Get three of those 4000 footers with this loop plus Mount Avalon as bonus with the nicest views of the all the summits despite its smaller stature.
Start at the AMC Highland center/Crawford Notch Station and follow the Avalon
trail up. At the fork take the left and stay on the Avalon
trail, save the A-Z
for the way back. Avalon
has a couple sections that are quite steep and rocky that could be less than desirable on the way down, especially in winter or even wet conditions. Continue toward Mount Avalon and when you pass the cairn be sure to look for the sign to access the summit (the views are worth the short side trip). You can see the surrounding mountains and at times mist or low hanging clouds almost 'rolling' down those mountains
Continue on Avalon
to its end at Willey Range Trail
. Take a left onto Willey Range Trail
to summit Mount Field then continue on to Mount Willey. After enjoying the summit of Mount Willey, you'll need to turn around and back track. Once at the junction with Avalon
stay left to continue on Willey Range Trail
all the way to A-Z
. Take the A-Z
east briefly to the fork, then take a left on to Mt Tom Spur
, and get your next summit. Backtrack to A-Z
and take this down to the junction with Avalon
. Stay left to head east on Avalon
and take this back to the AMC Lodge.
Some guidebooks suggest to do this in reverse, but if done that way remember on the way down from Avalon
there are very steep sections that can slow down your hike dramatically and be very dicey in the winter time.