Lonesome Lake Trail

White Mountains, New Hampshire

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Lonesome Lake Trail


  • The start of the trail as it leaves the campground.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • Walking along the trail.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • Late spring on the Lonesome Lake Trail.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • The trail is marked with yellow blazes.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • The trail meanders through white birch forests.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • Snow can remain even into late spring.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • The trail around the lake.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • Views of Lonesome Lake.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • A mallard cleans his feathers in Lonesome Lake.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • Planks along the muddier sections of trail.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • The boardwalk along the southern edge of Lonesome Lake.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • Views over Lonesome Lake.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • A small dam on Lonesome Lake.- Lonesome Lake Trail
  • Views of Lonesome Lake.- Lonesome Lake Trail
Overview + Weather
Great views. AMC Hut at top. Other adventures nearby.
Steep climb. Big crowds.
White Mountains, NH
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,040.00 ft (316.99 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.20 mi (5.15 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,760.00 ft (536.45 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


The Lonesome Lake Trail is a fantastic moderately difficult hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It begins at the Lafayette Place Campground and ends at Lonesome Lake with incredible views of Mount Lafayette from the lakeshore. The trail is only 1.6 miles each way, but it ascends steeply over a trail filled with boulders. Multiple trails intersect at the lake, allowing visitors to lengthen their excursion or create a loop.

The trail begins at the Lafayette Place Campground, where it meanders between campsites. The trail steepens as it leaves the campground, initially following wooden steps and switchbacks through the forest. Yellow blazes clearly mark the trail.

Less than a half-mile into the trip, hikers will pass the Hi-Cannon Trail on the right. This trail leads to Kinsman Ridge and the summit of Cannon Mountain. Continue straight through the intersection following the yellow blazes to reach the lake. As the trail continues to climb steeply, stone steps begin to appear. At times, the trail becomes littered with boulders. It finally levels off as it approaches Lonesome Lake.

Once at the lake, the trail splits to follow the shore around to the Lonesome Lake A.M.C. Hut. The right side leads for a half-mile around the northern end of the lake and connects to the Kinsman Ridge and Hi-Cannon Trails. It also provides better views of Mount Lafayette. The trail to the left reaches the hut in only 0.3 miles and connects to the Basin-Cascade Trail. Both trails have swampy portions, most of which can be avoided via wooden planks.

Due to the dense forest and high elevation, hikers often find snow near the top as late as mid-May. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear for this hike.

The parking area can be reached either by returning the way you came or making a loop with the Basin-Cascade Trail and the Pemi Trail.

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(13 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(59 within a 30 mile radius)

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