Trip report

Imp Face Hike

Hiking/Walk DATE: 11/03/2012 - 11/03/2012

Trip/Event Location: Gorham, NH

Trip Leader(s): Gandalf , JDNnh

Max # People: 15

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money

Difficulty Level: Moderate

A grandstand view of the snowcapped Presidentials and Mt. Washington, with a sheer dropoff at your feet!

We will be hiking up one of New Hampshire's 52 with a View ~ Imp Face [3165']. We will start

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

The meeting spot is at the NORTH Imp Face Trailhead on Route 16.

It's approximately 183 miles from Boston and 3 hours and 16 minutes.

Follow NH Route 16 from North Conway to Pinkham Notch. Take note of the mileage as you drive by the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. Pass Wildcat ski area, the Mount Washington Auto Road, and Camp Dodge before arriving at the southern end of the Imp Trail loop on the right side of the road, 4.9 miles later. The NORTHERN end of the trailhead is 0.2 mile farther north. Park well off the highway in either direction. We will be driving a blue Toyota FJ Cruiser.

Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

Though New Hampshire’s ‘Old Man of the Mountain’ has crumbled, the ‘Imp Face’ perseveres! This hike leads to a cliff on North Carter Mountain that, from afar, looks much like the face of an impish creature.

The Imp Trail is located across from the Dolly Copp Picnic area off Rt. 16, close to Gorham, New Hampshire. After the hike, we got a good view of the Imp Face from the picnic area. There is no designated parking area for the trailhead, but there is plenty of room to pull off the side of the road and park.

The Imp Trail is not quite a true loop ~ there are two separate trailheads that are about .2 miles apart on Route 16 so a short road walk connects them together. We parked on the northern trailhead. We took off into the woods to begin our hike. It was not long before we removed a layer. It was just warm enough to not need any heavy clothing ~ nice! It was cloudy and the sun was trying to push through. The fresh autumn air was wonderful!

Starting at the northern trailhead, the path follows the Imp Brook, creating an incredible soundtrack for the first section of the hike. As we wound our way through the hemlocks, we caught glimpses of many small waterfalls created by the steep and rocky terrain.

After .8 miles, we crossed a tributary of Imp Brook near a pool and beautiful cascade. In 50 more yards, we crossed the Imp Brook, and from here the climb becomes fairly steep and strenuous. The steepest pitch comes early in the final stretch on this assault, as the trail swings back to the right and vigorously climbs to our unmistakable goal. It took us just under two hours to climb the 2.2 miles to the Imp Face. Views were impressive to Mt. Washington and the Northern Presidentials. Spectacular!

We spent 30 minutes with our GO buddies here having lunch, refueling and enjoying the view with a light breeze. Afterwards the hike actually begins with an ascent, but quickly tapers off to an easy, flat walk before descending to the second viewpoint. The view isn’t as good.

The trail wraps around the headwall rim of the Imp Brook ravine. The trail is gradual but somewhat rough, and crosses several streams.

Just .9 miles from the Imp Face, the trail intersects with the North Carter Trail. From there, the trail is a gradual descent, though littered with rocks and stream crossings that make it difficult at times.

It took us just under 2.5 hours to reach Route 16 and the southern trailhead. It was a beautiful hike.

  There are 62 photos in Album (Note: Move mouse pointer over larger pic and click on NEXT for better viewing)

Members That Participated


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

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