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Guided Nature Tours

Activity Description

The White Mountain National Forest is an extraordinary place. To better understand it, our Guided Nature Tours will immerse you in the unique ecology and history of the region. These hiking adventures may feature shorter mileages to allow for a relaxed pace so there is plenty of time to learn and explore, but one should expect distances to be measured in miles over rugged terrain, complete with elevation gain.

Activity Offerings

We can offer a simple half-day tour lasting 3-4 hours or so, or a full 6-8 hour day. It may depend on the tour objective. Some tours can only be offered for a very short period of time, others are more readily available. Look for special announcements about special group tours and events in our blog or on Facebook. Specify tour type in the comments box of our Booking Form.

Nature Tour Options - Click to Expand

Some Tour Possibilities/Areas of Interest — This is Just a Sampling
Alpine Garden Tour
Rare plants bloom on the Northeast’s highest peak for just a few weeks every year. Learn about the ecology of the alpine zone on our tour of Mt Washington’s beautiful alpine garden! Be driven up by can, then hike across the Alpine Garden in a loop. This tour is very limited, available early June only!
Lonesome Lake Bog Tour
Lonesome Lake is a pristine glacial tarn featuring a fascinating bog habitat. Hike up to the bog to look for rare carnivorous plants and learn about the unique adaptations required to survive in this ecosystem, then stop at the AMC hut for a snack or sit on the dock and enjoy the spectacular view of Franconia Ridge. Available May-September.
Mt Washington Tour
Enjoy a ride up the historic Mt Washington Auto Road by van, then hike down to the AMC’s Lakes of the Clouds hut, exploring the mountain’s unique history along the way. This tour allows time for visits to the Mt Washington Observatory and the Extreme Mt Washington Museum. Available May-October
Old Growth Forest Tour
Although most of the region’s forests were logged at the turn of the century, a few pockets of old-growth forest remain. This tour will show you where to find these majestic trees and offers discussion about why they are so special and more. Available April-November
Trees, Ferns, and Flowers Tour
Are you curious to learn more about the plants you encounter on the trail? This tour will focus on identifying the most common species of trees, ferns, and flowers in the region. Pick your favorite destination or let us choose a lovely spot to explore our local flora. Available May-September
Franconia Notch Tour
Visit numerous interesting locations through Franconia Notch. To include Flume Gorge (hike), Boise Rock, Eagle Cliff (to view, not ascend), Artists Bluff (hike), the Basin, and so much more! Learn more about the area’s geology as well as its history with this special tour.
Custom Nature/Historic Tours
Is there a special place in the White Mountain National Forest you’d like to know more about, or a particular topic in natural or cultural history that interests you? Let us know and we’ll put together a custom Guided Nature or Historic Tour to meet you or your group’s needs. In fact, we can turn any adventure into a learning one… just ask. Available April-November

What to Wear

To ensure everyone’s safety and comfort, we offer this important clothing info. Since these three-season tours vary quite a bit, we will suggest preparing for the worst conditions possible, then advise accordingly when booking as the specifics are known. Thus, for now, when dressing for our nature tours you will want to note the following:

  • Think layers. While a ski jacket, for example, may be warm and waterproof, if the insulation can’t be separated from the rain/snow protection layer, it really isn’t suitable. You will overheat if you need rain/snow protection while hiking. Bring independent layers. Having our “Ready Pack” will solve the matter offering all you need.
  • Never wear cotton, even at the underwear level. Synthetic materials, wool, and especially performance/wicking materials should be your clothing of choice. For hiking, since cotton won’t dry and doesn’t insulate while wet, it can pose a hazard. You will want to wear the right type of sports or hiking clothing and you will want to bring extra.
  • Bring more than you think you need. Mountain weather can be very tricky and unpredictable. While it may be nice in town, the mountains can be very different. Being prepared can save your life.
  • For footwear, sneakers or trail runners may be suitable for summer hikes, but for spring or fall something a little sturdier and warmer like a three-season hiking boot is recommended.

