North and South Hancock mountain are perfect to combine together for a day hike. Located near the middle of the Kancamagus highway, they feature a quick ascent. These mountains don’t have exposed summits, but the summit of North Hancock has exposed granite with incredible views of the North side of the Osceola and East Osceola across the Kancamagus Highway. South Hancock has views facing the east and southeast.
Height: 4,420 feet (1,347 meters)
Distance: 8.6 miles round trip (13.84 km)
Elevation Gain: 2,500 feet
Duration: 3-5 hours
Height: 4,319 feet (1,316 meters)
Distance: 8.2 miles round trip (13.82 km)
Elevation Gain: 2,200 feet
Duration: 3-5 hours
North and South Hancock
Distance: 9.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 2,700 feet (15.77 km)
Duration: 4-6 hours
Hancock Notch Trail – This trail is the beginning portion of the loop up both summits. It starts at the point of the big bend in the Kanc (directions below). It crosses quite a few easy to cross rivers, but descends relatively slowly before
Hancock Loop Trail – This trail connects the summits of North and South Hancock. It is 1.4 miles between the peaks.
This is a fantastic winter hiking trail. Due to the steep sections up to each mountain summit, it can be difficult and slippery. In the winter, the trail also opens up providing views that hikers can’t quite get in the summertime. Because the trailhead is on the Kancamagus Highway, this trailhead is accessible year round.
Parking is located at the Hancock overlook. At the far end of the parking lot, a trail goes through the short section of woods before hikers need to cross the road at the big bend in the Kanc. This is the beginning of the trailhead. Exercise caution crossing as it can be difficult for cars to see individuals crossing.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 23. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
Patchy freezing drizzle after 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16. Southwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.
Patchy freezing drizzle before 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 31. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
A chance of snow showers and a chance of freezing rain before 11pm, then snow showers likely and a slight chance of sleet and a slight chance of freezing rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 23. Southwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible. Little or no ice accumulation expected.
Snow showers likely before 7am, then snow. Cloudy, with a high near 28. West wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Snow likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 2. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of around one inch possible.
A slight chance of snow before 7am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 7. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.
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, 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 his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about