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West Rattlesnake Mountain

Southern Lakes Region, New Hampshire

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West Rattlesnake Mountain

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  • The sign at the trailhead and a donation box.- West Rattlesnake Mountain
  • Wide, well-maintained trail. - West Rattlesnake Mountain
  • A flatter section near the top.- West Rattlesnake Mountain
  • Trail closures for revegetation help protect the mountain's biodiversity.- West Rattlesnake Mountain
  • One of the first views as you approach the overlook.- West Rattlesnake Mountain
  • Fog over Squam Lake.- West Rattlesnake Mountain
  • This family-friendly hike offers a big reward for those who hike up.- West Rattlesnake Mountain
  • Panoramic view from the overlook.- West Rattlesnake Mountain
  • West Rattlesnake is great for all ages. - West Rattlesnake Mountain
  • Additional trails can be accessed near the top to extend your hike.- West Rattlesnake Mountain
  • The Old Bridle Path takes you back the way you came.- West Rattlesnake Mountain
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Short hike. Spectacular view. Great for all ages.
Cons: 
Crowded. Occasional spring trail closure for mud.
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Region:
Southern Lakes Region, NH
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
450.00 ft (137.16 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
810.00 ft (246.89 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

West Rattlesnake Mountain and its trails are part of a natural area owned by the University of New Hampshire and maintained by the Squam Lakes Conservation Society. There is a large parking lot with additional parking across the road, but be sure to pay attention to signs and only park where permitted. The Old Bridle Path is the main route to the top with a mix of flat and gradual grades among hemlock, beech, oak, and pine forest. 

At only 2 miles round trip with 450 feet of elevation gain, West Rattlesnake Mountain’s rock outcrops provide a big reward for beginners, families, and anyone looking for a short hike with an incredible view. The rocks provide plenty of space to spread out and a panoramic, close-up look at Squam Lake and the surrounding area. Notice a shift in the types of trees around you at this point, where more red pine, red oak, and staghorn sumac dominate the forest foliage. There is even a rare herb growing near the viewpoint, Douglas’ knotweed, which is only found in a few places in New Hampshire.

When exploring the outcrop and taking in the view, walking and sitting on the bare rock can help protect the vegetation growing in this area. This viewpoint is a few hundred yards below the true summit, and anyone wishing to extend the hike can continue over the ridge to East Rattlesnake Mountain or down to Five Finger Point.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(12 within a 30 mile radius)

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(44 within a 30 mile radius)

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