Mount Willard – NH White Mountains – Best Short Hike in Crawford Notch


Article Categories: Hiking

Mount Willard is one of the most rewarding short and easy hikes in NH. With only a gradual 1.6 miles to the cliff view of Crawford Notch, it is a prime destination for inexperienced, new, or even seasoned hikers.

Distance: 3.2 miles (5 km)
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 1-2 hours
Elevation Gain: 908 Feet (277 meters)
Height: 2,865 feet (873 meters)
Pets Allowed? Yes

Links to info on this page:
Trails | Trail Map | Hiking in Winter | Directions | Nearby Hikes




Mount Willard Trail – 3.2 miles round trip – 908 feet of elevation gain

The mount Willard Trail can be accessed from the parking lot next to the AMC Highland center in Crawford Notch. There are numerous parking areas within eye shot of the trailhead. The easiest parking area is at the train station, and the trailhead is right across the train tracks from there (see directions below). The trail is gradual almost the entire way, making it an easy day hike for even inexperienced hikers. Crawford Notch is off of Route 302.

During heavy rain, snowmelt, or other high water times, a river crossing early in the hike can become difficult to navigate without getting wet boots.

The trail features a small brook, is well traveled, and is also not bad for travel in the winter months.


Mount Willard Hiking Map

Mount Willard Trail Map


Hiking Mount Willard in Winter

Willard is one of the best easy winter hikes in the state. The short distance, lower elevation, and lack of many steep sections make it quite a safe winter hike. The views in the winter are stunningly different than the summer and fall. For anyone looking to get into winter hiking, this is a great starter mountain. It is still well traveled in winter as well. This made out list of best winter hikes in NH.

We highly recommend utilizing microspikes for traction as it can get slippery with snow and ice. It is worth noting that the hike ends at the top of a large cliff. Extra caution near the cliff should be taken with wet, icy, or snowy conditions.


Willard in the Fall

If you are looking for a great place to see the foliage, this is one of the best. The trees in Crawford Notch below the cliffs of Willard get incredible colors. Combined with the valley views, it makes for a great family fall hike as well. This will be a very busy hike during peak foliage.



Willard is located of Route 302 in Crawford Notch. Parking is at the Crawford Notch Station, which can be navigated to by most devices. 302 can be accessed by both I 93 and Route 16. You will also see extra parking along Saco Lake.


Bigger Hikes in Crawford Notch

Mount Willey – A 4000 footer that can be accessed from trailheads in Crawford Notch

Mount Tom – Another 4000 footer located nearby.

Mount Field – 4000 footer often hiked in conjunction with Mount Tom

Mount Jackson and Mount Webster – Jackson and Webster are located on the North side of Crawford Notch and can be accessed from the Highland Center.

Mount Crawford – on the 52 WAV list, this is a must do hike with incredible views.


Hikes Nearby

Arethusa Falls

Ripley Falls

Both Arethusa and Ripley are short waterfall hikes in Crawford Notch. They are extremely beautiful and accessible by all hiking levels.


Weather Forecast

Bartlett, NH

Partly cloudy, with a low around 24. Northwest wind 10 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Sunny, with a high near 41. Northwest wind 15 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Monday Night
Clear, with a low around 22. West wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 53. South wind 5 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.

Tuesday Night
A chance of rain showers between 8pm and 10pm, then rain and snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35. South wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Rain showers before 5pm, then rain and snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 44. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Wednesday Night
Rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.


Additional Pictures

Mount Willard

The views from Mount Willard are amazing in all seasons as you can see. Just left of this image, hikers even have incredible views of Mount Washington.

Mount Willard views of Mount Webster

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


  1. Max DesMarais January 21, 2020
  2. Max DesMarais May 23, 2019

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