Stairs Mountain

View from Mt. Crawford looking onto Stairs Mt.
The Davis Path is a classic route from the 1800's that almost disappeared in the years of logging in the 1860's. Fortunately to us hikers, the trail was re-blazed by the AMC in 1920 and has been a trail of many sights since. Stairs Mountain is located near the southern terminus of the trail and offers spectacular views as well as camping. Be mindful however that majority of this trail is in the Presidential-Dry River Wilderness area and every hiker should be well prepared.

The Davis Path starts across the street from Notchland Inn on RT. 302 in Bartlett. The trail starts out at an easy grade to give the legs a nice warm up for your climb. Around .3 mi in the trail begins to climb steeply up to Mt. Crawford for 1.9 miles. at 2.2 miles the spur path for Mt. Crawford leaves on your left for .2 miles. This summit offers excellent views onto Stairs Mt. and the surrounding area.

Continuing on the Davis Path goes gently up and down crossing over a few nice open ledges that let you keep a visual track of how far you have gone. At 3.7 you reach the Parker Trail junction as well as where the spur path for the now closed Resolution Shelter used to be. Note: Continuing along the Davis Path, keep a look out for water available as this will be your last chance to fill up and purify if you are running low on water or spending the night out.

From here the trail nicely skirts around the northern edge of Mt. Resolution and passes the Stairs Col Trail on the right. The trail then starts to climb at a moderate grade on wet slippery rock up to the Stairs Mountain spur trail. This is also the trail for legal Forest Service tent sites.

The view from Stairs is one you would expect from a 4,000ft mountain. Looking all the way south into the towns of Bartlett and North Conway with Mountains all the way around. If you are lucky enough to be spending a night in one of the tent sites feet away from this ledge, enjoy some delicious dinner with a view!
Just a small section of the view from Stairs Mt looking at Attitash
This hike is one that will reward you with many unique views but also make those legs feel like you've just come down from such hikes like Mt. Pierce or Tecumseh. As always, hike prepared for the worst and enjoy the best.

Stay tuned to our trail reports as the trees are starting to turn! 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 To make reservations at AMC Lodges and Huts, please call (603)466-2727 available Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm. Be sure to check weather conditions before you come and call us here with any questions! We'll see you up here!  

Happy Trails!
Backcountry Information Specialist

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