Welch-Dickey Loop Trail

• 5-star hike
• 4.2 mile loop • Medium difficulty
• Elevation gain 1,800 feet (1,060 - 2,734ft)
• White Mountains • Thornton NH
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New Hampshire fall is around the corner.

One of the best New Hampshire trails is also one of the shortest, as long as you don't mind a little thigh-burning elevation that is. Located in the Southern end of the White Mountain National Forest, the twin peaks of Welch Mountain (2,605 feet) and Dickey Mountain (2,734 feet) are the goal on this very popular loop trail that delivers unparalleled views throughout.

Choosing to go with the flow and taking the preferred counter-clockwise circuit, the first mile of the trail ascends gradually through woodland and briefly along a stream, before reaching the first of the granite slabs. After admiring the Southerly views towards Sandwich Mountain and Mount Weetamoo, the next mile involves a steeper incline to the Welch's summit and the scenic views get even better.

Looking back at Welch Mountain from Dickey.

More granite slabs and gnarled greenery lead you through a short saddle to the highest point of the hike - Dickey Mountain. A consistent downhill grade returns you back to the trailhead, with the first half rewarding you with still more great views. Also, both mountain tops provide great 360 degree vistas.

The trail is well marked and easy to follow. We identify this hike as medium difficulty, although their is some occasional rock scrambling and some modestly steep inclines on the granite slabs.

So many views! Here's both Dickey and Welch again, on the return descent.

Be aware that this trail becomes much more difficult in wet and icy weather due to the granite slab surfaces. Be sure to know the weather forecast and be prepared with good footwear, and traction devices in the winter.

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