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Kancamagus Scenic Highway

Our morning started almost 2 hours before sunrise. The morning was supposed to be sunny and clear, so we wanted to get to our first destination, Lonesome Lake, before sunrise to catch the golden hour on the lake and mountainside. When our alarm went off at 5:00 am, I walked outside, noticed it was completely overcast, and we went back to sleep. We woke up at a more reasonable time (although still early) and headed to the trailhead.

The hike up to Lonesome Lake was extremely challenging. The hike is only about a mile and a quarter to the lake, but almost 1,100 feet in elevation gain. It was straight up for that entire time. For our skill level, a hike like this would usually be moderately difficult, but since we did a similar hike the day prior, we were pretty sore and tired and took our time making it up to the lake. The views at the lake were worth the pain and difficulty, and we had the lake almost completely to ourselves other than a couple of other fellow hikers. The lake was mostly still with an occasional breeze that would make the water shimmer, and the weather stayed overcast which made for even lighting all across the lake and surrounding mountainside.

The afternoon consisted of a 100 mile long drive through the Kancamagus Scenic Highway that took about 4 hours including stopping in many places to take photos and eating lunch in Conway, NH. The views were breathtaking and completely unreal. We, just like many other people, were complete tourists gawking at the beauty of the White Mountain National Forest driving along the Kancamagus Highway. We stopped along the way at many of the scenic overlooks to take a few photos, wherever we could get a parking spot. The sun started to come out in the afternoon which just amplified the vibrance of all the fall foliage.

We enjoyed the drive so much that we went back to a specific overlook on the Kancamagus Highway to watch the sun go down. It was the only time during our trip that the sky was completely clear, and the only time we had wished there were at least some clouds in the sky for a better sunset. Even though going back for sunset photos was a bust, we still enjoyed the sunset together. This was our second day in New Hampshire in the White Mountains area, and even though it feels like we just got here, we head on to Vermont in the morning.

Trailhead Location
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3.75 mi 2.4 hrs 2,707 ft 1,024 ft
View Graph
Blue Mountains
On the Boardwalk
Pemigewasset River
Off the Kanc
Frankenstein Cliff
Saco River
Silver Cascade
Small Pool