Mountain Report-Loon Mountain

For the first of this series of articles, we will explore what Loon Mountain has to offer. Loon mountain is located in the small town of Lincoln, NH. Situated right outside the Franconia Notch, Loon often experiences cooler temperatures but frequently has fresh snow. 

What’s new at Loon? A state-of-the-art eight-person chair lift was installed last year, known as the Kanc 8. The chair services Governor Adams lodge and the lower levels of Loon Peak. The heated seats with a cozy bubble make the chairlift a pleasant experience for guests, especially during colder days; however, the chair often malfunctions. According to a lift operator, the heat pumped into the chairs causes fuses to blow in the older Governor Adams lodge, resulting in the lift closing for hours at a time. Regardless, the lift is an incredible experience and is definitely worth checking out if you travel to Loon Mountain!

The South Peak, Loon’s newest peak, was constructed in 2008. South Peak is smaller than Loon Peak and North Peak; however, it holds a large proportion of the mountain’s more challenging trails. The only Black Diamond, Ripsaw, rips right down the middle of the peak. Loon plans to further expand the South Peak, adding two additional trails in the near future.

The mountain also offers several dining options, including the Octagon lodge, Governor Adams lodge, Camp III, Pemigewasset Base Camp, and Summitt Cafe. Governor Adam’s has fairly basic mountain food such as burgers, chili, Mac & Cheese, and chicken tenders and is the most dated lodge on the mountain. Octagon is similar; however, they also serve pizza and calzones, which are excellent with the Paul Bunyan room upstairs, where adults can enjoy brews. Pemigewasset is commonly considered the best base lodge food on the mountain. They offer hearty sandwiches that are a great source of energy in the midst of a ski day. Summit Cafe offers incredible views of the mountain and loon pond. Positioned near the gondola on top of Loon Peak, Summit is often packed with skiers and lodge dwellers alike, capturing the view. Camp III is an excellent spot to stop for food. With few beginner trails in the area, it isn’t easy to get to, but the reward is worth the journey. They offer meals such as the Haulback and the Triple Trouble. Named after a connector trail, the Haulback is a pastrami sandwich with swiss cheese and thousand island dressing. Another good eat is the Triple Trouble, a burger with pulled pork and brisket, which only the bravest of skiers attempt to take it on. Named after one of the most challenging trails on the mountain, the burger lives up to its expectations.

If you are looking for a great spot to take a picture, the top of North Peak is a great spot. It offers scenic views of the White Mountains, with Mt. Washington lingering in the background, still seen from miles away! As long as you can stand the wind and coldest temperatures on the mountain, definitely check out North Peak! Ripsaw also offers excellent views of Lincoln. However, be wary, Ripsaw is a double black diamond, and the only bail-out trail is a walk through the woods to the closest blue, Boom Run, which is also no easy trail. 

Loon Mountain Park is one of New Hampshire’s best parks, featuring numerous professional competitions yearly. According to Loon’s website, the park features a superpipe, which is the only one in New Hampshire! The superpipe is basically a giant halfpipe that extends down the mountains. The closer to the top, the icier the pipe gets, making it a challenge for even the most experienced skiers. 

Overall, Loon mountain is an excellent mountain for all ages. They offer many beginner trails for families as well as more challenging options. Their reasonable price and close proximity to Massachusetts draw large crowds, but their state-of-the-art chair lift and gondola reduce lift lines, making for a pleasant experience.