Mount Lafayette is a 5,249-foot mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, at the northern extremity of the Franconia Range. It is located in the town of Franconia and is included in the New England Fifty Finest list of New England’s most prominent topographic peaks. It is also one of New Hampshire’s 4,000-footers and one of New England’s Hundred Highest Mountains. Because of its height, the mountain’s highest portions are in the alpine zone, which is characterized by dwarf vegetation due to the harsh climate.
The mountain is named to commemorate General Lafayette, a French military hero who fought with and significantly supported the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Lafayette, who was loved and adopted as an assistant by George Washington throughout the war, went on a triumphal tour in 1824-1825, visiting New Hampshire and all the other states at the time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill.
The shortest trail up to the summit Mount Lafayette is Mount Lafayette via Old Bridle Path. The trail is 7.5 miles out and back and features 3,503 feet of elevation gain. The path offers some of the best vistas in the state, as well as various trails, an AMC cabin, and breathtaking waterfalls. Lafayette is one of the most popular treks in the state, with convenient access directly off I-93. Since it does get crowded, it’s a wise idea to hike during the weekdays, early in the morning, or in the winter to avoid crowds. It is frequently summited with Mount Lincoln via the Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop.
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- Type: Summit
- Elevation: 5,249 ft
- Prominence: 3,320 ft
- Parent mountain: Mount Lafayette
- Easiest trail: Mount Lafayette via Old Bridle Path
- Trail distance: 7.5 miles (out and back)
- Trail difficulty: Hard
- Trail popularity: High
- Elevation gain: 3,503 ft
- Estimated hike time: 7.5 hours
- Address: Mount Lafayette
- Town: Franconia
- State: New Hampshire
- GPS: Lat 44.16090 Lng -71.64439
- Parking notes: There is a large parking lot at the Old Bridle Path Trailhead which holds 133 cars and can be found along Styles Bridges Hwy / Interstate 93. There is additional parking on the other side of Interstate 93 at Lafayette Place Campground. Parking costs $5.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE