Mount Field is one of the 4,000 footers of New Hampshire that plenty of climbers summit in their quest to climb all of the 4,000 footers of New Hampshire. The views from Mount Field are fairly limited as there is is only one small area where you can see through the thick pines into Crawford Notch.
The climb is fairly easy and the summit can be accessed from several trails. You can easily climb both Mount Tom and Mount Willey (two other 4,000 footers of New Hampshire) in one day. Also, if you are into peakbagging, you can nail Mount Avalon and Mount Willard (two mountains less than 4,000 feet) and still have some daylight remaining, even in the shorter days of winter.
The trails to Mount Field are well marked and you will hike through some very beautiful New Hampshire forests on the way to the summit. There are several nice stream crossings with waterfalls as well.
Starting from North Conway, take Route 302 northwest to the Crawford Depot which is on the left side of the road. The depot is a train station. You can park free of charge (this was the case in November, 2003) at the Crawford Depot. (And is still the case now in 2007 -TLP)
Wiley Range Trail
From the parking lot, cross over the railroad tracks and look for the sign marking the trailhead. Follow the well traveled path into the forest and look for additional signs marking the trail. Almost immediately into the forest there will be a split in the trail. If you go left, it will take you to the summit of Mount Willard. You should stay to the right and follow the Avalon Trail up the mountain. At the next trail juncture, you can either go to the left, which leads you directly to the summit of Mount Field (while passing over Mount Avalon). This route is fairly steep and was difficult on my trip as there was ice on the trails. If you were to go right at the juncture, you would follow the A - Z Trail to it's intersection with the Willey Range Trail. Once you reach the Willey Range Trail, turn left and follow this to the summit of Mount Field.
I have never got a permit while hiking in the White Mountains. Parking was free when I did this climb. I have noted that other SP mountain pages reference fees for parking when using the trails.
Just be sure to park at the depot and not the AMC Highlands Center. -TLP
When To Climb
Mount Field can be climbed year round. Snow shoes or crampons may be required for winter climbs. Prepare for extreme conditions when climbing in the winter and dress accordingly.
Several miles to the south of Crawford Depot / 13 miles north of Bartlett, New Hampshireis a camp-site named Dry River Campground. This is a state run campground. There are (31) primitive sites available for $13 per night.
Check links on this page for additional information on Dry River Campground.
Check out the Mt. Washington web cam
to get an idea of current conditions. Mount Field is very close to Mount Washington.
Check out links on this page for additional information on conditions in this area.
If you purchase the AMC White Mountain Guide book, it has the necessary maps for all trails in this area and they were more than adequate for route finding and planning.