As we headed into New Hampshire, we started to get a little nervous about the upcoming White Mountains from all the stories we were hearing from north bound thru hikers: The climbs were gonna be terrible when we were hiking the Whites and our days would be hard and slow. The Appalachian Mountain Club which oversees this section was gonna take ALL of our money. The crowds were gonna be torture. I’m happy to say that NONE of those things were true. We absolutely loved hiking the Whites!Not only was the terrain throughout the White Mountains absolutely gorgeous, we were lucky enough to have amazing weather at all of the higher elevations when we were hiking the Whites. Sure, the hiking is hard up there, but the views make it more than worth it. And while the initial climb up Mt. Madison was a challenge, once in the higher elevations I didn’t find the hiking to be that difficult. Hiking the Whites is without a doubt a highlight of our long section hike on the Appalachian Trail.And the hut system throughout the White Mountains is awesome! We stopped at most of the huts throughout the Whites to purchase homemade snacks and soups which was such a treat after a hard day of hiking. The Potato Dill soup we had for lunch at Zealand Falls Hut was my favorite but honestly everything we ate was so freaking good. I can not explain what a treat it was to get wholesome and delicious food to supplement our trail meals while hiking the Whites. And the crowds we heard about? Non existent. While we weren’t alone up in the mountains, except for our time on Mt. Washington I never felt crowded. I was even lucky enough to stay at the beautiful Lake of the Clouds Hut just after summiting Mt. Washington as a gift from two hikers we met whose buddy had pulled out of their hike at the last minute so his hut stay couldn’t be cancelled. Can’t thank Ed and Tim enough for their kindness! Since Whoopsie and Gnome signed up for a work for stay there, we were all well fed, rested and happy that day. And it was super fun to experience how the “other half” hikes the White Mountains! The food served at the high mountain huts was absolutely delicious. It was also really wonderful to commune with other nature lovers after a long day of hiking and watch one of the most memorable sunsets I’ve ever seen from the cozy common room.My favorite day in the Whites was hiking the amazing Franconia Ridge. With gorgeous views for miles, it felt otherworldly on top of the long ridge. Be sure to take plenty of water up if you hike Franconia Ridge as it can get hot up there and water was scarce the entire time we were above tree line. But oh my goodness- the VIEWS! As far as being really expensive to backpack the Whites, we did not find that to be true. While staying in the huts is extremely pricey, camping throughout the whites is very economical. Stealth camping at the numerous established sites throughout the White Mountains, we never had to camp at a fee site. So the only money we spent was for food at the numerous huts dotted throughout the White Mountains which was an awesome deal. So now we are resting up in the adorable college town of Hanover and getting ready to head to the next state! Vermont, we can’t wait to see your beautiful mountains, but hiking the Whites is a memory we will treasure forever.
Want to read more about our Appalachian Trail adventure? Well here you go-