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“Hidden Gem just south of Franconia Ridge”

Reviewed 11 July 2017

I led a group trip in this area. We are intermediate to advanced hikers who hike all over America and even overseas. Here is my perspective from someone who has introduced many to the outdoors and uncovered hidden gems for those who are only familiar with the big brands.

Most visitors from out of area focus on the Presidentials and Franconia Ridge.. and for good reason. But what they overlook are diamonds hidden in the local fringes.

The Welch-Dickey Mountain Loop is a fantastic short 4.5 hike with two mountains and about 1,600+ elevation gain. Not much but the views, the slabs and ledges are an amazing experience.

There is a $5 parking fee here, and the lots fill up quickly during peak season. There are hard running streams including the one you'll need to cross at the beginning, but the most amazing experience and views will come from your presence atop their ledges and slabs. Be careful here as they are extremely slippery when wet. I'm still nursing a wound when I slipped off a 40' cliff and slid down 20' before arresting myself on the fall because I was too casual on the wet surface.

The trail begins at the back of the lot near the pay station and map. Once you head up the trail it splits into two. Take the right for steeper ascent and more forgiving down. There will also be a stream crossing near the very beginning of trail on right.

There will be an open area that offers up incredible views and a place to catch your breath, but don't mistake this for any of the peaks because it is not.

Getting there is a little out of the way as it's not right off the interstate and takes two or three small roads to get to in the back areas. But it's well worth looking for.

This is a hike filled with locals. Not an overabundance of Mount Washington tourists although there is no road to the top of either Welch or Dickey. That should tell you something. Part of drive involves a gravelled dirt road, in decent condition.. but in heavy flooding rain? Not so good.

Exit 28 off I-93. Upper Mad River Road. Not so far from Squam Lake area, Thorton, Woodstock. Lincoln and Waterville Valley.

Dog-friendly. Easy enough for older kids. Not really for beginners, nor those who get freaked out due to heights. Rangers set up under canopy, in season, at end of parking lot near trail head in case you need info.

WARNING - the outhouse near the front of the lot is the worst smelling outhouse I've ever experienced, as collaborated by three others. I left an air freshener in there as my gift. Using the woods is a better bet. It was worse than staying in a room with four AT through hikers who have not showered in a month.

Hike Strong!

1  Thank Carson T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (73)
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"great hike"
in 9 reviews
"rock scrambling"
in 4 reviews
"hiking boots"
in 5 reviews
"incredible views"
in 5 reviews
"challenging hike"
in 4 reviews
"white mountains"
in 7 reviews
"quick hike"
in 3 reviews
"in season"
in 2 reviews
"elevation gain"
in 2 reviews
"parking fee"
in 2 reviews
"all ages"
in 4 reviews
"afraid of heights"
in 3 reviews
"waterville valley"
in 3 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 2 reviews
"tree line"
in 2 reviews
"great fun"
in 2 reviews
"new hampshire"
in 2 reviews

11 - 15 of 73 reviews

Reviewed 6 July 2017 via mobile

The route starts out near the river, which was quite high when we went. There was also a water all over the trail. The trail soon opened up onto fantastic views of nearby mountains. At that point you are hiking on steep, glacially smoothed out rocks. At certain points they become somewhat slippery, and you have to find the routes that are driest, least steep, and bumpiest (to provide traction). The trail would be difficult to do if you started up Dickey first, and had to climb down those steep rocks.The views are with you to the top of Welch Mtn, where you should stop for your break. The view is better than on Dickey.

1  Thank Odon8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2017

A great hike for able hikers and agile dogs. Views great about 1/2 way up so you can turn around early or go all the way for even better views.

Thank Trekandmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2017

Easy climb, great views. Great for hikers of all ages and abilities. All exposes granite at the summit

Thank FredNH92051
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 December 2016

Took our 100 lb lab here for a hike in December to find wonderful, snow covered mountain trails. Still very accessible and beautiful. The hike loop is 4.5 miles to both Welch and Dickey mountains- the second mountain is a bit more strenuous but doable. It's one of our favorite mountains in the area to hike for it's beauty, terrain, and views from the top!
There are a couple tricky spots for small children and pets towards the top that require a boost or two.

Thank ADoucy1211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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