NH Family Hikes

The 52-With-a-View: An Introductory Guide


For you hikers who aren't allured by the famous 4000-footer list's required 18-mile+ treks to Owl's Head and the Bonds or who just don't see the point in hiking to viewless Mt. Hale and the other few peaks with only minor viewpoints, the 52-With-a-View list is suited just for you. Well-known but far less popular than the 4000-footers, 52WAV claims many of the essential New Hampshire mountains outside of the 4Ks. Originally created in 1991 by a club of seniors enjoying spending all their time on the mountains and calling themselves the "Over the Hill Hikers", 52-With-a-View was first conceived as extension to the 48 4000-footers. The leader of the Over the Hill Hikers, "Lib" MacGregor, set out to design a version of the NH 100 Highest specifically tailored for her club, as opposed to the 100 Highest list already in existance. The Over the Hill Hikers clearly did not want to climb a 100 highest list that required wilderness navigation skills to reach fierce bushwhack peaks with no reward. Thus, they selected the next 52 highest mountains under 4000 feet that had both a maintained hiking trail and a good view. The first completers of the list received a "100" patch for completing both the 4000-footers and the Over the Hill Hikers' 52, but now, those folks who appreciate the solitude and vistas of the bottom 52 only will be awarded a patch. Of course, the basis for the list is entirely subjective and it does not quite achieve its goal of being the 52 highest peaks under 4000 feet that have a trail and view. There are plenty of quirks in the design of the list, first being that there is no prominence requirement. This means that what is chosen as being a "mountain" is completely arbitrary - the list includes Blueberry Mountain, a flat spot on a ridge which is by no definition a mountain and excludes the magnificent Zeacliff, which has spectacular views and is just as little a mountain as Blueberry. A second oddity is that some nearby mountains are included in the list in pairs and some are separated. For example, Mt. Meader and Eagle Crag, 2 miles apart, are one entry in the list while Mt. Chocorua and Middle Sister, well under 2 miles apart, make up two separate entries. This makes for some funny counting to get to 52.

Originally, to honor the recent death of MacGregor, the 52WAV list was to never be updated in the future (two peaks had previously been swapped out for ones with better views). This meant that several summits with views that were starting to diminish or had already been overgrown were included on the list. However, in 2020 this decision was reversed and five entries on the list were exchanged for new choices. In keeping with the weird charm of the list, the club decided to make two of the new additions Mt. Morgan and Mt. Percival, which are summits with almost no prominence, which are only a mile apart and commonly hiked as a loop (we wonder why they were not combined into one entry like Welch and Dickey), and which both fall 300 feet short of the stated minimum elevation (2500 feet). Despite its shortcomings and the fact that many mountains of lower elevation have better views than the 52, the Over the Hill Hikers' enduring list will continue to be a respected reference for less-known mountains with good views. Climbing the entire list is a joy for newcomers and 4000-footer achievers both, and we would highly recommend it to any hiker who wants to get to know the White Mountains better.

You can find all of the lookouts on 52-With-a-View here on NH Family Hikes, but you will find them grouped in a neater arrangement on this page. In addition to our suggestions on how to get started with your quest, you will find three tables with varying information on each mountain. The first table lists statistics for each hike required to collect all 52 and has clickable rows to bring you to each one's separate guide. This is by no means a complete reference, but we think it's a suitable reference for beginners. Please note that you may fashion nearly unlimited different routes to each peak, but we present our one recommended route for each one.

