June 14, 2018 / Comments (2)

The Best 4000 Footers for Sunrise

After hiking all the 4000 footers in NH, you’d think it would be time to move onto something else. Oddly enough after four rounds I still find myself going back for more. These mountains always have something new to appreciate with every hike, especially if you mix it up a bit. My favorite way to repeat a hike is to see something most don’t on a regular basis. If you want to see the best sunrise of your life, here are the peaks worth hiking through the night for. I’ve also included my recommended routes and what trails I’d avoid when hiking in the dark. Many of these routes aren’t recommended due to multiple steep pitches, ledges, and dropoffs.

Sunrise from Passaconaway- PC: Keith Dacey

Recommended route: Take Dicey’s Mill Trail 4.6 miles to the summit

Avoid: Blueberry Ledge Trail 


Moosilauke- PC: Deb Benwell @gohike85

Recommended route: Take Gorge Brook Trail 3.7 miles to the summit

Avoid: Beaver Brook Trail


Cannon- PC: Eric Todd Sweet

Recommended route: Take Kinsman Ridge Trail to the summit

Avoid: Alternative routes are fine for ascending but will add additional mileage


Bondcliff- PC: Allison Driscoll @trailtosummit

Recommended Route: Stay at Guyot Campground and hike 2.1 miles on the Mt Bond Trail to Bondcliff.

Routes to Avoid: Only very experienced hikes should hike the Bonds from the trailhead for sunrise


Liberty- PC: Chelsea King @ramblemore

Recommended route: Take the Liberty Spring Trail 4 miles to the summit

Avoid: If you’re looking to also bag Flume, I wouldn’t recommend Flume Slide in the dark 🙂


Osceolas- PC: Aleksandar Petakov @aleks.petakov

Recommended route: Tripoli road 3.2 miles to the summit. 

Avoid: If you are hiking in the winter you will want to hike up both East peak and Osceola from the Kanc. as Tripoli Road is closed in winter.


Mt Washington- PC: Mt Washington Observatory

Recommended route: Ammonoosuc Ravine 4.5 miles to the summit or 4.2 miles up Tuckerman Ravine.

Avoid: Great Gulf Trail and Huntington Ravine. Avoid Tuckerman Ravine Trail in winter through Spring due to avalanche danger.

Tips for hiking a mountain for sunrise:

  1. Bring a headlamp and a backup
  2. You can put a 2nd headlamp around your waist to illuminate the ground better
  3. Make sure to have a map and compass (and know how to use them!)
  4. Start out on shorter hikes in the dark or routes you’ve hiked before
  5. Start early. You’ll want to set up before the sun rises
  6. Bring layers for sunset viewing on the summit. It can often be cold and windy, even in summer
  7. Bring a treat- hot cocoa or a breakfast to cook
  8. Taking photos? Pack a tripod!
  9. Always check the sunrise time and weather (on multiple weather source sites) before you head up

Last modified: June 14, 2018

2 Responses to :
The Best 4000 Footers for Sunrise

  1. Greta tips on these – I’d add one other a non-4k hike – Kearsarge North in North Conway. There is a fire tower at the top and if it’s clear you can see the Atlantic Ocean, Mt Washington and all the way to Franconia Ridge

  2. Shawna says:

    Allison would you recommend some hikes in the Azores?

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