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Pemi Loop

  5.0 ( 22 ) Favorite


29.9 mile 48.2 kilometer loop


Ascent: 7,442' 2,268 m
Descent: -7,426' -2,263 m
High: 5,190' 1,582 m
Low: 1,210' 369 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 76% (37°)


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Trail shared by Billy Hafferty with improvements by Liz

A beautiful outing, circumnavigating the western half of the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

Billy Hafferty

Features Views


This loop is unforgettable, taking on some of the most beautiful terrain in the Whites. Once treeline is gained the entire loop can be viewed, making for a unique experience in tracking progress through the day.

The trail is mostly technical rock and root. Ascending is steep with some scrambling and stair sections. The ridge lines tend to be the less technical. The loop is made up of many other shorter sections and peaks. This makes for easy bail out options but also tends to crowd the singletrack later in the morning/afternoon. For the most enjoyable hiking, plan on starting early and catching the sunrise at the first peak. This will ensure a less crowded ridge line and easier hiking.

Need to Know

The terrain is technical and challenging.


The route begins at the Lincoln Woods trailhead on the Kanc. From here, one can go clockwise or counterclockwise. Clockwise is more popular, taking on the rougher terrain early and allowing for a more "relaxing" second half. Counterclockwise will allow more retreat options later, at the cost of handling rough terrain later on.

From the trailhead, cross the bridge and head along the Lincoln Woods Trail. This is the widest that the trail gets as it is a former rail trail. At the 1.5-mile mark is where you need to decide if you are going CW or CCW. Stay north on the Lincoln Woods Trail for CCW or head westward on the Osseo Trail to start your ascent up Mount Flume (5.3 miles).

Continue on the Franconia Ridge to Mt Liberty, Little Haystack, then to Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Lafayette. Here the trail turns into the Garfield Ridge/ Appalachian Trail (AT) to Mount Garfield. Mile 15.5 is where you can stop in the Galehead Lodge for water and shelter. Continue on Twinway to South Twin Mountain and Mount Guyot. Leave the Appalachian Trail (AT) for the Bondcliff Trail up Mount Bond and Bondcliff. As you descend Bondcliff, you'll meet back up with the Lincoln Woods Trail which you'll take to head back to the trailhead.

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Aug 16, 2019
Araceli Munoz Chaira
started trail Friday and ended Sunday around 5pm. 3 days, 2 nights.
Aug 5, 2019
Curtis Li
good conditions 29.9mi — 55h 00m
Jul 26, 2019
Benjamin Quist
2 days with also hiking the nearby 4000s 36mi
Jul 12, 2019
Claudia Benito Alston
7h 11m
Jul 6, 2019
Jiaoren Wang
3 days backpacking trip. Strenuous but so fun! 33mi
Jun 15, 2019
Casey Glanton
Hard terrain, but beautiful trail. Super muddy in parts! Bugs are only bad on Bond. 30mi — 16h 15m
Jun 11, 2019
Nico Lauga
Over 2 days. Did it CCW due to bad weather the first day, stayed overnight at Galehead hut. 31mi — 20h 00m
Jun 7, 2019
Thom Glick
Stayed at Gyot & Garfield sites. Summited Bondcliff, Bond, Gyot, South Twin, & Garfield. Injured my knee and took the Franconian Brook Trail out. 30mi

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 22 votes


  5.0 from 22 votes
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