Are you looking to explore some of the best hikes in New Hampshire. The hiking list – 52 with a view is a list of the NH mountains with the best views under 4,000 feet of elevation. Similar to New Hamshires other mountain list (the 48 – 4,000 footers). This list is designed to get you to the best viewpoint without the increased effort required for some of the taller NH mountains.
Our family is working on both the 52 with a view and the more challenging 4,000-footer list and will share everything you need to know to exnjoy these mountain hikes including what to bring and expect on the hiking trails in New Hampshire.
You can find direct links to information on each of the hikes below and we will continue to update this article as we complete each hike. If you are looking for our top recommendations, see the Best Hikes in NH.
Background of the 52 with a View List
The White Mountains of New Hampshire offer endless hiking opportunities and it’s sometimes hard to know where to start to find the best hiking trail. The solution in NH is to create amazing lists of hikes to complete. Two of the most popular hiking lists in NH are the famous 4000-footer lists (which is full of long hikes such as the 18-mile+ treks to Owl’s Head) and the shorter 52-With-a-View list.
Well-known but far less popular than the 4000-footers, 52 With a View (or WAV) claims many of the essential New Hampshire mountains that offer views below 4,000 feet.
The original list was created in 1991 by a club of seniors who enjoyed spending time in the mountains and calling themselves the “Over the Hill Hikers.” The 52-With-a-View list was seen as an extension to the 4000-footer list.
The leader of the Over the Hill Hikers, “Lib” MacGregor first created a list of the NH 100 Highest hikes which was eventually rewritten to be the best 52 hikes with a view under 4,000 feet. Over the years the official list has changed a few times to better reflect the absolute best lower elevation hikes in the White Mountains.
Want to make it even more fun? You can even get a patch for hiking all the 52 with a view mountains.
One note – just because these mountains aren’t as high at the 4,000 footers, don’t underestimate hiking in New Hampshire! Trails are rooty, rocky, and often quite steep. Read more below about what to expect on the trail!
Quick Look at the List of the 52 with a View Hikes
Here is a list of the 52 with a view in descending order of elevation. Below we will break this up even more. You can also click on the hikes for more details.
- Sandwich Dome (3,992 ft.)
- Mt. Starr King (3,915 ft.)
- Mt. Webster (3,910 ft.)
- The Horn (3,900 ft.)
- Shelburne Moriah Mtn. (3,743 ft.)
- Sugarloaf (Stratford) (3,703 ft.)
- North Baldface (3,597 ft.) ≈
- Mt. Success (3,592 ft.)
- South Baldface (3,576 ft.) ≈
- Mt. Martha (Cherry Mtn.) (3,557 ft.)
- Jennings Peak (3,493 ft.)
- Mt. Chocorua (3,490 ft.)
- Stairs Mtn. (3,469 ft.)
- Mt. Avalon (3,461 ft.)
- Mt. Resolution (3,426 ft.)
- North Percy Peak (3,415 ft.)
- Magalloway Mtn. (3,385 ft.)
- Mt. Tremont (3,384 ft.)
- Middle Sister (3,340 ft.)
- Kearsarge North Mtn. (3,269 ft.)
- Smarts Mtn. (3,238 ft.)
- North Moat Mtn. (3,203 ft.)
- Mt. Monadnock (3,170 ft.)
- Imp Face (3,165 ft.)
- Mt. Cardigan (3,149 ft.)
- Mt. Crawford (3,128 ft.)
- Mt. Paugus (South Peak) (3,100 ft.)
- North Doublehead / South Doublehead (3,051 ft. / 2,939 ft.) ∗
- Eagle Crag (3,020 ft.)
- Mt. Parker (3,013 ft.)
- Mt. Shaw (2,990 ft.)
- Rogers Ledge (2,965 ft.) +
- Eastman Mtn. (2,938 ft.)
- Mt. Kearsarge (2,935 ft.)
- Mt. Cube (South Peak) (2,916 ft.)
- Stinson Mtn. (2,890 ft.)
- Mt. Willard (2,850 ft.)
- Black Mtn. (Benton) (2,829 ft.)
- South Moat Mtn. (2,772 ft.)
- Potash Mtn. (2,691 ft.)
- Table Mtn. (2,669 ft.) +
- Blueberry Mtn. (2,663 ft.)
- Mt. Israel (2,636 ft.)
- Welch Mountain / Dickey Mountain (2,598 ft. / 2,722 ft.) ∗
- Mt. Roberts (2,584 ft.)
- Mt. Hayes (2,573 ft.)
- Mt. Pemigewasset (2,552 ft.)
- Hedgehog Mtn. (2,543 ft.)
- Middle Sugarloaf (2,538 ft.)
- Pine Mtn. (Gorham) (2,404 ft.) +
- Mt. Morgan (2,213 ft.) ≈ +
- Mt. Percival (2,200 ft.) ≈ +
Map of the 52 with a View Hikes
What to Know About Hike 52 with a View
Top Tips for Hiking the 52 with a View
- Avoid bug season from late May to early July.
- Check trail conditions on trailsnh.com and alltrails.com.
