Hiking Project Logo

blueBlack Mount Major Loop

  4.7 ( 14 ) Favorite

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store


4.0 mile 6.4 kilometer loop


Ascent: 1,163' 354 m
Descent: -1,160' -354 m
High: 1,772' 540 m
Low: 659' 201 m


Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 52% (27°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Tom Robson

Earn incredible views of Lake Winnipesaukee from the top of this popular hike.

Tom Robson

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This is probably one of the most popular hikes in the Lakes Region, and for good reason. The route is reasonably short and takes hikers from within dense forest to panoramic views of the area in only a couple hours.

Need to Know

Parking here can be insane, especially in summer. If there's no parking available in the lot, simply park along the west side of the road.

On hot summer days, there may be an Italian ice vendor at the parking lot. Bring some cash just in case!


From the parking lot, head due south and start your journey up the Boulder Loop Trail. I would consider this to be one of the better trails in the area; it didn't seem as crowded as the rest, and it has some great rock features most able-bodied folks will enjoy hiking over.

From this rocky area, continue up the steep trail. Eventually, you'll crest the hard part of this trail and the grade will slacken. From this spot, you have only a few hundred feet to the summit of Mount Major.

From the summit, the views are incredible; especially on a clear summer day. To the north, you'll be able to see notable peaks like: Carter Dome, Carrigan, and Whiteface. To the south you may be able to see Monadnock and Kearsarge.

Once you've had your fill of White Mountain and lake views, head west on the Major - Straightback Link. Shortly after descending slightly, turn right onto Brook Trail. Brook Trail is fine. It's a decent way to get up/down the mountain, but it is in dire need of repairs. The lower portion of this trail is incredibly washed out and can be very loose. Watch your footing.

Brook Trail eventually pops you out onto the eponymous Mt. Major Trail. Take this to the parking lot and your car!


Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In


May 3, 2019
Stephanie Brule
Mar 28, 2019
Jo Beltre
4mi — 12h 00m
Oct 7, 2018
Robert Vida
Oct 6, 2018
Pat Smith
Sep 28, 2018
D Mulligan
Perfect day - tons of cars but the trail was quiet, cool breeze on the top. No colors yet. 4.7mi
Sep 22, 2018
David Vicens
Sep 15, 2018
Dan Koeppel
Sep 8, 2018
Alix Martin

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 14 votes


  4.7 from 14 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


320 Views Last Month
5,698 Since Apr 23, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Christina Saraiva-Fauci   Boston, MA
I did this hike with my 14, 12, twin 4 years old and my 2 year old. On the web they say this is a great hike for families. While it was super awesome, it was really hard for little legs, especially the rock climbing to the summit on the Mt. Major Trail (blue blazes). We did it with a lot of breaks, lots of water and I carried the 2 year old up the harder climbs but I wouldn’t recommend that trail for families. We descended the mountain on the Brook Trail (yellow blazes) and while longer not as scary with small kids. That would have been a better family hike from start to finish. We still had a great time, the views at the summit are epic and while it did take us 5 hours to complete we enjoyed our day outside. Sep 2, 2018
Tom Robson
Boulder, CO
Tom Robson   Boulder, CO
Hi Cristina, Thanks so much for the comment. While the routing could have been better, I'm glad you and your family enjoyed the hike. Please take note of our Family Friendly feature (hikingproject.com/featured/…). There are currently no hikes in New Hampshire that utilize it. If you know that a hike on the site has a preferred routing for families, please check the "Improve this Page" feature at the top right of each hike page. Each of those hikes will be listed on that Best Of Family Friendly list. Cheers! Sep 2, 2018

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking