Cathedral Ledge Lookout


Cathedral Ledge is a wonderful lookout located near North Conway, New Hampshire. The 700-foot ledge was formed during the retreat of the last ice age. Today it is an iconic feature that’s clearly visible on the left side of the road when traveling north on Route 16 through North Conway Village. The views from the ledge span from Saco River Valley to the White Mountains. Experienced climbers, tourists, and hikers alike enjoy visiting Cathedral Ledge!

For visitors looking to solely take in the views, there is a mile-long auto road leading to the top. The well-maintained road is open weekends starting Memorial Day and daily from late June to Labor Day. Park hours are 9:00 am to 6:00 pm with gates closing at 8:00 pm. In the off-season, the Auto Road Gates are closed.

For hikers and off-season visitors, the most popular trail is Cathedral Ledge from Echo Lake. The 2.8-mile trail takes hikers from the Echo Lake parking lot up Cathedral Ledge while gaining 669 feet of elevation. The trail is steep in parts and is rated as moderate. Additionally, hikers can opt to walk up the Cathedral Ledge Auto Road, which is easier.

All climbers will find something to their liking at Cathedral Ledge. Long multi-pitch routes, face climbs, splitter cracks, and several good sport routes can be found on the cliff. Everyone can be happy at Cathedral Ledge. There are modest practice climbs at the North End to the soaring Yosemite-style assistance routes of the Central Wall.

History: Cathedral Ledge was purchased for $1,000 by a group of local residents and visitors in 1899. White Horse Ledge was purchased in 1900. Both were afterwards deeded to the state of New Hampshire. The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests teamed together with the state in 1943 to raise funds to purchase Echo Lake, which would safeguard it from commercial development. Echo Lake State Park now includes Cathedral Ledge, White Horse Ledge, and Echo Lake.

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  • Type: Viewpoint
  • Elevation: 700 ft
  • Prominence: 259 ft
  • Parent mountain: Cathedral Ledge

Hiking Info

  • Most popular trail: Cathedral Ledge from Echo Lake
  • Trail distance: 2.8 miles (out and back)
  • Trail difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail popularity: High
  • Elevation gain: 669 ft
  • Estimated hike time: 2-3 hours
  • Accessible by car: Yes (during summer season)


  • Address: Cathedral Ledge Rd
  • Town: Bartlett
  • State: New Hampshire
  • GPS: Lat 44.06304 Lng -71.16733
  • Parking notes: Cathedral Ledge Lookout is accessible by car during the season by traveling up Cathedral Ledge Rd. There are dozens of parking spots at the lookout. Parking is free, but please consider making a donation at any of the three donation canisters, “Iron Rangers,” along Cathedral Ledge Rd. or at the summit. When hiking to Cathedral Ledge, visitors can park at Echo Lake. During the season, parking is $4 for adults and $2 for children (6-11).
  • Parking directions: Parking lot at the lookout (HERE) & Parking at Echo Lake (HERE)
  • Location directions: HERE


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