This is a heavily used moderate out and back hike with steady ascending. It has outstanding views at the summit of Mt. Osceola [4340 ft.] You can also carry on and traverse the ridge to East Peak [4156 ft.].
Distance: 6.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,070 Feet
Time: 3-4 hours
To Climb Mount Osceola you will park at the trailhead off of Tripoli Road. If you are hiking on a weekend or holiday expect a crowded parking lot and lots of company on the trail. You do need to obtain a recreation pass to park on Tripoli road, they are available at the trailhead or at the ranger station on the east side of the road.
The trail begins on a rocky and rough section that requires more time than might be expected, especially in wet conditions. It ascends the ridge, crossing a spring 2/3rds of the way up. It then climbs by short rather steep switchbacks to the summit, the site of an old fire tower.
If you would also like to check of East Peak, you will carry on from the summit as the trail descends steeply into the col. At one point, you have the option to "chimney" down a short rock face, or take an easier route around. There are lookouts to the north as you ascend East Peak. Add an extra hour or more for this as it is a rocky and steep climb for about a mile each way. East Peak is a wooded summit marked by a small cairn.
Look below to see our photo gallery of the Mount Osceola Trail. If you snap any of your own photos be sure to tag @waterville_valley.
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