January 1, 2016 / Comments (3)

Hike Mount Bond, Bondcliff, and West Bond

bonds hike NH

Mount Bond (4,698′), Bondcliff (4,265′), and West Bond (4,540′) are located in the Pemigewasset Wilderness area of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Mount Bond is the 14th highest mountain on the New Hampshire 4000 Footer list and has two sub peaks, West Bond and Bondcliff that are also part of the NH 4000 Footer List.

The Bonds are known for their remoteness and are typically hiked as a trio either as a day hike or overnight venture. All routes require about 20 miles of hiking round trip to reach the Bonds

Option 1: Lincoln Woods Trail – round trip: 23 miles, 4,500 feet, 13:45

Begin your hike along the Lincoln Woods Trail, which follows the bed of a logging railroad that last operated in 1948. This flat and easy section continues for 4.72 miles, coming to a junction with the Bondcliff Trail.

Take the left onto Bondcliff trail and hike for 4.4 miles, crossing multiple brooks, and ascend the final steep stretch to the summit of Bondcliff. If you’re ready to head back to your car, to this point it’s 18.2 miles round trip.

From the summit of Bondcliff it’s 1.2 miles on the Bondcliff Trail to Mount Bond and an additional 1/2 mile Here you can choose to head back to the parking lot, or add Mount Bond and West Bond onto this hike by continuing on for 1.2 miles on the Bondcliff trail until you reach Mount Bond.

Continue on the Bondcliff trail for 0.5 miles to take the West Bond Spur another 0.5 miles to the summit of West Bond. Return via the same route (summiting Bond and Bondcliff on your way back) to get back to the parking lot.


Option 2: Zealand Road – round trip: 19.98 miles, 5,765 feet, 12:50

The shortest distance, but most elevation gain is from Zealand Road. Zealand Road is closed in winter and typically opens late spring. This route includes hiking to the summit of Zealand Mountain, a short spur path from the Zealand Trail.

Starting from the upper lot of Zealand Road (FR 16),  hikers follow the Zealand Trail for 2.5 miles over multiple brook crossings. You will also encounter an open area of beaver ponds with fine views.

Join the Twinway to the Zealand Hut and magnificent Zeacliff outlook. From the outlook hike 1.73 miles to the Zealand Spur Trail to the wooded summit of Mount Zealand.

Retrace your steps to return to the Twinway hiking to the summit of Guyot (on the Trailwrights 72 list), an exposed and often very windy summit. Continue to the Bonds by descending a short distance over open rocks to the junction with Bondcliff Trail on the left.

Hike along the Bondcliff Trail to the summits of Bond and Bondcliff or choose to take the West Bond Spur to the summit of West Bond first. Arrive back to Zealand Road by reversing this route.


Alternative Trails

With two cars you can start/end at either Zealand Road or Lincoln Woods. It is a long car shuttle before you begin the hike. You can also hike over North and South Twin to Lincoln Woods which also requires two cars. Make this a two day hike by staying at the Guyot Shelter (tenting is highly recommended) or reserving a bunk at Zealand Falls Hut.

nh peakbagging

Mount Bondcliff is 1.2 miles from the summit of Bond

West Bond is 1.0 mile from the summit of Bond

Mount Zealand is 2.7 miles from the summit of Bond

South Twin is 3.3 miles from the summit of Bond


Have you hiked the Bonds? Tell us about it!



You may also want to check out these resources

Bonds (and Zealand) Full Moon/Sunrise Traverse

Hike the Bonds in Winter

Two Day Semi Pemi Hike – using old Fire Warden Trail

Last modified: December 16, 2015

3 Responses to :
Hike Mount Bond, Bondcliff, and West Bond

  1. Doug says:

    I love this area! I spotted a car at Lincoln Woods and caught the AMC shuttle to Zeland. I spent the night at Guyot and caught the sunrise on West Bond. Best cup of coffee ever that morning!

  2. tamarinera says:

    I did this spectacular hike as an overnight during peak leaf season. Entered Lincoln Woods at 10 AM, took the first dead flat and straight 5 miles to adjust pack and shoes, and to really warm up. Started the uphill at noon. It’s mostly moderate until the end when it gets a bit steeper. The trail gets a little overgrown in a few spots: starts with pale blue blazes but they fade away. There’s only one trail once you start heading up so it’s all easy to follow. There is a good spring about two hours up if you need water. Arrived Bondliff at 3 PM, lingered an hour to eat. Fabulous to emerge to that 270-degree view of the Pemagawasset valley! Bondcliff is impressive but my fave was Mount Bond for it’s 360 view, which I came to at 5 PM (one leisurely hour from Bondcliff) I arrived at Guyot tent site at 6 PM, opting to do West Bond the next day. Tent site is sheltered from the prevailing southwesterly winds, on the east side of the ridge, although in a noreaster it would be devastating: there are tons of old downed trees. The spring had full flow, the shelter is a super nice brand new full cabin, and the platforms well situated. The cooking area is small, so with a full camp it might be cramped. In the AM it was joyous to leave my pack at the main trail and scurry out (some down then up again) to West Bond. It’s so exposed and precarious. Getting to revisit Bond Mountain (spent a whole hour there on the way back), and Bondcliff (another hour) was delicious. Since the Lincoln Woods trail is so flat and straight, I planned to be down by 6 PM and hike the rest in the growing darkness. Worked superbly. Others had also planned to finish after dark. While that meant less foliage viewing (the lower elevations is where all the maples and birch are), it was really cool to be near the river and turn off the headlamp. Mysterious, beautiful. That last suspension bridge in the dark is a lovely finish.

  3. claudia says:

    I want to go there by myself, is it safe?
    also how early can I go? and how much is parking?
    thank you

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