Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
5,600.00 ft (1,706.88 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
12.10 mi (19.47 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The hike up Mount Isolation via the Glen Boulder Trail is a challenging 11.3-mile out-and-back hike. This route can be extended to 12 miles by adding a worthwhile out-and-back to the Boott Spur for breathtaking views of Mount Washington and Tuckerman Ravine.

The trail starts at the parking lot for Glen Ellis Falls, located just South of the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. At 0.4 miles the Glen Boulder Trail intersects the 1.0 mile Direttissima Trail which connects to this visitor center and can be used if parking is scarce. After this junction the trail quickly becomes steep, with a rocky climb to get above treeline. Just 1.6 miles but 1,750 feet of elevation from the start of the trail, hikers reach Glen Boulder, a prominent and well-photographed boulder beside the trail. Treeline is slightly below Glen Boulder, and the hike is exposed beyond this point. The trail also climbs some loose talus fields above the treeline.

Once at the junction of the Davis Path at 3.2 miles from the trailhead, hikers may choose to turn left to go directly toward Mount Isolation, or right for a 0.4 mile (each way) trail to summit Boot Spur at 5,460 feet, with views of Mount Washington and Tuckerman’s Ravine. This route is perfect for a lunch break, as this marks the transition from the first climb to the first descent and offers phenomenal views and relatively few crowds.

Following the Davis Path to Mount Isolation hikers descend a rocky 1,000 feet back to below treeline, then face a muddy 2.8 mile trail that is relatively flat along the Davis Path. There is a slight climb to summit Mount Isolation (4,003'), which offers impressive views of the southern Presidential Range despite its isolated location. The climb back up to the Glen Boulder trail junction is difficult, but the alpine breeze is a pleasant way to begin the descent back to the trailhead.

Although Mount Isolation is sometimes dreaded by 4000-footer hikers, the hike offers great views and is one of the least crowded hikes near the Presidential Range.

The Ultimate
Adventure Maps

Access 650K+ miles of trail data, Offline Maps, GPS Tracking, Waypoint functionality, Outdoor Project Adventures, and more with onX Backcountry. Start your free trial today–no credit card required.

Start Free Trial

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Day use parking fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Great views. Varied terrain. Fewer crowds than surrounding hikes.

Cons

Can be muddy and buggy.

Trailhead Elevation

1,960.00 ft (597.41 m)

Highest point

5,492.00 ft (1,673.96 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.