Be There or Be Square

Here at Joe Dodge Lodge, the thunder clouds are dispersing and the hikers are filing in! As schools wind down and the days get longer, the hiking season is nearly in full swing. Visitors are coming from all over to hike Mt. Washington and explore the White Mountains. Although Mt. Washington is a popular hike, weather and daylight can often ruin even the best-laid plans. *Before leaving for any hike, you should always check the weather, as mountain weather is often unpredictable. The Mount Washington Observatory is a great weather resource- you can check online here:* Fortunately, there are many lesser-known gems below treeline! One of my favorites is Square Ledge trail- which is perfectly situated right across the street from the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. 

Square Ledge is just a short 1/2 mile jaunt!
Square Ledge is a steep but short hike. It is 0.5 miles from the trail head to the summit, although hikers looking for a longer walk can venture over to the Lost Pond trail, which is adjacent to the Square Ledge trail. Although short, Square Ledge offers incredible views of Tuckerman Ravine and Mt. Washington. Additionally, the interesting terrain of the ledge makes it a popular spot for rock climbers as well as hikers. I was lucky enough to make it up the trail this morning just as the fog lifted over the ridge.

The view from the top!

Square Ledge is also a popular spot for rock climbing
I even spied some of our naturalists training on the trail!
On my way back down the trail I spotted some colorful wildlife: our team of naturalists training on the trail! The naturalists at Pinkham Notch are extremely knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna, and they frequently lead educational programs from the Visitor Center at Pinkham Notch. If you're interested in signing up for a program, check out our schedule here:

Although Square Ledge is my personal favorite short hike around Pinkham, it is definitely not the only great short hike. Crystal Cascades, Glen Ellis Falls, and Thompson Falls are all awesome alternatives, especially on hot summer day. For more information on these trails, check out Diane's post from a few weeks back titled "Spring Hiking Awaits You!" And if you find that you simply can't get enough hiking in in a single day, come stay at the Lodge! There are numerous trail heads only a stone's throw away- and what is better after a hike than freshly made bread and a warm dinner? If you're interested in staying the night, check out the rates and availability here: We'd love to have you!

For any general questions, conditions information, or trail advice, please feel free to contact us here at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center front desk.  We are available by phone at (603) 466-2721 every day from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM or by email at

Happy Hiking!

Abby C.
Backcountry Information Specialist
AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
(603) 466-8116

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