Hike Cardigan Mountain via the West Ridge Trail

Cardigan Mountain Parking Lot, Orange, New Hampshire, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    3 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1200 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

Hike Cardigan Mountain just 2 hours north of Boston and enjoy an easy hike to a bald summit where you can enjoy the 360 degree views and maybe even catch the perfect sunset from the summit.

Cardigan Mountain is located in Cardigan Mountain State forest just outside of Canaan, New Hampshire. 

Just make sure to go to The Cardigan Mountain state park parking lot, via Cardigan Mountain Road and not the AMC Cardigan Lodge.

The trail begins right from the parking lot where there is a portable restroom and you will be on your way. The trail is quick and easy, though it becomes muddy, it is not a technical hike.

Once above the tree line you can enjoy the beautiful views and make your way up to the fire tower.

  • Notice the fire tower is locked but makes a nice place to take shelter under if the weather is unfavorable.

Hiking the mountain for sunset is popular since the hike is easy and you have a great view of the horizon from the summit.

  • If hiking for sunset be sure to bring some sort of flashlight and or head lamp

Take your time and enjoy the views while you explore this beautiful New Hampshire gem. 

Pack List

  • Water
  • Hiking boots
  • Layers
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos


Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

I've done this in fall and early spring on snowshoes, both of which were fun. Trail is easy, wide and well-marked. The top affords wonderful views, a great lunch spot with room for lots of people to hang out, and the fire tower adds an extra-fun viewing.

4 months ago
4 months ago

Gustavo Quiros Explorer

Photographer based in New England Loves Roadtrips, Beer, and Donuts

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

3 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

4 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves