Glen Ellis Falls via The Direttissima & Glen Boulder Trail

Glen Ellis Falls

 The Direttissima begins 0.2 mi from the south end of the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center/Joe Dodge Lodge parking lot and gradually ascends 1.0 mi to its intersection with the Glen Boulder Trail. The trail is easy to follow and moderately gentle, however there are a couple of significantly steep, rocky sections.  For its proximity to Rt. 16, The Diretissima offers a sense of remoteness with an occasional view of the peaks across the way. Look up from the trail from time to time as these will warmly surprise you from behind the tree canopy. At the half-way point is a bridge crossing over a steep section of river drainage where small amounts of water shoot off mossy rock and tiny tree branches. The scene is worth stopping to enjoy.

To reach the falls, turn left onto The Glen Boulder Trail and descend 0.4 mi to the Glen Ellis Falls parking area. This section of trail is well-traveled and easy to follow, but as is so often the case here in the WMNF, steep and rocky in sections.  

Upon reaching the parking area, cross under Rt. 16 on a gravel path and descend 100 feet down rocky steps (with handrails) to the 70 foot main fall. Be sure to read about the history of the falls posted along the way. 

The Ellis River above the falls.
I returned via the Wildcat Ridge Trail past Lost Pond but don’t recommend this route as it requires a dangerous crossing of the Ellis River above the falls.

Instead, return via Glen Boulder to The Direttissima or you can follow Rt. 16 for a completely level hike out. To make up for walking along the highway, there is a fresh mountain water spring marked by a ribbon tied to a stick. Fill up your water bottle. Cold and delicious!  (Do be aware though...this is untreated water!)

For more information on The Direttissima and Glen Boulder Trails, look in the index in the White Mountain Guide.  The map to use is AMC Map #1 - Presidential Range. You can find both the book and map at

As always you can check AMC conditions for the latest report and/or call us here at Pinkham to see what we’re seeing out our windows and for the best trail advice we can give you!
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 - Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm.

Adventure Safely!
AMC Backcountry Information Specialist

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