Both Bald Mountain and Artist Bluff offer wonderful views of the valley and of Cannon Mountain. However, while Artists is just slightly off of the trail, Bald Mountain requires a longer spur that is fairly difficult as it requires a fairly large amount of scrambling. This is a short but view rewarding loop.
The trail beings at the parking area and begins to ascend quickly. After this short, moderate ascent, the trail forks with the Bald Mountain Spur
to the left. This short spur is difficult as it ascends and requires scrambling up sheer rocks. However, once at the top, this spur offers incredible views of Cannon Mountain, Echo Lake, and the rest of Franconia Notch from the summit.
The climb down from Bald Mountain follows the same trail and includes the same hazards as the climb up. The loop then returns to the main trail. There are some more ups and downs until it leads to the Artist's Bluff Spur
which is also to the left. This is a short spur that leads directly from the trail to the sheer cliffs of Artists Bluff at also provides spectacular views.
After returning to the trail from the bluffs, the trail descends very steeply. At the end of the descent, it takes a right onto the Loop Trail
. For a connector trail, the Loop Trail
is very well taken care of and is surprisingly scenic. The Loop Trail
leads the loop to its terminus at the parking area.