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Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell Trail: A lovely peak along the AT

Updated: May 26


Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell, New Hampshire

Located along the Appalachian Trail, Mount Cube is a lovely summit for both thru-hikers and day hikers alike. Follow the shady, steep, and rocky trail to reach this peak, where you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views. Once at the top, don’t forget to explore the northern side of the mountain for even more stunning vistas!

 

Trail Info


Know before you go

  • There are multiple routes to this peak. The Cross Rivendell approach is the shortest and most popular, but you can also summit this peak via the Kodak Trail or approach it from the east via the Appalachian Trail (AT).

  • Reaching the north peak requires a short hike from the south peak (~0.8 miles / 1.3 km round trip) but is totally worth it. It's very tempting to just plop on the south face and soak in those views since that's likely what most other hikers will be doing. However, I highly recommend the short jaunt to the north side. I found the views to be just as pretty (maybe prettier) and it was more secluded.


Alternate routes


 


The Trail


Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell, New Hampshire

There are 2 "parking lots" (basically dirt shoulders off Baker Road) for this hike.. After parking your car, head to this trailhead. Don't worry there is a dot next to that 2, it's not 20 miles to the summit.


Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell, New Hampshire

Much of this trail is in the shade, which is great for keeping the sun out of your eyes, However, this does mean the trail can be muddy or icy/snowy, depending on the time of year you hike. That's just par for the course though when hiking in New Hampshire.


Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell, New Hampshire

The trail is extremely well-marked throughout. There's also really only one path, so it should be very easy to follow. You will see some white blazes in addition to the blue, but it is all the same trail. Those white blazes are those marking the AT (beginning in Georgia, ending in Maine).


Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell, New Hampshire

The trail is pretty much a constant uphill. The terrain can be a bit rough as you have to clamber over rocks like this. There's a number of switchbacks along the way to make it a bit easier, but this trail will get your heart pumping.


Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell, New Hampshire

One section that stood out to me was this ascent along a smoother slab of rock. It wasn't a scramble, but I could see this section being tricky during shoulder season when there may be some ice.


Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell, New Hampshire

Around 1.5 miles in, there is a short flat section where you get your first unobstructed views of the area. Hopefully that's enough motivation to make it to the top!


Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell, New Hampshire

And within no time you will reach the official summit! The Southern section is the taller of the two sides, and is likely where you will see people hanging out soaking in the views. The first time I did this, there were almost a dozen AT thru-hikers enjoying a snack up here. (It's pretty obvious who they are, you can smell them from a hundred feet away :)). Jokes aside, they all seemed to be in great spirits considering the amount the number of miles they'd put in.


Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell, New Hampshire

This sign marks the summit. To continue to the North Peak, you will need to continue past the summit for ~0.1 miles and continue straight at the three way junction (it's marked with a sign).


Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell, New Hampshire

The trail in between the summits is generally flat, but it has it still has it's own minor challenges.


Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell, New Hampshire

But it's worth that incremental effort in my opinion. I was the only one on this section of the mountain, so I had these views all to myself. On clear days, you can see some of the higher peaks of the White Mountains (such as Mount Moosilauke) as you look Northeast. Little did I know how much time I'd be spending in that direction over the next two years.


Mount Cube via Cross Rivendell, New Hampshire

A lovely hike that would become a fun go-to during my 2 years in New Hampshire. Now, unlike those AT hikers, it's time to head home for a home-cooked meal and a hot shower!



 

SS Reflections

This was one of the first hikes I did after moving to New Hampshire, and it instantly made me glad I had moved to this special part of the country. Knowing that I had amazing hikes like this in my backyard was exciting. And after seeing all the Appalachian Trail hikers near the end of their journey, it motivated me to take on a hiking challenge of my own, the New Hampshire 48.


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