- Read relevant guidebooks for insights and safety (the best guidebook is the AMC White Mountain Guide)
- Use trekking poles to protect your knees.
- Leave your hiking plans with someone.
- Don’t leave valuables in your car to prevent break-ins.
- Consider hitch-hiking, car-spotting, or biking for varied routes.
- Start hiking early to beat crowds.
- Study maps for creative trail options.
- Hike in September for fantastic mid-week experiences.
- Pack season-appropriate food for your hikes.
- Reward yourself with local restaurants after hikes.
- Choose clear days for great mountains and overcast days for less interesting ones.
Typical Hiking Trails in NH
Typical hiking trails in NH are not easy. Most trails on this list and throughout the state are rocky, full or roots and don’t have switchbacks. This means more trails go straight up when it gets steep.
While more of these trails are well marked it can be easy to get off trail especially in the fall when the leaves come down or in the winter in the snow. Follow the slashes on the trees (like the yellow one in the image below) and be prepared to pause and double check your navigation.
Due to the trail conditions, it can be difficult to travel quickly if you are approaching dark.
What to Pack when Hiking in NH
Due to the trail conditions, you should start with a good pair of hiking boots. Choose boots with some support and make sure you break them in before heading out of the trail.
Other items to bring along when hiking in NH include:
- Plenty of Food
- Water (1-3 full bottles depending on the hike)
- Emergency, safetly and first aid equipment
- Layers (rain, wind and warm layers – summits are general significantly cooler that lower elevations)
- Navigation equipment (map and compass) – I also like to take a picture of the trail on my phone
- Camera and/or phone
- Hiking poles (optional)
- Microspikes (during winter hikes)
Weather in NH
The weather in NH can change quickly, and it’s important to watch the weather in the days and hours before your hike, especially if you plan to hiking above treeline. The best places to get a forecast is either on:
Weather.gov – When using weather.gov type in the town closest to the hike you are doing. Then click on the map on the right side of the screen near the summit for a more accurate forecast.
High Peaks Forecast – A detailed forecast will be typed out specifically for high peaks in the region.
Safety when Hiking the 52 with a View List
The White Mountains can be dangerous despite their relatively low elevation – do not underestimate these mountains! Both extreme weather and difficult trail conditions can lead to safety concerns. There are deaths in these mountains every year.
Here are some safety tips for the trail:
- Always tell someone where you are going
- Do not approach or feed wildlife
- Give yourself plenty of daylight
- Keep an eye on the weather
- Be prepared to turn around if needed
- Carry the recommended safety gear for hiking
Details of the 52 with a View Routes
Below you can find a table with all the hikes in the list of 52 with a view NH. The The easiest 52 with a view hikes are at th top and the harder hikes are at the bottom. You can click on each hike for more detailed hiking information.
|Mountain||Hiking Distance (miles)||Elevation Gain (feet)||Difficulty|
|Mt. Starr King||3.8||1,300||Moderate|
|The Horn||11||2,900||Difficult/Very Difficult|
|Shelburne Moriah Mtn.||11.2||3,200||Difficult|
|North Baldface||9.8||3,600||Very Difficult|
|South Baldface||9.8||3,600||Very Difficult|
|Mt. Martha (Cherry Mtn.)||3.8||1,900||Moderate|
|North Percy Peak||4.4||2,200||Difficult|
|Middle Sister||9.5||3,000||Difficult/Very Difficult|
|Kearsarge North Mtn.||6.2||2,600||Moderate/Difficult|
|North Moat Mtn.||10.2||2,800||Difficult/Very Difficult|
|Mt. Cardigan||Varies based on route||Min. 2,000||Moderate/Difficult|
|Mt. Paugus (South Peak)||8.2||2,600||Difficult|
|North Doublehead / South Doublehead||4.0 / 2.9||1,800 / 1,700||Moderate|
|Eagle Crag||10||3,650, including both Baldfaces||Difficult/Very Difficult|
|Mt. Shaw||Varies based on route||Min. 2,000||Moderate/Difficult|
|Eastman Mtn.||9.3||1,600||Moderate but Long|
|Black Mtn. (Benton)||3.6||1,550||Moderate|
|South Moat Mtn.||7.8||2,150||Difficult|
|Welch Mountain / Dickey Mountain||4.4 / 4.4||1,800||Moderate|
|Mt. Roberts||5.0 miles||1,300 ft||Moderate|
|Mt. Hayes||5.0 miles||1,750 ft||Moderate|
|Mt. Pemigewasset||3.6 miles||1,250 ft||Moderate|
|Hedgehog Mtn.||4.8 miles||1,350 ft||Moderate|
|Middle Sugarloaf||3.8 miles||1,100 ft||Moderate|
|Pine Mtn. (Gorham)||5.4 miles||1,650 ft||Moderate|
|Mt. Morgan||5.2 miles||1,600 ft||Moderate/Difficult|
|Mt. Percival||5.2 miles||1,600 ft||Moderate/Difficult|
Looking for more hikes in New Hampshire – check out our list of the best Hikes in Southern NH.