Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
2,694.00 ft (821.13 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
8.10 mi (13.04 km)
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The hike to Sandwich Dome via Noon Peak and Jennings Peak is a scenic but underrated loop located in the Sandwich Range near Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. Sandwich Dome stands at 3,957 feet, just 43 feet shy of being a 4,000-footer, but the hike offers just as spectacular views and far fewer crowds. It’s sometimes joked that if Sandwich Dome were just a bit taller - if it were over 4000 feet - it would be one of the most hiked mountains in the White Mountains. Instead, it remains one of New Hampshire’s lesser known hidden gems. In addition, both Noon Peak and Jennings Peak along the hike offer spectacular views and have camping options, making this loop a fantastic option for day hiking or a short backpacking trip.

This hike starts at the Sandwich Mountain Trailhead, located on Rt. 49 just south of Tripoli Road and the popular Waterville Valley Ski Area. The trail begins with a river crossing that can be difficult in the springtime. Hikers then take the Sandwich Mountain Trail for 1.3 miles to reach Noon Peak at 2,930 feet. At 2.5 miles the trail reaches a junction with the Drakes Brook trail, but hikers continue with a steep out-and-back to Jennings Peak at 3,406 feet, which has primitive campsites (established but unofficial) at the top. The viewpoint also offers great views. Hikers then continue on a 2.6-mile (round trip) out-and-back along the Sandwich Mountain Trail to the summit of Sandwich Dome, which offers good views as well.

Returning on the 3.2 mile Drakes Brook Trail, hikers follow Drakes Brook, which is an excellent water source and has many beautiful cascades. This trail also includes a crossing of the brook about 0.5 miles from the parking lot that is knee-deep in the springtime, and can be challenging at times.

Overall, this is an excellent one-night backpacking loop or day hike and a great way to avoid crowds in the popular White Mountains of New Hampshire.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Beautiful views. Fewer crowds. Loop option.

Cons

No hiking above treeline.

Trailhead Elevation

1,418.00 ft (432.21 m)

Highest point

3,957.00 ft (1,206.09 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Big vistas
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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