The Pemigewasset (Pemi) Wilderness

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What is the Pemigewasset Wilderness?

The Pemigewasset Wilderness (Pemi Wilderness), is a 46,000 acre piece of protected land in the heart of the white mountains. Surrounding this land is the Franconia Range, and the Twin range that horseshoe around the west, north and east sides of the Pemi Wilderness. This piece of land is often considered some of the most beautiful NH has to offer due to the large amounts of untouched and beautiful landscape. Though nearly all of the trees were logged in in a 50 year span in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the land hasn’t been scarred since, allowing for almost complete regeneration of the hardwood forests.

Your can read more about the history of the Pemi Wilderness here. You can find the official FSDA Pemi Wilderness page here.

 

What Are The Hiking options?

The hiking, fishing, and trail running options in the Pemi Wilderness are abundant. From the entire Pemi Loop, to a walk along the gorgeous east branch of the Pemigewasset River, nearly everyone can find a getaway in the beautiful outdoors here. With easy access off of main NH roads, and tons of mountain options, you’ll be sure to find tons of options.

 

List of Mountains

Within the Pemi Wilderness, there are various mountains for hikers to summit in all seasons. We have listed them below. For each, you can click and view a complete trail guide for that peak.

Mount Lafayette
Mount Lincoln
Mount Liberty
Mount Flume
Franconia Ridge
Owl’s Head
Mount Garfield
Galehead Mountain
North & South Twin Mountain
Zealand Mountain
Mount Bond
West Bond
Bondcliff
The Pemi Loop

 

Other Hiking Trails

If you are looking for a shorter trek, or longer trek, here are some other very common and fantastic hiking spots in the Pemi Wilderness.

Lincoln Woods Trail: This is a common starting place for the pemi loop, but also common for fisherman and families due to the easy hiking conditions and beautiful scenery. Starting at this trailhead, hikers can walk along flat trails along the east branch of the pemi river. Fishing is fantastic here, the river is beautiful, and hikers can head over to Franconia Falls.

Falling Waters Trail: This is the starting location for Mount Lincoln, or a portion of Franconia Ridge. Hikers can quickly reach the absolutely stunning waterfalls with the biggest attraction being Cloudland Falls, an 80-foot gorgeous falls. There is also Stairs Falls and Swiftwater Falls.

Zealand Falls Trail: This is the starting location for Zealand Mountain. Hikers hike along some gorgeous rivers, reach a beautiful pond, and eventually reach the absolutely stunning Zealand Falls which sits right next to the Zealand Falls AMC Hut.

 

Camping

There are tons of dispersed camping options in the Pemi Wilderness. In addition, there are AMC huts along the perimeter, as well as established campsites. Also, visitors can find campgrounds nearby to stay at.

AMC Huts: Galehead Hut, Greenleaf Hut, Zealand Falls Hut

Backcountry Tent Sites: Garfield Ridge Shelter, Guyot Shelter, Liberty Springs Tentsite, Franconia Brook Tentsite, Thirteen Falls Tentsite

Nearby Campgrounds: Lafayette Place Campground, Hancock Campground, Gale River Campground

Stealth Camping (Not campgrounds or tentsites): 

Here are the regulations for stealth camping:

Regulations

  • No mechanized equipment or mechanical transport (including bicycles, carts, and wagons. Wheelchairs are allowed.).
  • Hiking and camping group size must be limited to 10 people or less.
  • Geocaching is prohibited.

Special Regulations (in addition to those listed above):

  • No camping, wood or charcoal fires within 200 feet of any trail.
  • No camping, wood or charcoal fires within 200 feet of the East Branch of the Pemi River from the Wilderness boundary to its crossing with Thoreau Falls Trail, including islands.
  • No camping, wood or charcoal fires within 1/4 mile of the Franconia Brook Campsite, 13 Falls Tentsite, Guyot Tentsite, or Thoreau Falls.

You can find the official page here.

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and sharing experiences with others. Max is a published author for various outdoor websites and digital marketing websites. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about