avatar , On

Mount Hale via Fire Warden’s Trail

Mount Hale can be accessed easily from Zealand Road in summer. It is a 4.6-mile hike. As of April 28, Zealand Road was still closed. We had to climb the mountain from the opposite side by following an unofficial trail called Fire Warden’s Trail.

Trail Distance: ~8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,554′
Terrain Rating: Moderate to Easy
Hike in: 10:49 AM
Hike out at 4:07 PM

Trailhead: At Little River Road, White Mountains, New Hampshire

Mount Hale via Fire Warden’s Trail
Mount Hale via Fire Warden’s Trail

1 Images from Mount Hale via Fire Warden’s Trail

  1. Mount Hale via Fire Warden’s Trail

    Mount Hale via the Fire Warden’s Trail

Because we were using marked blazes and signs to navigate, it took us a bit longer than normal trip planning. We marked our parking spot on Little River Road from Mount Hale using the White Mountains Guide map. These are the instructions:

  • Park at the Little River Road end
  • Cross Little River Bridge and follow the trail behind you
  • Follow the river to Haystack Road (1km) and take a left at bridge.
  • Turn left onto the Haystack Road and continue on until you reach North Twin Trailhead.
  • Continue on North Twin Trailhead until you reach Little River. DO NOT CROSS. (~1 km)
  • Instead, continue walking upstream keeping the river to your right. A few hundred yards from the “do NOT cross” sign, you’ll cross a small stream.
  • You will soon hit a tree at the end of the trail, marked by 2 axe marks. This is the start of Fire Warden’s Trail

Your path will be relatively straightforward once you’re on Fire Warden’s Trail. The trail is not officially marked but there is plenty of foot traffic which makes it easier to follow. We followed the running water towards the summit. For the final mile, we ran through snow until we reached Mount Hale. Although snowshoes may have been useful for some sections, there were so many snow bridges that were 4-5 inches thick that it would have been impossible to post-hole. Spikes and crampons were not very useful because it was all soft snow. Spring hiking is here! We had lunch at the top and then returned to our starting point for a quick descent.