Franconia Ridge viewed from Mount Lincoln, with the sharp peaks of Mount Flume (left) and Mount Liberty (right) visible behind the ridge.
|Elevation||5,249 ft (1,600 m)|
|Parent range||White Mountains|
|Borders on||Twin Range and Kinsman Ridge|
The Franconia Range is a mountain range located in the White Mountains of the U.S. state of New Hampshire. It is the second-highest range of peaks (after the Presidential Range) in the White Mountains.
Franconia Ridge is a prominent ridge which forms the backbone of the range, stringing together all of its major summits.
From north to south, the highest summits of the range include:
• Mount Lafayette 5,249 feet (1,600 m) * • Mount Truman 5,000 feet (1,500 m) • Mount Lincoln 5,089 feet (1,551 m) * • Little Haystack Mountain 4,780 feet (1,460 m) • Mount Liberty 4,459 feet (1,359 m) * • Mount Flume 4,328 feet (1,319 m) *
Approximately 2.5 miles (4.0 km) along the crest of the ridge is in the alpine zone. This area runs from the treeline just below the summit of Little Haystack all the way to the treeline north of Mount Lafayette, and affords constant 360-degree views of the White Mountains. To the east of the ridge lies the immense beauty of the Pemigewasset Wilderness.
While Mount Liberty and Mount Flume are almost entirely forested, their summits rise just above the treeline, and provide spectacular views.
The Franconia Ridge Trail, which coincides with the Appalachian Trail from Mount Lafayette to Mount Liberty, traverses the ridge over all the aforementioned mountains.
A popular hike dubbed the Franconia Ridge Loop is an 8.9 miles (14.3 km) loop which includes the majority of the above-treeline portion of the ridge. This loop is very strenuous, with a cumulative gain of over 3,900 feet (1,200 m), but extremely rewarding in good weather as it traverses the rocky cones of Little Haystack Mountain, Mount Lincoln, and Mount Lafayette. This loop involves the Falling Waters Trail, the Franconia Ridge Trail, the Greenleaf Trail, and the Old Bridle Path.
The exposed nature of the ridge and the changeable weather of the White Mountains make it a more dangerous hike than it may appear. Injuries and even fatalities from falls and exposure are not uncommon. One man died after he and a companion were trapped February 11, 2008, by fast-moving winter weather. In 2011, a hiker was killed by a falling boulder in the area.
- "Mount Truman, New Hampshire". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- "Franconia Range". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- "Missing Hikers Found in Franconia Notch; One Dead". NH Fish and Game Dept. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
- "New York Man, Age 71, Dies While Hiking On Franconia Notch". NH Fish and Game Dept. Retrieved 2013-01-31.