Bag two peaks on this out-and-back hike to the summits of Mount Starr King and Mount Waumbek. Mount Waumbek is one of New Hampshire’s 4,000-footers (the third shortest at 4,006 feet), and its wooded summit limits views. However, the view of the Presidential Range from Mount Starr King makes up for Waumbek’s limited views. The ascent is relatively steady the entire way with nothing extremely steep, so while this is a justly popular summer route, it also makes a great winter hike or snowshoe.
Park in the lot off of Route 2 and walk up Starr King Road until you reach the beginning of the Starr King Trail. Follow the Starr King Trail for 2.6 miles until you reach the summit of Mount Starr King, where you will be provided with a view of the Presidential Range. A cabin used to exist at this site, and the remains of a fireplace are still there today. After taking in the views, continue past the fireplace for the last mile to Mount Waumbek. While the summit of Mount Waumbek is wooded, continuing on 50 yards past the summit sign will provide you with another view of the Presidential Range. Retrace your steps back over Mount Starr King and back down to the parking lot.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.