Working on the list

The biggest thing to be aware of about the 52WAV list is that lower elevation does not mean lower difficulty. There are many peaks on the list, such as the Baldfaces or Mt. Chocorua, that are absolutely as difficult or more difficult than many 4000-footers. For those inexperienced hikers who want to start with this list, be sure of your ability by visiting one of the easier places on the list, such as Mt. Kearsarge, Mt. Willard, or Mt. Roberts. All three of these are excellent places to start. They offer excellent views for minimal effort, pulling your attention toward climbing the rest of the list, where more effort is required to get the best views. Once you are ready to see all that the 52-With-a-View has to offer, get to know the tables below and the locations and characters of each mountain on the list. Although mainly clustered in the White Mountains, some peaks on this list are quite spread out, ranging from far southern, civilized Mt. Monadnock to Magalloway Mountain in the logging wilderness of Pittsburg. Also, see the following tips, copied from our 4000-footer list page: Know the most difficult peaks, and determine what path you will use to prepare for them. Use the chart and our descriptions to decide which intermediate hikes will challenge you to step up your ability to reach closer to the hardest ones. To keep your quest varied and exciting, remember to select peaks from different ranges and areas in turn, rather than visiting nearby peaks consecutively. You will enjoy rotating through various regions and experiencing what each one has to offer. Be aware of the driving time for each general area and plan accordingly. Know which mountains are best for certain times of year. You will want to plan for peaks which require large water crossings for late summer when water is low, for example, or save a lower peak surrounded by river valleys for autumn foliage viewing. Don't use up all the most exciting peaks first; save some for later and remember to keep one special one for last.


The 52-With-a-View list itself does not have an actual website to visit for information; the most official resource is their Facebook Page. It includes a welcome at the top with a link to an official list with instructions for submission to recieve a patch.


The following table lists route statistics for each hike to one or more 52-With-a-View peaks. Everything listed here describes the particular routes we recommend for climbing each one. Each combination of mountains or route to such can always be altered by consulting other guides. Difficulty listed here is subjective and relative to the set of 52WAV's; it is not a general classification. Click on any row to view our guide for that hike.

