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Whiteface Mountain

Length: 3.2 miles out-and-back

Difficulty (click for info): Easy

Elevation Gain: 700 feet

Rating (click for info): 6/10

Elevation: 1670 ft

Prominence: 220 ft

Best Time to Visit:
This is a great hike for a spring afternoon.

Driving Directions:
Trailhead and parking area are at the end of Belknap Mountain Road in Gilford, NH. To get there, take Hoyt Road from Rt. 11A, 1.6 miles northeast of its junction with Rt. 3. Drive 1.8 miles to the end of Hoyt Road, then turn right onto Belknap Mountain Road. Continue 1.6 miles, turn left to stay on the road, then continue 0.4 miles to the end of the road. Park on the roadside.

About the Hike:
Whiteface Mountain is a low summit at the south end of the Belknap Range. It is far less popular with hikers than the higher summits of the range, but it has a view which is of the best quality for a mountain under 2000 feet. The trail starts on a gravel road next to a house. Walk down the gravel extension of the road, passing one house on the left. At the end of this house's yard, turn left onto the Whiteface Mountain Trail at a sign for "Piper/Whiteface Trail". After leaving the house behind, the trail passes an LRCT kiosk. It now climbs easily through the forest, soon going by the remains of a cabin. After crossing a small brook, it ascends for 0.7 miles to the top of the ridge between Piper and Whiteface Mountains, where it reaches a trail junction. Turn right here to head to Whiteface. Taking the left fork will take you to Piper Mountain, worthwhile if you have the time. Crossing a stone wall, the trail descends, going through a field and joining an ATV trail (bear left). The ATV Trail follows the ridge top up and down for half a mile, then begins a short climb to the top. The large clearing around the summit provides expansive views to the west and north, encompassing the Sandwich Range and parts of Squam Lake. Mt. Cardigan can be seen to the west, along with Stinson Mountain and Carr Mountain. The view extends as far as the Kinsman Range and Franconia Range to the northwest. The nearby mountains of the Belknap Range are seen nearby to the northeast, including Piper Mountain, Mt. Mack, and Straightback Mountain. The summit of Whiteface Mountain itself provides more limited views to the south and west, including Mt. Kearsarge, Mt. Monadnock, and the Uncanoonuc Mountains.

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