Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
3,110.00 ft (947.93 m)
Trail type
10.50 mi (16.90 km)
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The hike up Mount Cabot is a 10.5 mile loop in the White Mountain National Forest. While this route is farther north than many of the other famous 4,000-foot climbs, it is well worth the drive and offers three peaks, a rustic summit cabin, and a scenic pond with mountain views. This hike is moderate with gradual climbs and would be suitable for any season.

Most hikers choose to begin the route most directly to the summit of Mount Cabot, which is 4.4 miles. The Bunnell Notch Trail is flat for the first mile then gradually climbs. While the summit does not offer any views, there are ample grey jays for birders to enjoy and a nice flat area with the summit sign for eating lunch. The Cabot Hut just before the summit is first-come first-served for an overnight stay, which is unique to many hikes in the White Mountains where AMC huts can be more costly. There are some views from near the cabin but the best views are found as one continues on the loop past the summit on the Kilkenny Ridge Trail.

The 0.2 mile side trail to The Horn is well worth it as this peak offers the best views of the entire loop! Hikers can see Mount Washington in the distance and 360-degree views from atop a large boulder on this peak. Another landmark on the journey back to the parking is Unknown Pond, which also offers views of Cabot and has campsites nearby as an alternative to staying in the cabin. The Unknown Pond trail back to the parking is gradual and an easy finish, although it can be wet during rainy months.

Overall this loop offers a little bit of everything from breathtaking views, to wildlife sightings, to options for spending the night. Best of all it is one of the less popular 4,000-foot hikes in the Whites so there are lower crowds than many of the other summits.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required

Open Year-round



Low crowds. Beautiful forest. Moderate trails.


Limited summit views. Far from other peaks.

Trailhead Elevation

1,660.00 ft (505.97 m)

Highest point

4,167.00 ft (1,270.10 m)


Family friendly
Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Bird watching
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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