Best Hike in the White Mountains, New Hampshire | Crawford Notch | Elephant Head Hike Ultimate Guide

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The Elephant Head hike is located in Crawford Notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It's perfect for that overlook of the Crawford Notch. If you’re visiting the White Mountains in New Hampshire, be sure to check out this article to help you decide if this his a hike you want to add to your list of the best hike in the White Mountains.

In this article I'll share how long the hike is, the duration, what you’ll expect to see along the way, if it's dangerous or not!

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Best hike in the White Mountains

Quick hiking stats:

Distance: 0.6 miles roundtrip 

Difficulty: Easy

Length of time: 15-20 minutes to the overlook

Elevation Gain: 157 Ft.

Cliff notes: You’ll park alongside the road, there’s parking close to the trailhead. You’ll take Webster-Jackson trail first for 0.1 miles. Then, you’ll see a sign to take a right on the Elephant Head trail, and the overlook is only 0.2 miles from that point. You’ll follow the trail then you’ll see a giant rock and you’ll gradually climb up it and end up at the overlook! Very easy, quiet and fun!

Parking near Elephant Head trailhead

How do I get to the Elephant Head hike in the White Mountains, New Hampshire?

You’ll get to the Elephant Head hike by visiting Crawford Notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. You’ll start at the Webster-Jackson trailhead, and hike the trail until you see the sign for Elephant Head. You’ll follow the sign and take a right for 0.2 miles until you come to the overlook.

Here’s the google maps link and maps! It doesn’t show on the map the outline of the trail on Google, but that is where the trail head is!

How long does it take to hike Elephant Head trail?

It took us about 15 minutes to hike to the top of the rock. The reason it’s called “Elephant Head” is because from a distance it looks like an elephant’s head, haha!

Out and back 30 minutes total if you don’t plan on taking photos. If you’re a picture-taker like we are, plan for an hour for this hike total! You’ll want to get lots of pretty pictures at the top! 🙂

What should I expect to see?

You should expect to see the trailhead right by the road and it’ll say Webster-Jackson.

Elephant head & webster-jackson trailhead
Elephant head trailhead

You’ll take that trail to the Elephant Head trail which is only 0.1 miles along the trail. You’ll then take a right at the sign and follow it up to the lookout.

Elephant head trail
Elephant head trail
elephant head hike
Elephant head hike
Elephant head hike
Summit of Elephant Head
Summit of Elephant Head
Best Hike White Mountains
Best Hike White Mountains
Best Fall hike in New Hampshire
Best Fall hike in New Hampshire

Should I add this to my list of the best hike in the White Mountains?

I definitely think this is one of the best hikes in Crawford Notch and the White Mountains! I would even say this is one of the best hikes in New Hampshire. If you like a big pay off for a beautiful view with not that much effort, this is up your alley!

This is the perfect hike especially if you’re on a road trip and want something quick, easy with a beautiful view that’s photogenic!

Be sure to add this to your list of the best fall hikes in New Hampshire! I mean, check out these colors of fall foliage!!

the best fall hikes in New Hampshire

Where should I stay near Crawford Notch, New Hampshire?

My favorite hotel in the White Mountains is the Omni Mount Washington Resort. Here are my top 2 recommendations for places to stay. There’s the resort and then they have an Inn on the same site as the Omni for a little cheaper.

  1. Omni Mount Washington Resort
  2. Omni Bretton Arms Inn

They’re both located on the same property! And it’s PERFECT because they’re just right down the street a few minutes away from Crawford Notch in the White Mountains.

Omni Mount Washington
Omni Mount Washington

Is Elephant Head hike safe for kids?

Absolutely. We saw hardly anyone on this hike, because it’s not that well-known. Yet… But kids can absolutely do this hike. Just make sure they don’t get close to the edge of the overlook at the top!

What should I wear to hike Crawford Notch?

You should wear tennis shoes for this hike, that you don’t mind getting muddy. I personally like water-proof hiking boots, with black leggings and then I layer up from there! I originally was wearing 4 layers on this hike, no joke, because it was 35 degrees and raining. But once we got to the top, I went down to 2 layers and took off my big jacket.

If you’d like to check out my outfits that I wore on our New England Fall Road Trip, go to my Like To Know It and you can shop my exact outfits!

My camera gear I used on our trip:

  1. Sony ZV-1F Vlog Camera for Content Creators and Vloggers White
  2. Sony a7 III ILCE7M3/B Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera (base only)
  3. Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 for Sony Mirrorless Full Frame
  4. Camera Backpack 17.3 inch (with laptop flap)
  5. 128 GB memory card SanDisk
  6. 5 TB external hard drive

Final conclusions about the hike:

This was my favorite hike I’ve done in the White Mountains at Crawford Notch in New Hampshire. We were on a fall road trip and this was the perfect stop, with a great view at the top of the fall foliage!

Be sure to check out my other blogs about road tripping through New England! I had the BEST apple cider in Vermont at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, we went to the coolest corn maze in Stowe, Vermont, and we went to Acadia National Park and hiked the Beehive Loop Trail (best in Maine!)

abby hawaii


We are Abby & Nash Hagen, a married couple who lives in Hawaii and loves to travel the world! Our goal is to help you with your travels, and inspire you to get outside to see God’s beautiful world! :)

> About me <

You may also like:

Ultimate New England Fall Travel Guide

10 Best Things To Do in Stowe, Vermont | 3 Day Full Itinerary

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Ultimate New England Fall Travel Guide

10 Best Things To Do in Stowe, Vermont | 3 Day Full Itinerary

Best Hiking Trails at Acadia National Park | Beehive Loop Trail Ultimate Guide | Best Fall Hikes

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