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Welch-Dickey Loop, Thornton NH


• 5-star hike
• 4.2 mile loop
• Medium difficulty | Gain 1,772 feet
• White Mountains Region | Thornton NH
• Driving directions: Trailhead


Spotting the trail down Welch Mountain, from the slightly taller Dickey Mtn.

One of the best New Hampshire trails is also on the shorter side, as long as you don't mind a some uphill trails and a couple of minor rock scrambles. 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.

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Welch-Dickey Loop

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 there are some occasional rock scrambling and some modestly steep inclines on the granite slabs. 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.


New Hampshire fall is around the corner.


Mounts Dickey and Welch on the return descent.

Tangents:
• Trail Links: AllTrails Public
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Trailspotting YouTube
A short video we captured on a recent counter-clockwise trip around the trail.

The White Mountain National Forest
This trail is part of the 800,000 acres of White Mountain National Forest managed by the National Forest Service. For more information visit their website.
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