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Mt. Chocorua - Champney Falls Route

Difficult
 4.8 (19) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Waterfalls, stellar views, and an epic backcountry experience.


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Map Key

7.2

Miles

11.5

KM

Out and Back

3,442' 1,049 m

High

1,295' 395 m

Low

2,162' 659 m

Up

2,163' 659 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (7°)

37%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Recreation Passes:
The White Mountain National Forest requires a recreation fee at most trailheads and developed recreation areas. There are self-serve pay stations at these locations, while longer term passes may be obtained at Ranger Stations and local vendors.

Money raised by the recreation pass fee is used to maintain and enhance recreation opportunities across the White Mountain National Forest.

Camping:
Camping only allowed at Camp Penacook and Jim Liberty Cabin.

Overview

By far the most popular route to the top of Mt. Chocorua, this is also its most scenic. Named for pioneer artist, Benjamin Champney, be sure to stop and enjoy both Champney and Pitcher falls both up and down.

This route does get quite crowded, so try to leave early in the AM!

Need to Know

Camp fires are only allowed at Penacook shelter and tent space very limited as noted on trail sign

Description

The Champney Falls Trail begins by the information board in the parking area. After crossing the footbridge over Twin Brook, the trail turns sharply to the right. Follow the gradual grade of an old logging road to Champney Brook. At 1.4 miles, a loop trail will branch off on the left to scenic Champney and Pitcher Falls. In .3 miles the loop will reconnect with the Champney Falls Trail, which becomes steeper.

The first set of switchbacks is reached at 2.4 miles. At 3.0 miles the Middle Sister cutoff leads to the Middle Sister Trail. The Champney Falls Trail will reach a saddle and pass the Middle Sister Trail on the left. Soon the Champney Falls Trail ends at the junction of the Piper Trail, which will lead you to the summit in .6 mile.

History & Background

The Champney Falls Trail is named for Benjamin Champney, pioneer White Mountain Artist (1817-1907). The Falls, though fantastic to view in the spring of the year, are meager in the dry seasons.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson with improvements by Ashley Suzanne and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 19 votes

#1

in Spruce Hill

#321

Overall
  4.8 from 19 votes
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#1

in Spruce Hill

#321

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Photos

Mt. Chocorua summit!
Oct 22, 2015 near Tamworth, NH
Which way!?
Oct 22, 2015 near Tamworth, NH
Champney falls trail and piper trail intersections. .06 miles below the summit.
Sep 3, 2019 near Tamworth, NH
Wall between Champney Falls and Pitcher Falls, Nov 23, 2017.
Nov 24, 2017 near Ferncroft, NH
The steps on Champney Falls Trail.
Oct 22, 2015 near Tamworth, NH

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Check-Ins

Jun 14, 2020
Kathrin Wenger
Oct 26, 2019
Mark Bormann
Lots of water, mud, and slippery rocks. 7mi — 4h 40m
Oct 24, 2019
Cameron James
Oct 5, 2019
Petr Klapka
Great hike! Four hours and ten minutes round trip. 2:20 up, 1:50 down along the Chapney Falls trail. Waterfalls were pretty even with low water. 7.2mi — 4h 10m
Sep 1, 2019
Rich Brown
Was a nice day about 73° the parking lot was packed around one so I went and got some lunch and came back later around 330 there was parking I made… 3mi
Aug 13, 2019
Daniel Sidell
7.2mi
Jun 8, 2019
Bethany Hudson
7.2mi — 5h 40m
Jun 1, 2019
Ben Rubin
hiked with Junior. muddy but good. 7.2mi — 5h 01m