Mountains Round-trip Distance Elevation Gain Difficulty Special/Unique Features
Sandiwch/Jennings8.7 mi2850 feetHarderBrook scenery. Scenic sub-alpine ridge. Multiple ledge viewpoints. New England's tallest sub-4000 foot mountain.
Webster6.5 mi2550 feetHarderBugle Cliff. Cascades. Scenic loop with 4000-footer Mt. Jackson. Gray Jays!!!
Starr King7.2 mi2600 feetEasierGentle and scenic forest climb. Visit to 4000-footer Mt. Waumbek is a must for better views.
Horn8.4 mi2150 feetMediumBrook walk. Beautiful birch glades. View of summit from Unknown Pond Rocky pinnacle with near-360 view.
Shelburne Moriah11.4 mi3100 feetHarderCascade chute on Rattle River. Ridge walk over open alpine area. Alpine bogs and open ledges.
Sugarloaf4.2 mi2200 feetMediumOld fire warden road and cabin. Beautiful open summit.
North Baldface/South Baldface9.9 mi3600 feetHarderEmerald Pool. Vast expanses of steep ledges. Long open ridges. Two huge open peaks. Eagle Cascade.
Success5.5 mi1950 feetHarderWild remote trail. Extra cliff views from The Outlook. Summit bog.
Martha & Owls Head6.4 mi2450 feetHarderBeautiful forest. Open ledge on Owls Head.
Chocorua/Three Sisters8.3 mi2250 feetHarderSeveral waterfalls. Scenic ledges. Unique rocky pinnacle summit. Old fire lookout.
Stairs/Resolution/Crawford10.8 mi3250 feetHarderTrio of summits with spectacular views. Wild sub-alpine ridge
Avalon3.7 mi1550 feetEasierBrook and cascades. Sharp rocky peak.
North Percy4.4 mi2200 feetHarderExtremely steep ledges. Beautiful flat open summit.
Magalloway1.8 mi800 feetEasierFire tower with unequaled view of Pittsburg.
Tremont5.6 mi2550 feetMediumBrook and cascades. Best foliage view in NH (in our opinion).
Kearsarge North6.2 mi2600 feetMediumOpen ledges on trail. Open summit with fire tower.
Smarts7.5 mi2440 feetHarderLedges on Lambert Ridge. Long wooded ridge. Fire tower.
Paugus8.4 mi2100 feetMediumSeveral viewpoints from ledgy knob south of actual summit.
North Moat/South Moat10.4 mi3250 feetHarderMany ledges. Long interesting ridge walk. Wide open summits.
Imp Face4.4 mi1850 feetMediumCascades. Ladder. Sharp drop off ledge to brook valley.
Monadnock5.6 mi1700 feetEasierHistoric road. Spring. Multiple extra viewpoints. Huge expanse of ledges. 3rd most hiked mountain in the world.
Cardigan5.7 mi1900 feetMediumSemi-open ridge traverse from Firescrew. Open ledges. Fire Tower.
North & South Doublehead3.6 mi1450 feetMediumMany scenic open ledges with different views. Two nearby peaks. Cabin.
Eagle Crag & Meader11.1 mi3000 feetHarderVariety of viewpoints. Beautiful forested ridge. Various open ledges. Scenic gorge.
Parker7.8 mi2540 feetHarderRemote view of Rocky Branch valley. Long approach through nice forest.
Shaw7.3 mi2750 feetMediumUnique trail network. Cascade. Additional viewpoints from Big Ball Mountain. Lake views. Grassy road on summit.
Rogers Ledge8.4 mi1880 feetMediumTable-like ledge with excellent views. Beautiful northern forest and brook.
Eastman8.4 mi2600 feetMediumNice sub-alpine summit.
Kearsarge2.9 mi1100 feetEasierShort rocky ascent. Expansive ledgy summit with fire tower.
Cube5.2 mi1730 feetMediumTwo summit knobs with interesting rock and wide views.
Stinson3.6 mi1400 feetEaserShort forest climb. Rocky summit with good views and fire tower footings.
Willard3.2 mi900 feetEasierEasiest hike on 52. Small Waterfall. Incomparable view through Crawford Notch.
Black3.6 mi1550 feetMediumHistoric lime kilns. Many nice ledge viewpoints.
Welch & Dickey4.4 mi1800 feetMediumHuge extended ledge walk and climb with constant views.
Potash4.4 mi1400 feetEasierRiver crossing. Many ledges with wilderness views.
Table Mountain4.0 mi1420 feetMediumSub-alpine ledges with great views. Nice cascades.
Blueberry5.0 mi1400 feetEasierLogging roads. Mossy ledges with good views.
Israel4.4 mi1700 feetEasierLong ledgy summit. Views in a few different directions.
Roberts5.5 mi1350 feetEasierLake views from extended ledge walk. More views from grassy road at summit.
Pemigewasset3.6 mi1250 feetEasierFamous "Indian Profile". Easy forest climb. Open ledges.
Hayes5.0 mi1650 feetEasierPond and cliffs. Ledges with view of Gorham.
Middle Sugarloaf3.4 mi1100 feetEasierRiver walk. Split rock. Ladders. Walk-around ledgy summit.
Hedgehog4.8 mi1400 feetEasierGood views from three ledgy areas. Cliffs and boulders.
Pine3.5 mi900 feetMediumMany expansive ledges. Fire tower remains.
Morgan/Percival5.5 mi1500 feetEasierTwo summits with panoramic lake views. Long ridge walk. Ladders and caves.

This table provides an overview of the character of each 52WAV peak's summit.

