The New Hampshire section of the Appalachian Trail (AT) rolls 161 miles from the Vermont border across to the Maine border. Along this difficult stretch, there are 117 miles through the rugged White Mountains, including the massive ascent of Mount Washington. The elevations along the New Hampshire section of the AT range from 400 feet all the way up to 6,288 feet atop Mount Washington! While there are some low elevations, much of the trail is above the treeline where the weather changes rapidly.
The eastern section of the AT in New Hampshire from the Vermont border to the start of the White Mountains near Glencliff is a 44 mile stretch rolling from mountain to valley to mountain again. It is a great warmup for what is to come.
The western half of the AT in New Hampshire is from Glencliff through the White Mountains heading east to the Maine border covering about 117 miles. This is one of the most popular backcountry stretches along the entire AT, so you can expect to encounter plenty of other backpackers and crowded shelters. It is mainly above the treeline with dramatic scenery and vistas. Most thru-hikers only cover about 5 to 8 miles each day in this section. There are plenty of steep, scrambling ascents and descents.
The best time of year to experience this section of the Appalachian Trail is during July and August. Earlier than this and you will encounter muddy conditions along with snow patches. Later than this and you will encounter snowy conditions. And, on Mount Washington, you can expect to encounter snow in any month of the year and it is typically very foggy and very windy.
The Appalachian Trail, commonly known by backpackers as the AT, is a popular 2,167 mile thru-hike along a wilderness footpath. The Appalachian Trail is a registered National Scenic Trail that winds along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia in the south to Maine in the north. More specifically, the AT runs through the scenic wooded and pastoral lands of fourteen eastern US states, stretching from Springer Mountain, Georgia, in the south to Mount Katahdin, Maine, in the north. The Appalachian Trail route is more than 99 percent protected by either federal ownership, state ownership or designated rights-of-way from local land owners.