Mountains of the Lakes RegionThe following is table of the summits in the NH Lakes Region.
|Mountain||Height||Most Popular Route's YDS Rating|
|Belknap Mountain||2380||Class 1|
|Gunstock Mountain||2245||Class 1|
|Mount Morgan||2220||Class 1-3|
|Mount Percival||2217||Class 2|
|Plymouth Mountain||2197||Class 1|
|Piper Mountain||2048||Class 1|
|Red Hill||2030||Class 1|
|Bald Mountain||1880||Class 1|
|Mt. Major||1786||Class 2|
|Lee Mountain||1376||Class 1|
Lakes Region Overview
The Lakes Region in New Hampshire is a classic destination for hiking and skiing and camping. The region consist of the foothills of the White Mountains to the north, the Belknap Range to the South, the Ossipee Mountain to the east (not yet on Summitpost) and Plymouth and Tenney Mountain to the west. The region itself is not completely definitive. Some would debate that Mt. Kearsarge and Cardigan fall in this region while others would argue that Plymouth Mountain is part of the White Mountains.
Though it might be hard to defined the borders of this region, it is not hard to definite the actually region. The Lakes Region is dominated by Lake Winniepausaukee, Lake Winnisquam and Squam Lake. Each of these lake are either partial or completely sorrounded by mountains that average between 1500 feet and 2500 feet in elevation. Most of the viewing areas from these mountains consist of great views of the Lakes Region. Most of these mountains can be done in a have day and are ideal for families, beginneers or for winter hiking and acclimitization.
The dominate mountains and ranges in the Lakes Region are...
- The Doublehead Range-Home to Mt. Morgan and Mt. Percival
- The Rattlesnakes-Great views of Squam Lake with little effort
- Red Hill-Classic views from the summit
- The Ossipee Mountain-few trails to the summit due to private property issues
- Belknap Mountains-A range of mountains consisting of Piper Mountain, Belknap Mountain and Mt. Major. Amazing lake views!!!
Prinicipal Cities and TownsThe largest city in this area is Laconia. Laconia is a large mostly tourist town that represent the cultural heart of this region. The city itself is home to many hotels and inns. The city is closest to the Belknap Range which is home to Mt. Major and Belknap Mountain.
Other towns in the region are Meredith, Wolfesboro and Multanborough. Each of these town are home numorous campgrounds, inn, and hotels.
Present Weather Conditions
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Weather Conditions and GearWeather Conditions is this region vary widely throughout the year. There is a saying in New England that if "you don't like the weather wait a minute". Like the Monadnock Region, this saying can't be more true for the Lakes Region. About the only thing you can depend on is that there not be snow in July and August and not be 100F temperatures in January and February. That saying, most weather is predictable and easy to judge if you looking at the weather forecast for the region. The mountains in this region are small reletive to the rest of the world and the weather conditions on the top of mountain are usually only five degrees cooler and a little more windy that the condtions starting.
In summer this region is easy to dress for, especially if you taking one of the many dayhikes in the region. Only essential hiking gear is needed with sturdy shoes and a jacket. Bug repellent is a must in this region due to the spread of the deadly Triple E and the West Nile Viruses in the region. In very early summer it is also Black Fly season. Black Flys bite with a vengance and can leave scars on your body for weeks unless you used a strong bug repellent.
Winter in this region is the most unprediatable. Invest in crampons, snowshoes and yaltraks if planning on hiking in winter. Depending on the hike, you might end up using all three. At this time of year it is key to look at the weather forecast. I never usually hike in this region unless the weather is clear or partly cloudy. If a heavy snow has fallen recently wear snowshoes. If it cold and no snow has fallen for a while that wear crampons. You can't go wrong though if you bring both.
Fall is the pretty time but weather is highly unpredictable here. If you are staying overnight in the region bring everything except the crampons and the snowshoes. Though it doesn't start snowing in the reason until late October, the nights in this region can get cold even in September. Bugs become less of a problem after the first frost. Bring a sturdy jacket, gloves and a hat and keep your eye on the weather condtions during this time of year. Cameras in late September and early Ocotber are AN ABSOLUTE MUST. New England has some of pretty foilage in the United States if not the world.
Spring is the least desirable time to hike in this region. In April mud season from snow melt turns many of these trails to mud pits. Some trails are not even open at this time. However May can be a nice time to hike in this region. The temperatures are usually warmer and weather is more predictable (though it can still snow) in May and the trails have less mud on them. Watch out for brush fire danger though especially in early May. What happen at this time of year is that because the leaves haven't developed on the trees yet, the sun's ray hit the bare ground directly and drys out the soil and the ground vegetation. This drying effect causes the trees and soil to be highly suspectible to fires.
Hiking Condition Links in the Lakes RegionHere are two websites that will provided you the best information on conditions in the Lakes Region.
Appalachian Mountain Club
Current Trail Conditions