Hiking Project Logo

Cannon-Lonesome Loop

Difficult
  4.8 ( 8 ) Favorite

Trail

5.8 mile 9.3 kilometer loop
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,398' 731 m
Descent: -2,398' -731 m
High: 4,082' 1,244 m
Low: 1,759' 536 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 16% (9°)
Max Grade: 78% (38°)

Dogs

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

Trail shared by Ethan Kaempf

A loop up to the top of Cannon Mountain and then down around Lonesome Lake.

Ethan Kaempf

Features Views

Overview

On this hike you'll wind through beautiful woods and have great views of Mt Lafayette and the surrounding area. There is a lot of steep climbing as well as a peaceful hike around Lonesome Lake.

Need to Know

In winter, snowshoes/micro spikes/crampons are recommended. Coming back down Cannon in the snow and ice can be extremely treacherous (I spent a lot of time sliding on my butt, slowing down by strategically hitting/grabbing trees).

Description

This loop could be done either direction, but counter-clockwise is recommended.

Start at the parking for the Lafayette Campground Visitor Center and head south along the Franconia Notch State Park Recreational Trail where you'll run into another parking lot. From here, head west on Lonesome Lake Trail and hike up this until you reach the junction with Hi-Cannon Trail. Take a right onto Hi-Cannon Trail up to Kinsman Ridge Trail enjoying the views and the forest along the way. Near the top, right after the ladder, there are some excellent views of Mt. Lafayette. This section of the hike is extremely steep and strenuous, so be prepared and be careful.

At the junction with Kinsman Ridge Trail, hike up to the junction with the ski area. To the left is a short spur (Cannon Tower Spur) that leads to the observation tower; you can go up in the tower (signage says open weather permitting). There is an enclosed area at the top, but no matter what you can climb the steps to the upper deck. This is also a great time to grab some lunch at the mountain lodge provided you don't mind hiking down a short stretch of ski trail.

After a nice break, return to Kinsman Ridge Trail and hike down to the junction with Lonesome Lake Trail. In winter, this section may be very hard to descend safely. Turn onto Lonesome Lake Trail and continue to the junction with Lonesome Lake Hut Trail. Take Lonesome Lake Hut Trail, and Cascade Brook Trail around Lonesome Lake.

The Lonesome Lake Hut is one of the nicer huts on the AT that is staffed and has breakfast and dinner. Turn right back onto Lonesome Lake Trail at the junction with Cascade Brook Trail. Continue until you get back to the parking lot.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Flora & Fauna, History & Background

Contacts

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

Sep 9, 2019
Yaara H
Aug 26, 2019
John Haines
Aug 25, 2019
Raphael Rosenbaum
Aug 19, 2019
Raphael Rosenbaum
Jun 15, 2019
Thu Dang
Jun 14, 2019
Jamie Marshall
Jun 9, 2019
Mike Maddigan
Descended from Kinsman Ridge Trail to Hi-Cannon and Dodge Cut-off to Lonesome Lake. Then down via Lonesome Lake Trail. Hi-Cannon very rocky and ste…

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 8 votes

#619

Overall
  4.8 from 8 votes
5 Star
75%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#619

Overall
469 Views Last Month
4,146 Since Feb 19, 2018
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
13%
88%
0%

Photos

From the top of Cannon Mountain.
May 24, 2016 near Franconia, NH
View down the valley from about two-thirds of the way up the Hi-Cannon trail.
Jun 7, 2017 near Franconia, NH
Cannon Mountain from Lonesome Lake.
Nov 26, 2016 near Franconia, NH
The view of Franconia Ridge from Cannon Mountain.
Apr 25, 2017 near Franconia, NH
Frozen Lonesome Lake on April 22, 2017.
Apr 25, 2017 near Franconia, NH
View from near the top of Cannon
Feb 19, 2018 near Franconia, NH

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

Shop REI Hiking