Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain

Franconia Notch State Park

White Mountains, New Hampshire

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Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain


  • Trailhead for Bald Mountain and the loop to Artists Bluff.- Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain
  • An easy section of trail. - Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain
  • Overlooking Echo Lake. - Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain
  • Artists Bluff offers views of the Franconia Ridge and Interstate 93.- Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain
  • Cannon Mountain ski slopes. - Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain
  • Kids love climbing on the large boulders at Artists Bluff.- Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain
  • Trail junction points to the bluff and up to the ridge.- Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain
  • Trail leading down from Artists Bluff.- Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain
  • Trail junction near Route 18. - Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain
  • Loop trail paralleling the road back to the trailhead.- Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain
Overview + Weather
Short hike. Great views. Family friendly.
Sometimes crowded. Overlooks highway.
White Mountains, NH
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
300.00 ft (91.44 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.50 mi (2.41 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,014.00 ft (613.87 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Artists Bluff is a moderate, beginner and family-friendly hike in Franconia Notch State Park that rewards hikers with a gorgeous view. There are a few options for hiking here, including an out-and-back hike to either Artists Bluff or to Bald Mountain, or a loop to do both.

Starting from the parking area for Echo Lake Beach, a sign across the road marks the start of the shortest, easiest route to Artists Bluff. This trail is a good option if you just want to do Artists Bluff and return the way you came. While a short hike, it still goes uphill and has some rocky terrain, so very young children may need a hand in spots.

The loop option involves parking a little further up on Route 18 across from the Peabody Base Lodge. From here, a quarter-mile hike brings you to a junction where you can bear left to do a very short side trip to Bald Mountain, which lives up to its name with its open, rocky summit. Bearing right at the junction brings you along a ridge and has a section of steep descent, and it eventually leads to the overlook at Artists Bluff. Kids will enjoy scrambling around on the rocks, and this is a scenic place to have lunch or a snack. While this viewpoint overlooks Interstate 93, it also looks out at the ski slopes on Cannon Mountain as well as Echo Lake down below. This is a very popular hike in the fall to see the changing foliage. As you head down along the loop you’ll reach a junction; the path to the right continues in and out of the woods, parallels the road, and brings you back to the trailhead.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(13 within a 30 mile radius)

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(56 within a 30 mile radius)

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