Summit Mount Waumbek via the Starr King Trail

Starr King Trailhead

This hike allows you to summit a 4000 footer with minimal and gradual elevation gain - perfect for the aspiring winter hiker! 

The hike starts out at the Starr King trailhead because you will summit Starr King Mountain (3,907 ft - so close to being a 4000 footer!) before moving on to Waumbek. The 2.6 miles that it takes to get to the first summit are gradual and forgiving. The majority of the total elevation is completed during that time. The first 1.5 miles is through tall spaced out trees that let the sun shine through, and then the last mile is through dense forest (which in the winter was pretty cold)! The view from the summit of Starr King is beautiful, and ultimately will be better than the view from the top of Waumbek. Continue 1 more mile to reach the summit! We enjoyed doing the hike in the winter because the trail was nice and packed down and we were able to see all kinds of adorable animal prints in the fresh snow. It was almost like seeing the animals themselves. I learned that there are many more bunnies in the White Mountains than I expected! Will definitely be trying this trail again in the summer. 

Pack List

  • 10 Essentials
  • Sturdy hiking boots

If you are hiking in winter:

  • Insulated water bottles (we had four large ones to share between the two of us)
  • Thick layers (I wore a medium base layer, thick hiking leggings, wicking undershirt, thick long sleeve base layer, a half zip, and an 850 down jacket). It was 0 degrees the day that we hiked so I wanted to be extra prepared. I found that I was fairly comfortable in those layers. 
  • Crampons/snowshoes depending on the trail conditions (we didn't end up needing either)
  • Snacks (we were too cold to snack, but normally this is a must!)
  • Camera
Show More
RT Distance 7.2 Miles
Elevation Gain 1500 Feet
Activities Photography, Snowshoeing, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Beautiful winter hike!

My first winter 4k -- a great choice. Views from Starr King make up for Waumbek's wooded summit.

Great winter hike!

We went up during the winter and found it a nice, easy and relaxing hike.

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