Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,028.00 ft (922.93 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
9.51 mi (15.30 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.

While Mt. Chocorua is one of the most climbed peaks in New Hampshire, the bordering Three Sister summits are highly underrated for their breathtaking views and lesser crowds. These peaks can be hiked separately, or together with Mt. Chocorua for a longer day or overnight trip at 9.5 miles. For those wishing to spend the night it should be noted that no camping is allowed in the Mt. Chocorua Forest Protection Area so hikers should choose to stay at the campground at the start of the trail, in the Jim Liberty Cabin near the summit of Mt. Chocorua, or to camp at lower elevation outside of this protected area.

There are a few ways to access these breathtaking summits. Starting from the White Ledge campground off of Route 16, hikers begin up the Carter Ledge trail. After a mile the Middle Sister trail branches off to the right and makes for a gradual ascent to above treeline. At three miles hikers come to the first summit of Blue Mountain which offers some views, along with Third Sister at around mile four, but the views only improve as the hike continues.

The best views are found on Middle Sister and First Sister, and on Mt. Chocorua for those wanting to go the extra distance. Middle Sister stands out with its old stone fire tower, while First Sister has a wide summit with wild blueberries in the summer months. Both Middle Sister and First Sister offer breathtaking views of Mt. Chocorua and the White Mountains. Hikers can continue an extra mile along the Piper trail to reach the Mt. Chocorua summit, which is popular in the summer months but nonetheless breathtaking with its exposed rocky peak. After reaching the summit or enjoying the Three Sisters hikers can make a loop by turning down the steep Carter Ledge trail back to the parking, enjoying some beautiful final views of Mt. Chocorua at Carter Ledge. For hikers who prefer a slower ascent this entire loop can be completed in reverse direction ascending the Carter Ledge trail and descending the Middle Sister trail or even the nearby Piper trail and cutoff to return to the campsite. In the fall the Middle Sister trail can be very buried in leaves and the steep Carter Ledge trail can be slippery in wet or snowy conditions so these trails are best traveled in summer months or by experienced hikers.

These many routes on the east side of Mt. Chocorua are excellent for hikers wanting to explore a well-loved peak in a new way or for those wishing to beat the crowds on a weekend.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Low crowds. Excellent views. Amazing sunrise/sunset.

Cons

Slippery trail. Limited parking.

Trailhead Elevation

740.00 ft (225.55 m)

Highest point

3,439.00 ft (1,048.21 m)

Features

Family friendly
Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Old-growth forest
Near lake or river
Big vistas
Shelters

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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