Mt. Tecumseh Trail Hike

Mt. Tecumseh Summit Panoramic

At an elevation of 4,003 feet, Mt. Tecumseh is one good lightning strike away from being knocked off New Hamshire’s list of 48 peaks over 4,000 feet in the White Mountains. That said, the summit view of Mt. Osceola, the Tripyramids, and the Sandwich Range Wilderness make hiking Tecumseh worth more than a check in a box. Peak baggers earn this view via the Mt. Tecumseh Trail, an up-and-over trek with trailheads at Waterville Valley Ski Area and Tripoli Road.

The breakdown of each hike is below—skip ahead to Tripoli Road here.

Mt. Tecumseh Trail from Waterville Valley Ski Area

Distance to summit: 2.5 milesTecumseh Trail Ski Area Sign
Elevation gain: 2,200 feet
Time: 1.5-3 hours
Difficulty: Weekend Warriors
Recommended Gear: Trail Runners or Hiking BootsTrekking PolesDay Pack

The Mt. Tecumseh Trail from Waterville Valley Ski Area is the shorter but more challenging of the two ascents. Most of the elevation gain is at a diagonal to the mountain, so it’s not oppressively steep; however, this side of the trail woke up on the rocky side of the mountain, making it a watch-your-step kind of hike. Those with knee issues or younger kids in tow may want to consider hiking from Tripoli Road.

The Tecumseh Trail from the ski area begins at the upper right side (facing the lodge) of the Waterville Valley parking area (Lot #1).

Tecumseh Trail Ski Area Brook

The Tecumseh Trail starts with a small brook crossing and then parallels Tecumseh Brook for a short distance before turning up the mountain.

Tecumseh Trail Ski Area Early Climb

It doesn’t take long for the trail to turn into a cascade of rocks, which, while more challenging, also makes this side of the mountain more interesting.

Tecumseh Trail Ski Area Brook

A little over a mile into the hike, the trail drops into a gully and once again crosses Tecumseh Brook. From here it climbs sharply out of the gully and passes a short side trail to an outlook on one of the ski trails.

Tecumseh Trail Ski Area Viewpoint

The early-morning view of the Tripyramids as seen from an outlook on one of the ski trails.

Tecumseh Trail Ski Area Rocky Climb

Getting into the second half of the ascent, the trail takes a long diagonal approach up Mt. Tecumseh.

Tecumseh Trail Ski Area Rock-Steps

In sections where the trail gets a little steeper, the rocks turn to steps.

Tecumseh Trail Ski Area Near Summit

Eventually, the trail plateaus on a ridge where there’s a connection to the Sosman Trail, which goes from the summit to the top of the ski slopes. This junction can be a little confusing because the sign reads “Summit” with arrows pointing in both directions. Following the Tecumseh Trail, you’ll continue along the ridge before a quick little rock climb reveals the summit.

Tecumseh Summit View

The Mt. Tecumseh summit view of Waterville Valley and the Sandwich Range Wilderness.

Mt. Tecumseh Summit View Tripyramids

The right side of the Tecumseh summit is occupied by the Tripyramids.

Mt. Tecumseh Summit View Osceola

To the left is Mt. Osceola.

Waterville Valley Directions

From I-93 north, take exit 28 for Route 49 east. Follow 49 for about 11 miles and turn left onto Tripoli Road (there’s a sign for the ski resort). Veer left onto the ski resort where it splits from Tripoli road and stay to the right (it turns into a one-way loop). Follow the resort road to parking lot #1 at the upper right corner of the parking area.

Mt. Tecumseh Trail from Tripoli Road

Distance to summit: 3.1 milesMt. Tecumseh Trail Tripoli Sign
Elevation gain: 2,400 feet
Time: 1.5-3 hours
Difficulty: Weekend Warriors
Recommended Gear: Trail Runners or Hiking BootsTrekking PolesDay Pack

The Mt. Tecumseh Trail from Tripoli Road is .6 of a mile shorter than the Waterville Valley summit approach; however, a more gradual ascent and a smooth trail oddly devoid of rocks make it the easier option. This said, after smooth going for most of the hike, the Tripoli Road side of the trail ends with a steep ledgy climb just before the summit.

Mt. Tecumseh Trail Tripoli Early Going

Similar to the Waterville Valley side, the Tripoli Road approach begins by crossing a small brook. Once across the brook, it’s a completely different trail altogether.

Mt. Tecumseh Trail Tripoli Softwoods

The upper section of the Tecumseh Trail from Tripoli Road passes over several humps that offer brief respites from the climb.

Mt. Tecumseh Trail Tripoli Steep Climb

The last leg of the climb features a steep ledge traverse. It wouldn’t be New Hampshire without it.

Mt. Tecumseh Summit from Back

The Tecumseh summit as viewed from the back where the Tripoli Road side of the Tecumseh Trail enters.

Mt. Tecumseh Summit Sepia Tripyramids

A sepia view of the Tripyramids from the Tecumseh summit.

Mt. Tecumseh Summit Sepia Osceola

Ditto for the view of Osceola.

Mt Tecumseh Summit Vibrant

And then there’s the vibrant color view of the Tripyramids.

Tripoli Road Directions

From I-93 north, take exit 28 for Route 49 east. Follow 49 for about 11 miles and turn left onto Tripoli Road (there’s a sign for the ski resort). Stay to the right at the ski resort split and continue to follow Tripoli Road past the Osceola Vista Campground. The trailhead parking lot is 1.2 miles past the Osceola lot on the left.

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New Hampshire, New Hampshire Trail Reviews, Weekend Warriors
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