Hiking Tips

There are two ways to learn about hiking. You can forge head-first onto the trails, make mistakes, and hopefully learn from them. Or you can take the shortcut trail to the summit of efficient hiking by learning from someone else’s missteps. While there’s nothing wrong with the first approach, it will likely lead you to acquiring some unnecessary gear, not to mention blisters. Trust us, we’ve been there and done that. Hopefully the posts here, a collection formed from lessons learned the hard way, will help set you on the right path.

Mt. Washington Summit Winter

Conquer Mt. Washington with the AMC & EMS Winter Mountaineering Program

“Good communication is essential,” Dave, our Eastern Mountain Sports guide, said. “Because gravity doesn’t care.” It was the first day of the Appalachian Mountain Club and Eastern Mountain Sports Schools’ winter mountaineering program, and we were staring up a 200-foot ice cliff near Cathedral Ledges in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Webster-Jackson Trail Viewpoint

Winter Hike Mt. Jackson via the Jackson-Webster Trail

Read Erica’s humorous account of winter hiking Mt. Jackson

Mt. Flume Winter Hike Via the Osseo Trail

Mt. Flume offers an ideal early-season winter hike to break-in your snow hiking legs with a moderate (by White Mountains’ standards) 11-mile trek via the Osseo, Lincoln Woods and Franconia Ridge trails.

Grafton Loop Trail Hike Part 1: Eastern Section

With all the great hiking in Maine, the Grafton Loop Trail (MATC trail map link) is a rarity for the state: a multi-day backpacking loop on the outskirts of the White Mountains. The eastern side of Route 26 is the longer (21.1 miles) and more difficult section.

The Bigelow Mountain Range

Hike the Bigelow Mountain Range Via the Appalachian Trail

If you’d like a full-day hiking experience with all the quad-burning challenge and beauty of the White Mountains, minus the crowds, then the Bigelow Mountain Range in western Maine is surely for you. Once dubbed the tenth hardest day hike in America by Backpacker Magazine, the Bigelow Range traverse offers a series of rock-studded peaks connected through a string of emerald ridges, deep cols, and hearty climbs.

Franconia Ridge Trail Hike

Surviving The Pemi Loop Death March

The Pemi Loop. In one day. Backpacker Magazine has named it the second hardest day hike in America, which, for most normal human beings, is down-right laughable. It is, after all, roughly the equivalent of doing three Tough Mudders. Conquering the 31.5-mile trek in a day with its eight mountains over 4,000 feet and 9,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain requires superior fitness…or a complete lack of common sense.