Mountain View Type View Rating Summit Type Summit Structures/Markings
Sandiwch DomeStand-up directional7/10Forested and ledgyA cairn
Mt. WebsterThree-directional9/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
Mt. Starr KingVery limited directional3/10Forested and grassyA small cairn
The HornThree-directional8/10Forested and rockyNo markings
Shelburne Moriah MountainThree-directional9/10Sub-alpine and ledgyA cairn
Sugarloaf MountainTwo-directional8/10Forested and ledgyA sign
North BaldfaceOpen in all directions10/10Sub-alpine and ledgyA cairn
Mt. SuccessStand-up directional8/10Sub-alpine and ledgy/boggyA trail sign
Cherry MountainThree limited directional views (Summit); Two-directional view (Owl's Head) 8/10Forested and grassy (Summit); Forested and ledgy (Owl's Head)Fire tower footings (Summit)
South BaldfaceOpen in all directions10/10Sub-alpine and ledgyA cairn
Mt. ChocoruaOpen in all directions10/10Open and ledgyA benchmark
Stairs MountainWide directional7/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
Jennings PeakTwo-directional7/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
Mt. AvalonDirectional6/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
North Percy PeakWalk-around view in all directions7/10Sub-alpine and ledgyA sign
Mt. Resolution (south knob)Two-directional8/10Sub-alpine and ledgyNo markings
Magalloway MountainOpen in all directions (from tower); directional view (from cliffs) 9/10Forested and grassyA fire tower
Mt. TremontWide directional9/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
The Three SistersOpen in all directions10/10Sub-alpine and ledgyA stone foundation
Mt. Kearsarge NorthOpen in all directions (from tower); walk-around three-directional view (from summit) 10/10Sub-alpine and ledgyA fire tower
Smarts MountainOpen in all directions (from tower)7/10Completely forestedA fire tower
Mt. Paugus (south knob)Directional7/10Forested and ledgyA trail sign
North Moat MountainOpen in all directions10/10Sub-alpine and gravellyA cairn
Imp FaceTwo-directional8/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
Mt. MonadnockOpen in all directions7/10Open and ledgySigns
Mt. CardiganOpen in all directions9/10Open and ledgyA fire tower
Mt. CrawfordWalk-around view in all directions9/10Sub-alpine and ledgyNo markings
North & South DoubleheadVery limited directional (North) and Two wide directional views (South)9/10 Forested and ledgy (North) and Sub-alpine and ledgy (South)A cabin (North) and No markings (South)
Eagle Crag and Mt. MeaderThree-directional (Eagle Crag); Multiple directional views (Meader)8/10 Sub-alpine and ledgy (both)No markings
Mt. ParkerDirectional7/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
Mt. ShawDirectional8/10Forested and grassyA bench and loop road
Rogers LedgeWide directional8/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
Eastman MountainDirectional7/10Sub-alpine and ledgyA cairn
Mt. KearsargeOpen in all directions8/10Open and ledgyA fire tower
Mt. CubeTwo wide directional views from two summit knobs8/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
Stinson MountainDirectional6/10Forested and ledgyFire tower footings
Mt. WillardWide directional8/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
Black MountainWalk-around three-directional7/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
South Moat MountainOpen in all directions9/10Open and ledgyNo markings
Welch and Dickey MountainsOpen in all directions9/10Sub-alpine and ledgyNo markings
Potash MountainMultiple directional views8/10Sub-alpine and ledgyA metal post
Table MountainWide directional7/10Forested (summit) and ledgy (outlook)No markings
Blueberry MountainMultiple limited directional views5/10Sub-alpine and ledgyNo markings
Mt. IsraelWide directional7/10Forested and ledgyA cairn
Mt. RobertsWide directional view from ledges and directional view from summit 7/10Forested and grassyA sign
Mt. PemigewassetWide directional7/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
Mt. HayesDirectional6/10Forested and ledgyA trail sign
Middle Sugarloaf MountainWalk-around three-directional8/10Sub-alpine and ledgyNo markings
Hedgehog MountainDirectional view from summit; wide directional view from east ledges6/10Forested and ledgyNo markings
Pine MountainWide directional from main ledges; Several other directional views9/10Forested and ledgyFire tower footings
Mt. MorganWide directional8/10Forested and ledgyA cairn
Mt. PercivalWide directional8/10Forested and ledgyA cairn

This table provides quantitative information about the mountains. Note: Double entries are listed as the higher peak only.

