Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
3.10 mi (4.99 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.

Mount Major rises up on the south side of Lake Winnipesaukee and is part of the Belknap Range. Mount Major’s panoramic views are among the best in the area, making it one of the most popular hikes in the Lakes Region. Get there early to find parking in the large lot, or add some distance walking along Route 11 if it’s already full. Two trails leave from opposite sides of the back of the parking lot, and the main trail is blazed in blue. This is a popular hike for families and beginners, though some will still find it to be a moderately strenuous hike due to some steep grades. Use careful footing on the eroded trail early on and on the steeper, rocky sections higher up. 

As you head up a section of solid bedrock, look behind you for your first glimpse of the big, beautiful lake below. Hit a couple of more open viewpoints before leaving the trees and reaching the summit. The large, open summit offers plenty of places to relax with a view, even on crowded days. Enjoy the breeze and wildflowers on a nice day, or duck behind the remains of “Mr. Phippen’s Hut” on windier days. The hut is what is left of a stone hut that was built in 1925 by then owner of the summit, George Phippen, who hoped it would provide shelter for hikers. Unfortunately, due to the summit’s windy nature, the roof was blown off on two separate occasions, and the hut has been roofless since 1928.

Look for a sign near the hut that depicts where all three trails to the top meet, and follow the orange-blazed Boulder Loop Trail for the descent. Additional views can be had as you traverse the summit and descend gradually into the trees before the trail becomes steep and rocky. If you come in the summer, be sure to look around for wildflowers, such as the pink lady slipper, when the terrain finally eases not too far from the trailhead. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Spectacular panoramic view. Great for families.

Cons

Big crowds. Large parking lot fills quickly.

Trailhead Elevation

636.00 ft (193.85 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,150.00 ft (350.52 m)

Features

Historically significant
Bird watching
Wildlife
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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