Ripley & Arethusa Falls to Frankenstein Cliff

Mt Washington maptrip report by site editor Rick McCharles

In the White Mountains of New Hampshire to climb Mt Washington, I had an extra half day end of trip.

Having camped on the west side of Washington, I decided to hike nearby Crawford Notch State Park.

Super popular is Ripley Falls, 1mi there-and-back.

I was surprised to find people rappelling Ripley guided by N.E. mountaineering.



I was told the rappel was fun. But the water VERY cold.

Many turn back at Ripley.

I continued on in the direction of Arethusa Falls, a rough, muddy and rooty track.


On the 5th of July, that trail was not busy.

Arethusa, at around 140ft high, the 2nd highest falls in the State, was crowded. Dogs, kids, people unprepared for a serious hike. Most had arrived via the Arethusa Falls trail.


The highest waterfall in New Hampshire is Dryad Falls, which is seasonal. Arethusa is highest flowing year round.

Rather than backtrack, I decided to return via the Frankenstein Cliff trail.

How could you not want to hike something called “Frankenstein Cliff“?

It was the most interesting of the 3 trails.


Some cliffside vistas.

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On the way up I’d walked across the train tracks. Coming back the trail ducked under the tracks.

IMG_2092 IMG_2093

The only downside of my route was a long walk back along the highway to my rent-a-car.

There are better options than the 7mi+ route I ended up doing. 🙂

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