This relatively short hike checks off two White Mountain’s 4,000 footers as well as offers excellent views from Mt Avalon NH. This is a great hike and a good year round choice. I hiked these mountains during the winter so the photos here show lots of snow, but the information below also describes this hike during the warm season.
This trail is often hiked with the addition of Mount Willey. This adds on 3 miles to the trail if you do it as an out and back or you can hike the trail as a point to point.
This hike makes our list of one of the best winter hikes in the White Mountains.
Overview of the Mt Tom, Mt Field, and Mt Avalon NH Loop Hike
Distance: 6.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,700 feet Difficulty: Moderate
This is a quick overview of the trail – if you want more details of our hike, scroll down to the bottom of this post.
This is a lollipop trail with a spur trail to Mount Tom. Start at the Crawford Notch Visitor Center. Cross the trail tracks and you will see the trailhead (this is the same trailhead as Mount Willard). Start of the Avalon Trail and hike in to your first trail split. This part of the trail is easy and steady.
The trail break marks the start of the loop section. You can hike this in either way. We chose to hike in a clockwise direction. This means that the steepest section of the hike will be done on the uphill walk to Mount Avalon. From Mount Avalon you get the best views of Crawford Notch and the Presidential Range. Continue on the loop to summit Mount Field before descending to the saddle between Field and Tom. This part of the hike is all wooded. Mount Tom is reached by a 0.6 mile spur trail on the north side of the trail. The hike up Mount Tom is relatively easy and the summit is mostly flat with some views. After summiting Tom follow the loop trail and continue down the Avalon Trail back to the trailhead.
It always a good idea to check the recent trail conditions by reading the reviews on All Trails.
Map of the Mount Tom, Mount Field, and Mount Avalon NH Loop Hike
Things to Know About hiking Mt Avalon, Mt Field and Mt Tom NH
Getting to the Trailhead
The Avalon Trail leaves right from the Crawford Notch Depot. From the classic yellow building cross the trail tracks to the obvious trailhead. There is a small parking lot here or you can park along the road. There are a number of trailheads that leave from here, so you are better off arriving early to assure that you get a parking spot.
Is there a fee to Park or Hike?
There is a $3 fee to park in the parking lot at the trailhead. You can pay the small fee right in the parking lot. There are also seasonal bathrooms, maps and general information right at the depot.
Are Dogs allowed on the Mount Field and Mount Tom Trail?
Yes, dogs are allowed but must remain on a leash during the hike.
Best Time of year to hike Mt. Tom, Field, and Avalon NH
This is a great year round hiking trail. If you are not a winter hiker, you should plan to hike between April and October. Afternoon rain showers are common during the summer, so start your hike early in the morning.
This is a great winter hiking trail but you need a good pair of microspikes or snowshoes especially on the steep sections. While these mountains aren’t as high as some of the nearby Presidential Mountains, they are still high peaks and it’s important to plan ahead, check the weather, and pack carefully for a day hike.
Details of the Mount Avalon, Field, and Tom (with the option for Mount Willey)
I did this hike with a friend during February of 2023. The forecast for the day put the temperature around 11 degrees with colder wind chills especially at the end of the day. We started on the trail around 9:30 in the morning and saw only a few other hikers throughout the entire day.
The Avalon trail starts off mostly flat with a small stream crossing that was partially frozen. After about 1/3 of a mile, the trail begins to ascend steadily. The trail was well packed and ideal for walking but we were very happy to have our microspikes with us. During the warm season, the trail here is typically rocky and rooty like most trails in the White Mountains.
After about 1 mile of hiking you will get to a trail split that marks the loop trail. We chose to hike in the clockwise direction so turned left. The trail ascends steeply from here to the summit of Mount Avalon. This is the steepest part of the trail.
Mount Avalon is a short 100 yards off the main trail and absolutely worth it since it has the best views on the trail. The views from here aren’t quite 360 degrees, and look south across Crawford Notch, northeast to Mount Washington and views to the west to Mount Field and Willey.
After taking in the views, continue on the loop up to Mount Field. This is the high point of the trail and while there is a view from here the summit itself is fully wooded. The loop turns to the north here and descends down towards Mount Tom. To reach Mount Tom, take a 0.6 mile spur trail to the north. This is an easy and short trail to another wooded summit with limited views.
Finish the loop trail and follow signs for Crawford Notch back down the Avalon Trail.
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