Mt Starr King & Mt Waumbek, NH


• 4-star hike
• 4.9 to 6.8 mile options
• Medium difficulty | Gain 2,500 to 2,750 feet
• White Mountains | Jefferson NH
• Driving Directions: Trailhead


Approaching Jefferson NH with mountain peaks looming large.

If you’re here for the White Mountain views of the Presidential Range then hike the 2.5 miles and 2,500 feet of elevation gain to the summit of Mount Starr King (3,907 ft). However, if you’re a peak bagger then you’re likely to be just as interested in continuing for a further 0.9 miles and 250 feet to reach the wooded summit of Mount Waumbek (4,006ft).

From the trailhead North of the Presidential Range and just next to the small town of Jefferson, your climb of Mt. Starr King begins with your first footfall and continues at an even pitch until you reach the summit. Beginning near the sounds of a rushing creek from which the trail gradually diverges, pass by a stone well and continue under a canopy of maple and occasional birch trees which gradually yield to populations of pine as you ascend. You’ll also pass a signpost for a natural spring, from which the most adventurous iron-stomached hiker have filled their water bottles, though we wouldn’t touch it ourselves.

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Mt Starr King | 4★, 4.9mi, Med, 2,300ft | Trailspotting AllTrails Map
Mt Waumbek | 4★, 6.8mi, Med, 2,750ft | Trailspotting AllTrails Map

Just past the true summit of Mt. Starr King is an overlooks that provides the best views from this trail – spectacular vistas of the Presidential Range. This location is marked by a chimney, the remains of a shelter that was removed some decades ago.

Should you decide to continue on to Mount Waumbek then know that most of your elevation gain is behind you, as the rest of the trail is a gently undulating forest covered route. Where the summit is marked with a sign there are no further views, but continue just a little further to reach a partial view of the Presidentials through a sparsely wooded area.


Typical trail conditions to the summit of both peaks.

One of the easier of the 4,000 footers, the path to Waumbek is pleasant and not overly rocky except for a minor rock scramble approaching the summit of Starr King. We encountered files and mosquitos mostly at the bottom of the trail, which abate somewhat after a mile and a half. No ticks to speak of, for us at least.

There is also a short length of occasionally bumpy dirt road between highway and trailhead, though unless you’re arriving by Lamborghini you should easily be able to traverse this with slow and steady driving.


Stunning panoramic views from Mount Starr King.


Partial Presidential views just beyond Waumbek summit.

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