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The NH 48 4000 Footers


Article Categories: Hiking Tips | Travel
Article Tags: New Hampshire | The 48 | Videos

This is the ultimate guide to the 48 New Hampshire 4000 foot mountains (The NH 48). We have compiled all the information you need to hike every peak, built a Google Map with every hike’s location, give tips on how to complete the entire list, and provide lots of other helpful information.


What Are The NH 48 4000 Footers?

A NH 4000 footer is a mountain that exceeds 4,000 feet in elevation, with a prominence of 200 feet or greater. This means that there are various peaks across NH and New England that exceed 4,000 feet, but don’t have enough elevation difference between peaks to be considered separate peaks, and official 4,000 footers. It is a common feat for hikers to complete all of the NH 48, or the New England 67 peaks above 4,000 feet. Once doing so, hikers have earned and can claim a 4,000 footer club patch from the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC).


Download NH 48 List if you would like to start crossing off the mountains!


NH 48 4,000 Footer List

The below list of difficulties per peak is subjective, and based on the easiest route up each mountain. Each mountain’s difficulty is based on a comparison to other 4000 footers, which means no mountain (even the “easy” ones) should be taken lightly. If you are not experienced, do some research and prepare accordingly. To map out routes you should click on the mountain and get access to the full trail guide for that peak.

You can click on the links to view mileage, trailheads, trail maps, estimated times and pictures from each mountain.

Mountain Elevation (feet) Difficulty Summit Views
Washington 6,288 Difficult Excellent
Adams 5,744 Difficult Excellent
Jefferson 5,712 Difficult Excellent
Monroe 5,384 Difficult Excellent
Madison 5,367 Intermediate Excellent
Lafayette 5,249 Difficult Excellent
Lincoln 5,089 Difficult Excellent
South Twin 4,902 Difficult Excellent
Carter Dome 4,832 Difficult Poor (nearby Mount Hight is great)
Moosilauke 4,802 Intermediate Excellent
Eisenhower 4,780 Difficult Excellent
North Twin 4,761 Difficult Excellent
Carrigain 4,700 Intermediate Excellent
Bond 4,698 Difficult Excellent
Middle Carter 4,610 Difficult Excellent
West Bond 4,540 Difficult Excellent
Garfield 4,500 Intermediate Excellent
Liberty 4,459 Intermediate Excellent
South Carter 4,430 Difficult Excellent
Wildcat 4,422 Intermediate Good
Hancock 4,420 Intermediate Fair
South Kinsman 4,358 Difficult Good
Field 4,340 Easy Good
Osceola 4,340 Intermediate Fair
Flume 4,328 Intermediate Excellent
South Hancock 4,319 Intermediate Fair
Pierce 4,310 Easy Excellent
North Kinsman 4,293 Difficult Good
Willey 4,285 Intermediate Good
Bondcliff 4,285 Difficult Excellent
Zealand 4,260 Intermediate Poor (Zeacliff is great)
North Tripyramid 4,140 Difficult Poor
Cabot 4,170 Easy Fair
East Osceola 4,156 Easy Poor
Middle Tripyramid 4,140 Difficult Fair
Cannon 4,100 Easy Excellent
Wildcat D 4,070 Intermediate Good
Hale 4,054 Easy No View
Jackson 4,052 Easy Excellent
Tom 4,051 Intermediate Fair
Moriah 4,049 Intermediate Good
Passaconaway 4,043 Easy Good
Owl’s Head 4,025 Difficult No View (some views on slide heading up)
Galehead 4,024 Difficult Poor (Nearby AMC Hut has good views)
Whiteface 4,020 Easy Good
Waumbek 4,006 Easy Good
Isolation 4,004 Difficult Good
Tecumseh 4,003 Easy Good


New Hampshire 4,000 Footers Map

This map shows you where each of the NH 48 is in the state, and also links out to hike descriptions for each. Check out our article on NH 4000 Footer Maps.


What Is The Easiest 4,000 Footer?

This is a subjective question, but there are a few 4,000 footers that are some of the most popular ones due to ease of access, and overall ease of summiting. These peaks include:

While there are other peaks that are great “beginner” options, we often consider the above peaks some of the better starter 4,000 footers because they reward hikers with great views in addition to being some of the easier peaks.

It is worth noting that even though these are some of the easier 4,000 footers, without hiking experience, you should likely begin your hiking journey on hikes with lower elevation gain and mileage. While hiking your first 4,000 footer may be an intimidating adventure, with proper training and experience from shorter hikes, you will be able to stand atop these gorgeous peaks.


What Is The Hardest 4,000 Footer?

