View Full Version : Belknap Range questions

06-05-2014, 10:01 AM
Looking for ideas for a Belknap version of a Pemi Loop Lite type of hike.
- Loop hike, lollipop loop is acceptable
- 12 to 20 miles
- Great views
- no (or minimal) private property issues
- coming from I93 South
- info on parking / permits / other misc things.
- how good is the trail signage and/or blazing?...first time here...I enthusiastically welcome
a difficult trail, but I don't want a difficult-to-follow trail

I freely admit to being a "big mountain" and "good views" snob. I'll do Linc-Laf and Wash
and Bondcliff dozens of times but never consider Owl's Head or Zealand. The 8 hour round trip
drive in one day is simply too long and tiring to waste on a wooded summit. So I'm looking into
the possibility of a Belknap hike. Willing to trade big mountains for a shorter drive, but still
want great views. Thanks.

06-05-2014, 10:23 AM
Check out this blog post (http://mountainwandering.blogspot.com/2014/05/belknap-range-ramble-5814-on-sunny.html) for a start.

06-05-2014, 11:39 AM
I have been looking to do a traverse across the range one of these days and the reoccurring items that several folks all seem to mention is it is real hot and dry in the summer and that the ticks are significant.

06-05-2014, 12:33 PM
You can do all of the peaks if you want that distance and are willing to "lollipop".
N to S, Major (can also end here), then Quarries (two peaks), Rand, up to Klem, to Round Pond, Belknap, Gunstock, Rowe, Piper, Whiteface...back over Piper, Belknap to Round Pond but go up Mack, to Anna, to Straightback and then out, either over Major or bypass it if you did it to start. You could vary the directions and do of this in a number of ways, but this will get you all the peaks.

06-05-2014, 01:25 PM
the reoccurring items that several folks all seem to mention is it is real hot and dry in the summer and that the ticks are significant.

I would disagree with those items. I rarely encounter ticks on the main trails (certainly they're present in grassy areas, as is the case in parts of the Whites now). I don't think the range is any hotter than other mountains in the area, but even if that is the case, there are plenty of lakes nearby to jump in after!

06-05-2014, 02:58 PM
I hear what you are saying Jeremy and hope to make it down there to check in person.

John in NH
06-05-2014, 05:04 PM
The Belknaps are a gem overall and my "backyard" range. The BRATTS have recently completed a major reblazing/ signing of all major trails in the range so things are easy to follow, whereas maybe 3-4 years ago that wasn't always the case. There are plenty of areas of open/ semi-open ledge viewpoints throughout the range, often with spruce forest reminiscent of parts further north.

Assuming you have only one car I think the following loop might meet your requirements. Consult the new map here (http://belknaprange.org/belknaprangemap.htm)

Parking: Take exit 20 off I93 follow RT3/11 through Laconia to RT 11 A. About 2 miles after gunstock ski area take a right on bickford road (dirt), then a left onto wood road when it ends. There is a sign for parking quickly thereafter.

Route. You could do the following loop in either direction, its in the ballpark of 14-16 miles. Up round pond fire road/trail to round pond (a gem) then head east on the Belknap Range Trail to the Klem Loop up Mt. Klem (great lake/whites views before true summit, which is a trailess bushwhack with sign). Then turn onto the Quarry Loop and head over rand, the quarries (with some scrambles), and n. straigtback-- views at each of these summit. You can make the out and back over Straightback with a good chunk of open ledge and blueberries, and major. The head back on the Belknap Range Trail west over mt. anna and mt. mack back to round pond. If you still have time/ energy continue up the Belknap Range Trail (signed as Boulder Trail) up a talus field and a open ledge section on your way to Belknap Mt. with its 360 degree firetower views. head down the East Gilford Trail with many open ledge views back to your car (rejoins round pond fire road).

The big loop KRobi described over all the peaks would be about 28 plus miles, so that would be an undertaking!

06-06-2014, 05:02 AM
The summit of Klem now has a marked trail. In May, the BRATTS and AMC Woman's trail day marked it.

06-06-2014, 11:48 AM
The summit of Klem now has a marked trail. In May, the BRATTS and AMC Woman's trail day marked it.

I was beginning to wonder if I missed something, lol. I was just up there about a month ago with some folks and we attempted the full 12 traverse (ended up doing 11, leaving Whiteface), and the only peak I remember appearing to be off trail was West Quarry (just a few dozen feet, we found a cairn at a high point, the trailside sign didn't appear to be a high spot, but not sure?). The map linked by John in NH clearly shows a spur trail (it was white-blazed) to the summit of Klem.