Route: Belknap Range (NH)

New Hampshire, US
18.5 mi
Vertical Gain
5,121 ft

The Belknap Range is a small range of summits in southern New Hampshire, near Lake Winnipesaukee. The peaks range from 1660' to 2382'. Various routes have been used to link these summits.

Sherpa John Lacroix gives much more information on the range in a trip report of his first Belknap-in-a-day trip, which he did with Alan Bernier, Dave Dunham and Kevin Tilton in 8h01m on November 12, 2007. The trip required roughly 23 miles of hiking, running and route finding.

Bill Tidd gives some more historical background and description of the route in his FKT report from 8/31/2019. His route may be the most efficient for linking all the peaks. As Bill notes, his route includes the 12 major peaks in the range that are recognized by the Belknap County Sportsman’s Association (a patch is awarded to anyone who hikes the 12) PLUS East Quarry Mountain and Straightback Mountain North Peak, which have limited prominence.

For the sake of the FKT route, one must summit the 12 mentioned peaks below. East Quarry and Straightback Mountain North are an optional route choice.

The 12 required peaks include:

  • Belknap Mountain
  • Gunstock Mountain
  • Piper Mountain (North)
  • Mount Klem
  • Mount Mack
  • West Quarry Mountain
  • Straightback Mountain
  • Mount Rand
  • Mount Major
  • Mount Rowe
  • Mount Anna
  • Whiteface Mountain


For the double traverse variation you go back to your starting point (TH) and hit all peaks from the Gunstock area to Mt Major TH, many twice. This variation skips Piper and Whiteface but hits Clem, Rand and W Quarry in one direction and Major, Straightback, Anna and Mack in the other direction, while hitting Belknap, Rowe and Gunstock twice.

This route also has a grid variation available where the hike is repeated several times over a year.


GPS Track


*Greg Kappleman, not George :)

It seems that for the most part the FKT routes do not summit East Quarry or Straightback North (other than Bill Tidd's).  All but the earliest female FKT's omit these mountains.  They are not required by the Belknap Sportsman's Club but were included in Bill Tidd's original route.  The addition of these summits seems to be driven by a route choice to get to West Quarry but it's hard to say.

Regional Editor Note: Ryan Kempson's male FKT has been removed because he did not summit 2 of the 12 required peaks.

It looks like neither of the current double traverse FKT's hit all 12 peaks. Is there a different requirement for the double traverse? 

The 12 peak traverse is locally referred to as a Belknap 12 pack.  Where as the traditional traverse starts at Gunstock and ends at Mount Major (or reverse direction). The double traverse here in both instances is a double traverse of what is traditionally referred to as a Belknap traverse.  The Belknap Range Trail was blazed in 2014 with the intent of easily marking the standard traverse (you can also traverse by going over the Quarry's which is what the guys did here to add some variety).

From the Belknap Range site: "..Belknap Range Trail extends from the Gunstock Mountain Resort to Mt. Major parking area using all or part of several other trails along the way. Sections of this trail have existed in some form for a number of years, but only recently has it been possible for the average hiker to have any hope of following large segments of this route." 

So to confirm:

The Single traverse= all 12 peaks TH to TH (AKA Belknap 12 Pack)

The Double Traverse= Out and back on the Belknap Range Trail  (hitting 8 of 12 peaks)

If this is correct it would be great to get it added to the Description!