Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,644.00 ft (1,110.69 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
9.90 mi (15.93 km)
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The day hike to Mount Crawford, Mount Resolution and Stairs Mountain explores three highly underrated 3,000 foot peaks located in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. This route is suitable for hikers of many ability levels, as beginners can choose the 5.3-mile Mount Crawford Trail for breathtaking views, trail runners can run the ridge between the peaks, and backpackers can camp at the summit of Mt. Stairs or even continue along the Davis Path to Mount Isolation.

The trail begins at a carpark off of Route 302 by Notchland with a bridge across the Saco River. The river is shallow and clean, a perfect place for a post-hike dip! The first 2 miles of the trail are below treeline and, while not steep, are a challenging climb. There are designated campsites off the trail about 0.5 miles into the hike. After the rocky ascent, hikers emerge above treeline and climb exposed rock slabs, offering the first views of Crawford Notch. A sign marks the junction of the Mount Crawford Spur with the Davis Path, where hikers can turn left to ascend the 3,048-foot peak of Mount Crawford for spectacular views located around a short summit loop.

Returning back to the Davis Path, the trail assumes a gradual grade on hard-packed soil, making it suitable for trail running. This terrain continues until the junction to Mount Resolution at 3,399 feet, where the trail becomes steep and rocky once again for the 0.4 miles each way to and from Mount Resolution. The summit of Mount Resolution is just off trail, uphill to the left, is marked by a cairn and has no views, but there are good lookouts during the ascent. Returning back to the junction, hikers follow the Davis Path towards the Stairs Col trail, then continue left at the next fork up a switchback to Stairs Mountain at 3,455 feet. This peak has a few designated campsites, and views in the south stretching all the way to the pointy Mount Chocorua in the distance. From here, hikers can return to the Notchland carpark via the same route.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Beautiful views. Generally easier terrain. Smaller crowds than surrounding 4000-footers. River nearby.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

984.00 ft (299.92 m)

Highest point

3,454.72 ft (1,053.00 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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