Hike Lonesome Lake

Franconia Notch, NH - Search Nearby - Added by Jon Secord

Get incredible lake views especially at sunset. Head off the tourist path and avoid the crowds on this hike.

The Franconia Notch area of New Hampshire has many roadside adventures to go on, bringing in thousands of visitors every year, but my favorite place in the notch is Lonesome Lake.

At 1.6 miles, the hike is easy enough for the whole family, but most people visiting the notch stick to the roadside attractions, keeping the crowds at Lonesome down. The views around the lake are incredible, looking out toward Franconia Ridge and Cannon Mountain. There are also many trails connecting to the Lonesome Lake trail, but are generally more difficult. My favorite time to go up is for sunset, but it's also an amazing place for photographing the night sky with very little light pollution.

To get there, drive to Lafayette Place Campground on interstate 93. From the parking lot, you cross over a small footbridge and through the campground to start up the Lonesome Lake trail, which is clearly marked.

If you want to camp and hit the trail as a day hike, you can make a reservation at Reserve America.

Distance

3.2 Miles RT

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Camping, Photography, Hiking

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Jamie Elder

over 3 years ago

Awesome!!

We hiked this trail the end of April, still a bit chilly so there was ice and snow on the trail! Although we weren't expecting that at had no crampons my wife and I made it fairly easily! One of the most epic hikes I've ever attempted to date and worth the steep climb to get there!

There is also an Appalachian Mountain Club hut nearby (reservations at outdoors.org) which is great for a family adventure.

To add to this, hiking this in late fall is really exciting. The lake is most often completely frozen with thick ice by mid November. We went last November and continued on to summit Cannon Mountain. There was a lot of ice so if anyone does this make sure you bring crampons and watch the weather. Dress warm and its amazing.

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