jewell trail for 3.7 miles until you reach the parking lot.

Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail Map

Distance: 10.2 miles roundtrip

Elevation gain: 3,800 feet

Duration (book time): 6-8 hours

Difficulty: Strenuous

Mount Monroe Trail Views

Photo credit – Whit Andrews

Hiking in Winter

Winter hiking in the White Mountains requires specialized gear and skills. Please note that the weather on Monroe is similar to Mount Washington, its Northernmost neighbor. The extreme weather conditions in the alpine zone poses a major risk not only during the winter, but all year long. Note: The Lakes of The Clouds Hut is not open to hikers in the winter. It is boarded up and there is no caretaker available. There is a trap door located towards the back side of the hut that remains unlocked year round and serves as an emergency shelter for hikers in case of extreme weather conditions. Before heading out, always be sure to check the higher summits forecast on the Mount Washington Observatory website.

Lakes of The Clouds Hut

Photo credit – Doug Letterman

Camping and Overnight Hiking Options

The entire trail is amongst a USFS “Forest Protection Area”. There is no camping allowed within 200 feet of the trail. The Lakes of the Clouds Hut offers a reservation based overnight option for hikers to sleep, enjoy a meal, and hit the trails early. The hut operates seasonally, and there is no caretaker on duty or services provided during the off season. There is a small refuge room that is kept unlocked during the winter to provide an emergency shelter for hikers. It is located on the bottom left side of the building, if you are facing up the mountain.

Lakes of the Clouds Hut

Photo credit – Wesley Carr


The Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead parking area is located off Base Station Road in Thompson and Meserve’s Purchase, NH.


To get to the Ammonoosuc Ravine trailhead

From the junction of Route 3 and Route 302: Go East on Route 302 for roughly 5 miles. Make a left turn onto Base Station Road, where you will see a billboard sign for the Mount Washington Cog Railway. Drive for about 5 miles on Base Station Road until you reach the WMNF parking area on the right. The parking area is large and can fit many vehicles.


The short but steep climb from the Lakes of the Clouds is entirely above treeline and exposed to the elements.  Sustained winds of over 100 miles per hour, freezing temperatures, and snow is likely to occur during any month of the year. Prepare and plan accordingly. Since the last segment of the trail is exposed, do not attempt in inclement weather with low visibility.

Gorham, NH

A slight chance of rain and snow showers after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. Southwest wind 20 to 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. New rainfall amounts less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Rain and snow before 10am, then rain and snow between 10am and 2pm, then a chance of snow showers between 2pm and 5pm. Cloudy. High near 37, with temperatures falling to around 24 in the afternoon. West wind 15 to 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of around one inch possible.

Wednesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 8. Wind chill values as low as -14. Northwest wind 30 to 45 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. New snow accumulation of around one inch possible.

Sunny, with a high near 33. Wind chill values as low as -14. Northwest wind 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.

Thursday Night
Clear, with a low around 20. Northwest wind 15 to 20 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 42.

Friday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 28.

Additional photos

Mount Monroe Waterfall

Photo credit – Tim Sackton

Mount Monroe Views

Photo credit – John Hayes



Andrea Davis

Andrea Davis

Andrea is a writer, hiker, and adventurer from New England. She enjoys snowboarding, sunrise hikes, winter, night hiking, traveling, and photography.

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