Classic Mt. Lafayette Views
OverviewAnother classic summit where amazing if not legendary views can be seen with little hiking effort. Both the summit of Bald Mtn. and Artist Bluff incredible views of Franconia Notch and Mt. Lafayette. This set of trails are very popular with families who visit Franconia Notch State Park. Though some of the popularity of the autual park has dwindled since the fall of Old Man of the Mountain. These to classic viewing remain extremely popular with photographers, visitors and artists alike.
Both summits are very easy to get to. Bald Mtn. is only 0.4 mile from the trailhead and though the top has some Class 2 scrambling with exposure, this trail is still popular with families and tourist. Artist Bluff is even an easier Class 1 trail from the parking lot and receives usually double the amount of people Bald Mtn. does. It only requires a 1.5 mile loop hike to do both of the viewing areas, leaving plenty of time to do many of the other attractions in the area. This hike also go good as a second hike after doing the Franconia Ridge Traverse (If you still have any energy.
Getting ThereVIA ROLAND PEABODY MEMORIAL SLOPE PARKING AREA: From I-93 (Franconia Notch Parkway) get off on Exit 35 toward the Cannon Mountain Ski Resort and head west on NH 18. Go up roughly a half mile where you see a large parking area on your right. There will be sign for both the Bald Mtn. trail and the Artist Bluff Trail.
Red TapeNo permit required yet for hiking Artist Bluff or Bald Mtn.
When To ClimbThese two can be climbed at anytime. However in winter the scramble up Bald Mtn. is a whole lot more intense and caution is needed. Also there are plenty of good areas near Artist Bluff for some rockclimbing. If you plan on making it more of a technical climb, be sure bring the proper gear.
CampingNo camping is allowed on the summit. However Lafayette Campground is located in Franconia State Park. For more information call 603-745-8391 or go to the below websites.
Official Franconia Notch Homepage
Mountain ConditionsHere are two websites that will provided you the best information on conditions in the White Mountains.
Appalachian Mountain Club
Current Trail Conditions