Mt Tecumseh, Waterville Valley NH


• 4-star hike
• 4.6 to 7.0 mile options
• Medium difficulty | Gain 2,150 to 2,720 feet
• Waterville Valley, NH | White Mountains Region
• Driving Directions: Waterville, Tripoli

The photograph shows a mountainous landscape covered in dense evergreen trees. In the foreground, there are tall, lush green pine trees, and beyond them rises a prominent, conical mountain covered in similar green trees. The sky above is mostly clear with a few scattered clouds, and the overall atmosphere is bright and serene. The distant background features additional mountains, creating a layered effect. The scene captures the beauty and tranquillity of a forested mountain area under a partly cloudy sky.
Mount Tecumseh photographed from the top of the ski slopes.

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If you're planning on hiking Mount Tecumseh in the New Hampshire White Mountains, consider lugging up a large boulder or two with you. Though the mountain remains as one of the 48 peaks on the AMC Four Thousand Footer Club list, its height has recently been revised by the US Geological Survey to be only 3,997 feet above sea level.

In practice that's not the best idea since you'll already have your pack filled with water and snacks in preparation for the climb up the mountain. We've hiked the two separate routes up the mountain, plus the ski run spur trail that offers the best Waterville Valley viewpoints. Below we describe them all so you can pick your preferred route to the top.

purple icon Waterville, red icon Tripoli, orange icon Ski Slope Expand Map

purple icon Waterville Valley Route 4★
4.6 mi, Out & Back, Medium, Gain 2,150 ft (6.0 mi, 2,330 ft inc ski slopes)
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

This, the more popular route features a well-constructed trail with many purpose-built steps in addition to a variety of natural features. Following the gurgling sounds of Tecumseh Brook, which you will need to cross twice; the trail leads from lowland deciduous woodland into dense forests of pine. There's one viewpoint roughly half-way up the trail that's made possible by grazing the edge of a ski run, but otherwise you'll be hiking through shaded hillside all the way to the summit, which has some great easterly views.

We recommend extending your hike to include the ridgeline trail that leads to the top of the ski runs of Waterville Valley Resort. At least visit the first two viewpoints marked on our map that provide the best views, or continue on to the loop at the end for more sights into Waterville Valley.

The photograph depicts a man hiking up a rocky trail through a dense forest. He is wearing a dark blue shirt, dark pants, and a blue and yellow backpack. The trail ahead is uneven, consisting of a mixture of dirt and large stones, ascending slightly uphill. Surrounding the trail are numerous trees, both evergreen and deciduous, with patches of moss covering the ground and rocks. The sunlight filters through the foliage, casting dappled shadows on the forest floor. The overall scene suggests a challenging but scenic hike through a wooded area.
Trail from Waterville Valley is rugged and well-built.

The photograph shows a man standing on a mountaintop, looking out over a vast, forested landscape. He is wearing a dark blue shirt, dark pants, a black cap, and a blue and yellow backpack. The man stands with his hands on his hips, gazing at the view in front of him. The foreground is filled with dense evergreen trees, and beyond them, rolling hills and distant mountains stretch out under a clear blue sky with a few wispy clouds. The scene captures a moment of reflection and appreciation of the expansive natural beauty surrounding him.
The best viewpoints are on the Ski Slope Spur.

red icon Tripoli Road Route 4★
5.4 mi, Out & Back, Medium, Gain 2,420 ft (7.0 mi, 2,720 ft inc ski slopes)
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

The trail from Tripoli Road is slightly longer and maintains a similar gradient to the route from Waterville Valley. Aside from its length it is also notably more ruggedly natural in nature, with few to no purpose-built steps. Despite this, we didn't find the trail to be technically difficult and didn't encounter any difficult rock scrambles.

Tripoli Road is a mostly dirt and gravel road that's commonly open between May and November, whereas the road to the Waterville Valley trailhead is open year-round. You can check the US Forestry Service Roads page at the bottom of this article to confirm the status of Tripoli Road.

If you'd prefer to experience both of these trails, you could alternatively choose our approach. After scaling Tecumseh via from the Waterville Valley trailhead and checking out the ski run trail, we returned down the Tripoli Route for a point-to-point hike. From here we returned to our starting position on an electric bike that we locked up at the Tripoli trailhead. The distance between the two trailheads is 5.4 miles and 720 feet of elevation (reverse is 770ft elevation), which was a breeze thanks to the help of the battery power. We found the clockwise route to be the better option, as the descent on the natural surface of the Tripoli trail was easier on our knees (compared with the steps and rocks on the Waterville trail) and there are longer downhill segments on the return bike ride.

Left: A person walks along a narrow forest trail, surrounded by tall trees and fallen leaves. Right: Against a clear sky, an orange bullwheel and a T-bar type ski-lift suspended from the cable.
The ski run trail and a ski-lift bullwheel.

A vast mountainous landscape unfolds under a clear blue sky with scattered clouds. The foreground features a grassy slope, a ski run during the off-season, leading to a chairlift system with cables stretching down the hill. Clustered buildings at the base serve as a ski resort’s amenities. Beyond, dense green forests blanket rolling hills and valleys, eventually giving way to distant mountain ranges fading into the horizon. The scene beautifully captures the transition from human activity to untouched wilderness, evoking awe and tranquility.
Waterville Valley views from the end of the ski run trail.

Tangents:
• AMC 4,000 Footer List: #48 Mt Tecumseh
• Trailspotting: Day Hikes of NH's 4,000 Footers • Public Maps at AllTrails: Waterville Valley, Tripoli Road

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White Mountain National Forest
This trail is part of the 800,000 acre White Mountains managed by the US Forest Service.

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