# Mountain Elevation Prominence* Isolation** Range Town
1Sandwich Dome3993'1213'4.9 miSandwichWaterville Valley
2Mt. Webster3910'170'0.8 miPresidentialBeans Grant
3Mt. Starr King3907'157'0.7 miPlinyJefferson
4The Horn3905'255'0.5 miPilotKilkenny
5Shelburne Moriah Mountain3735'445'1.1 miCarterShelburne
6Sugarloaf Mountain3710'600'3.3 miWestern Nash StreamStratford
7North Baldface3610'1260'3.6 miBaldfaceBeans Purchase
8Mt. Success3565'675'2.8 miMahoosucSuccess
9Cherry Mountain3554'1555'4.3 miCherry-DartmouthCarroll
10South Baldface3570'300'1.0 miBaldfaceChatham
11Mt. Chocorua3500'1280'5.2 miSandwichAlbany
12Stairs Mountain3468'528'1.9 miPresidentialSargents Purchase
13Jennings Peak3460'160'0.6 miSandwichWaterville Valley
14Mt. Avalon3442'100'0.2 miWilleyBethlehem
15North Percy Peak3430'800'1.4 miEastern Nash StreamStratford
16Mt. Resolution3415'355'0.6 miPresidentialSargents Purchase
17Magalloway Mountain3383'1013'3.9 miNorthern LakesPisstburg
18Mt. Tremont3371'1591'4.0 miMoatBartlett
19The Three Sisters3354'174'0.5 miSandwichAlbany
20Mt. Kearsarge North3268'1758'6.7 miKearsarge North AreaChatham
21Smarts Mountain3238'2188'10.0 miMiddle Connecticut RiverLyme
22Mt. Paugus3198'978'2.1 miSandwichAlbany
23North Moat Mountain3196'1176'4.4 miMoatBartlett
24Imp Face3165'55'0.2 miCarterBeans Purhcase
25Mt. Monadnock3159'2149'41.2 miMonadnock AreaJaffrey
26Mt. Cardigan3123'1890'13.4 miCardigan AreaOrange
27Mt. Crawford3119'259'0.8 miPresidentialHadleys Purchase
28North Doublehead3053'963'2.5 miBaldfaceJackson
29Eagle Crag3030'80'0.3 miBaldfaceBeans Purchase
30Mt. Parker3004'184'1.2 miPresidentialBartlett
31Mt. Shaw2990'2340'14.1 miOssipeeMoultonborough
32Rogers Ledge2965'495'1.5 miPilotKilkenny
33Eastman Mountain2939'369'0.9 miBaldfaceChatham
34Mt. Kearsarge2930'210'18.5 miKearsarge AreaWilmot
35Mt. Cube2909'859'3.6 miMiddle Connecticut RiverOrford
36Stinson Mountain2860'1470'3.9 miStinson-Carr-KineoRumney
37Mt. Willard2865'285'0.5 miWilleyHarts Location
38Black Mountain2830'680'2.4 miBentonBenton
39South Moat Mountain2780'80'0.4 miMoatAlbany
40Dickey Mountain2734'154'1.1 miLincoln-Waterville AreaWaterville Valley
41Potash Mountain2700'240'0.7 miSandwichWaterville Valley
42Table Mountain2675'495'1.0 miMoatBartlett
43Blueberry Mountain2662'52'0.4 miBentonBenton
44Mt. Israel2630'1200'2.8 miSandwichSandwich
45Mt. Roberts2582'112'0.5 miOssipeeMoultonborough
46Mt. Pemigewasset2557'137'0.6 miKinsmanLincoln
47Mt. Hayes2555'605'1.3 miMahoosucShelburne
48Middle Sugarloaf Mountain2539'279'0.7 miLittle RiverBethlehem
49Hedgehog Mountain2532'472'0.8 miSandwichAlbany
50Pine Mountain2410'780'1.7 miPresidentialGorham
51Mt. Morgan2220'40'0.2 miSquamCampton
52Mt. Percival2212'72'0.4 miSquamCampton

*Prominence is a measure of how much a mountain stands out. If a mountain has a prominence of 500', that means if you are standing on the summit and you want to walk to a higher place, the very minimum vertical distance you must descend in order to climb up to another place higher than the summit is 500 feet.

**Isolation is a measure of how alone a mountain is. If a mountain has an isolation of 0.5 miles, that means the nearest place that is higher than the mountain is half a mile from the summit.

Delisted Peaks

The 52-With-a-View list has had a total of three revisions over the years since its original creation, with the most significant being the 2020 revision, which replaced five entries on the list. The seven peaks that have been dropped are listed here. Most of these are still worth visiting, and might make a nice extra challenge after finishing the list.
Carr Mountain - removed in 2001
Mt. Wolf - removed in 2010
Middle Black Mountain - removed in 2020
Hibbard Mountain - removed in 2020
Iron Mountain - removed in 2020
West Royce Mountain - removed in 2020
Square Ledge - removed in 2020

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