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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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