From WELCH DICKEY TRAILHEAD take a right on Mt. Welch path. The path soon cross a brook and follow the brook 0.5 miles upstream. It then turn into a large switchback and angles up towards a large flat open ledge at about 1.3 miles. This ledge has a beautiful view of Sandwich Dome in the background. From here is where the real climbing begins.
From the open ledge follow the trail up the steeper open ledges of Mt. Welch. The difficulty borderlines class 2 in these sections. Among the ledge you are climb are stands of jack pine, which are rare and which typically grow when forest fires have removed competing trees. Other summits in New Hampshire with rare jack pine include Mt. Cardigan and Mt. Chocorua. Remeber to look back occasionally because this section as some exhilierating views. Continue on until you reach the summit of Mt. Welch (2,605'). On top on Mt. Welch is 360 panorama of Sandwich Mtn. and Mt. Tripyramid in the west, Mt. Dickey and Mt. Tecumseh in the north, Mt. Mooselauke and Carr Mtn. in the west and Plymouth Mtn. and Campton Mtn. as well as the town of Campton in the south.
The trail drops steeply over yellow blazes to a small col then rises at times steeply to the top of Mt. Dickey (2,734') 2.4 miles. On top of Mt. Dickey there is a side path that lead to a fine overlook of Mt. Tecumseh and Franconia Ridge. From the summit continue on the trail down at a moderate grade through many more open ledges, though these ledges are at much less a grade. At 3.2 miles you will encounter a very impressive drop off on your left. Though not dangerous if you stay towards the edge, use proper caution here. The view is impressive though. After this grand finale of ledge the trail then reenters the woods where it takes a moderate grade down for about a mile until it approaches an old logging road. Take a left on the logging and stay on the logging for 0.3 miles until you reach the parking lots.
Distance: 4.4 miles
Time: 5.5 Hours
Starting Elevation: 1,060'
Welch Summit Elevation: 2,605'
Dickey Summit Elevation: 2,734'
Elevation Gain Cumulative: 1,800'
Type Of Hike: Loop
Features: Summit Views, Ledges, Rock Scrambles
Bring A Friend: Yes 1
Dog Friendly: Sorry None On This Trip
Special Equipment: No Cotton, No Sneakers, Wear Hiking Boots,
Parking: at trailhead parking lot
If you use a car GPS, here are the parking lot coordinates (in degrees and minutes):
- Route 93 north to Exit 28
- Route 49 northeast (for 5.5 miles)
- Upper Mad River Road west (for 0.7 miles)
- Orris Road north (for 0.6 miles)