Owl’s Head is often considered the most difficult single peak on the NH 48 list. This is due to the long mileage, 18.2 miles round trip, and the necessary “bushwacking” (hiking off trail) necessary to hit the summit.

The intensity of any hike is dependent upon the route you take to the summit. Many people often think the highest peaks are the hardest, Mount Washington and many of the presidentials are some of the tallest peaks, but they aren’t necessarily the hardest hikes when taking the easiest trails to the summit.

Some other difficult summits include: Mount Bond, West Bond, Mount Washington (especially via trails like Huntington Ravine). Many other peaks have challenging routes so be careful when selecting the trails you hike on. The links in the table above walk you through all of the trails and their intensities.


Winter Hiking the NH 48

Some hardcore people want to cross off the NH 48 in the winter months. If you haven’t experience the White Mountains when they are white, you absolutely should. The views are stunning, and the experience of hiking is entirely different.

It is important to understand that the dangers of hiking are amplified in the winter months where weather can change quickly, and white out conditions can be deadly. It is essential to be prepared for winter hiking. Check out our guide to winter hiking.


Tips For Finishing the 4000ers

Finishing the NH 48 takes commitment, no matter how experienced you are. It doesn’t matter if you have hiked around the world, through hiked the Appalachian Trail, or haven’t yet conquered a 4,000 footer. Here are my tips for conquering them all, whether it’s the NH 48, New England 67, the AT or any other trail.

Here are some of the tips I’d pass based off of my experience:


Get In Shape

Yes, finishing the 48 will definitely get you in good shape, but if your in shape before you start, this becomes a whole lot easier. Building up endurance through local walks, easier hikes, runs, and trips to the gym is highly recommended. Going from little exercise, to your first 4,000 foot mountain has the potential for an unpleasant experience.

While fitness is a barrier to 4,000 foot mountains, it is incredible what some consistent preparation can do for most people’s abilities in the mountains. Whatever your starting point is, if you can commit to regular exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits, most people are capable of checking off a large portion of these mountains.


Get Hiking Buddies

Or make new friends! Having people who have similar interests and goals to you can help propel you to success. Whether it is at work, or training for your 4000 footer journey.

Sometimes you aren’t always motivated and they can pick you up and get you moving. Sometimes you don’t feel like hiking alone, and other times you just want to share the experience. If you can, get a hiking buddy, it’s a big help.

Some may find it difficult to find others in your life that are willing to hike. Fortunately, we live in a time where there are dozens of supportive groups, even specifically for the NH 48 peaks. Here are a few great resources for you:


Get Comfortable Hiking Alone (Within Reason)

We don’t recommend this at the start. Before you begin hiking alone, make sure you have developed enough experience, always carry emergency gear, and a satellite messenger.

Even though hiking alone brings along greater risk, I still recommend giving it a try. Being able to adventure alone adds an element of independence, the ability to go at your own pace, and it can enhance enjoyment of nature. You may even come across a moose or two! Just be careful!


Wing It Sometimes

Sometimes the best trips can’t be planned, and you just have to go with the flow. If a friend asks you to go for a hike, and you have some time, just do it. You’ll almost never regret it.

You have a free day on the weekend without plans? Hop in the car, grab some granola bars, waters, and make your way to the mountains. Don’t know where to go? Pick one off the list randomly. Just make sure you do your research on the hikes beforehand, carry a map, and the necessary emergency gear.


Be Willing To Drive

For most, it’s a long drive to get to the mountains. Generally, this drive time is worth it. Load up the audio books, the podcasts, good music, good snacks, and good friends if possible.

While the driving is generally not the highlight, that doesn’t mean you won’t create some really impactful memories.


Consider Backpacking

Many of my most memorable experience in life have come from overnight trips. Spending the night on top of a ridge is one of the most incredible things. Not only does this type of extended hiking allow you to bag numerous peaks in one day, it’s just an all around amazing experience.

Grab a hiking buddy, make sure you have the right equipment for the possible weather scenarios, plenty of food, and a deck of cards. There is nothing, and I mean nothing as beautiful as waking up before sunrise, walking on the tops of mountains and ridges as the sun rises in the distance. Oh, sunsets and stars are a huge perk too!


Make sacrifices

This one is pretty simply. At some point, you are going to have to give up something else to go hiking. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful thing. At the start, you may get FOMO for non hiking activities, but I’d bet that with enough beautiful summits under your belt, your FOMO times will be about missing the mountains.


Share Your Experience With Loved Ones

Maybe your loved ones are your hiking buddies, maybe your loved ones have never hiked before. Make them come with you at least once. Not only will it be an incredible experience, but you’ll be able to share something you love, with the ones you love.

How well do you know the White Mountains? Take our NH 48 Quiz

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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NH 48 List

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Tips For Finishing


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