The hike out of Grafton Notch to West Baldpate Mountain’s mostly wooded summit (you have a view tow mard East Baldpate) is relentlessly steep. The trail climbs and climbs. The second half is deeply eroded. You often are five or six feet below ground level hiking up bedrock and roots. The views at the top are worth the effort.
Between the two Baldpates is a wide saddle with a lot of bare rock. The final climb up East Baldpate scales a series of exposed granite slabs. This is what earns the hike a place on the list. East Baldpate’s summit is open—a wide expanse of rough granite with a stands of stunted trees. You have views in every direction.
This is a very popular hike. It’s best to avoid weekends in the summer or start by 7am like I do.
It’s 3.9 miles from Grafton Notch to East Baldpate’s summit, which is 2271 feet higher than the trailhead. The total amount of climbing is more than three thousand feet.