Mount Pemigewasset is one of the largely overlooked peaks of the Franconia Notch region as it sits quite humbly in stature when compared to its neighbors. This peaks summit's views have nothing second rate about them though. From the top, granite slabs and ledges drop away nearly 1,500 feet into the floor of Franconia Notch. This is quite a reward for the meager 1.5 mile hike to the summit from the Flume Gorge Visitors Center parking area.
The hike to the summit is well worth the effort. On the way up you'll cross some beautiful lg>ittle streams and it is generally just a nice walk in the woods. The summit panorama is quite impressive from the top as you gaze down upon the floor of the notch and the mountain gives a much mightier impression than its elevation suggests. Views include Mts. Lafayette , Lincoln , Haystack , Liberty , Flume , Cannon , North and South Kinsman , Moosilauke , Tecumseh , Oseceola , and the Tripyramids . I-93 sits below and the view of the ant like cars going by is one of interesting proportions. Mount Pemigewasset has everything, from a beautiful scenic trail, to amazing views, this summit is well worth a visit for the modest time required to gain the summit.
Take I-93 north until you enter into the White Mountains. Your view ahead will be of the peaks around Franconia Notch and you'll actually pass the Indian Head on your left. Take the exit for the Flume Gorge Visitors Center and leave your car in the parking area at the north end of the lot. Take the bike path north 150 yards to where you'll see the trailhead sign.
There are no fees to pay for parking lot for the visitors center and there are also no trail fees either. For conservation and preservaton purposes follow the “LEAVE NO TRACE” program and you'll be fine. The AMC is a big sponsor of this program so for more information click on the link above for Leave No Trace. Treasure this area so that our children's children can get the same enjoyment we do today out of these amazing places.
When To Climb
This mountain is attainable in all seasons with winter probably being a little harder than in the snow-free months. No matter what time you go though, you're guaranteed awesome views (unless its foggy). Fall would be a great time to hike this mountain to take in some of New England's great fall foliage.
This mountain is also not for the faint of heart when it comes to walking the summit ledges. If a member of your party is scared of heights, this mountain may not be for them.
There is no camping allowed on the east side of the mountain as it is within Franconia State Park limits. There is a campground in this area though called Lafayette Campground. It is no more than a five minute drive to Mt. Pemigewasset's trailhead.
On the west side it borders the White Mountains National Forest. You may camp here but you must be at least 200 feet from any trail. Camping above timberline is available, but only if there is at least two feet of snow on the ground.
For current and up to date weather conditions click on the link below.
Due to its lower elevation, Mt. Pemigewasset is not as succeptible as the higher peaks of the area. That does not mean however that there isn't the possiblity of inclement weather. Take all the precautions you would for and big mountain in the area.