Necessary Gear

For your nature tour gear needs, in addition to your own non-cotton base layers, hiking/climbing pants (or shorts in summer) with shirt, and footwear, as described above, we offer three options (which are modified by the season and specific tour). Click to expand.

Gear Option 1 - Open
Rent our “Ready Pack” for $55/person/day. This option will satisfy all your gear needs to include all your layers from mid-layer up, everything, even your food and water needs for the duration of the activity, including all specialty gear. This only leaves a need for personal items such as…

  • Personal first aid kit/meds.
  • Personal hygiene items.
  • Camera/phone (weather-protected).
  • Lip balm, sun block.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Proper footwear (see information above).
  • Proper clothing layering (see information above).
  • Seasonal specialty clothing (see information above).

SPECIAL NOTE: You may get a “Ready Pack, Lean” without food and water for $40/person/day.

SPECIAL NOTE: You can also order just food and water for $15/person/day. (Available with any option.)

Gear Option 2 - Open
Bring your own pack containing, in addition to the items above, the gear shown in the list below, as needed per the season and objective, but rent any necessary specialty gear items in the sub-list below that…

  • A lined pack with hip belt and room for the items below (~20-30 liters).
  • Rain jacket and pants, or rain poncho (mountain weather can be quite wet).
  • Mountain-rated insulated layer (mountains are much colder than in town).
  • Seasonally-rated mid-layer (much colder).
  • Food for the day, plus extra.
  • Water for the day, at least 2 liters for a full day.
  • Seasonally-rated hat, gloves/mittens.
  • Headlamp with spare batteries (or backup device).
  • Whistle or sound-making device (sternum strap whistles are okay).
  • Tarp, bivvy, or personal shelter.
  • A lightweight emergency sleeping pad.

Plus any of these specialty items also available from the master rental list, below…

  • Trekking Poles.
  • Light Traction (As Needed).
  • Snowshoes (As Needed).

General Rental Gear Pricing
  • Empty Backpack: $15/person/day.
  • Headlamp w/ Batteries: $5/person/day.
  • Trekking Pole Set: $5/person/day.
  • Bushwhack Kit (Compass/Glasses): $5/person/day.
  • Food and Water (Lunch Kit): $15/person/day.

Summer Clothing/Layers Pricing
(NOTE: By “Summer” we mean warmer, summer-like conditions, not the season.)
  • Fleece (Midlayer): $5/person/day.
  • Puffy Jacket (Midweight): $20/person/day.
  • Hardshell Set: $35/person/day.
  • Light Gloves: $5/person/day.
  • Climbing Gloves: $10/person/day.

Winter Clothing/Layers Pricing – Add to List Above
(NOTE: By “Winter” we mean colder, winter-like conditions, not the season.)
  • Puffy/Parka (Heavyweight/Winter): $25/person/day.
  • Hardshell Set: $35/person/day (Gaiters Req. w/ Crampon Use).
  • Mitts/Overmitts: $10/person/day.
  • Watchman’s Hat: $5/person/day.
  • Balaclava: $5/person/day.
  • Face Protection (Faceglove/Mask): $5/person/day.
  • Ski Goggles: $5/person/day.
  • Gaiters (Winter): $10/person/day.

Winter Rental Gear Pricing
(NOTE: By “Winter” we mean colder, winter-like conditions, not the season.)
  • Light Traction: $10/person/day.
  • Mountaineering Snowshoes: $15/person/day.
  • Mountaineering Crampons: $15/person/day.
  • Climbing Helmet: $5/person/day.
  • Ice/Snow Axe: $10/person/day.
  • Whippet: $10/person/day.
  • Alpine Harness: $10/person/day.

Winter Technical Gear Pricing
(NOTE: By “Winter” we mean colder, winter-like conditions, not the season.)
  • Ice Climbing Crampons: $15/person/day.
  • Technical Ice Tools: $15/person/day.
  • Climbing Harness: $10/person/day.
  • Mountaineering Boots: $25/person/day.
  • Avalanche Beacon: $25/person/day.
  • Avalanche Probe: $10/person/day.
  • Avalanche Shovel: $10/person/day.
  • Avalanche Kit: $40/person/day.

Summer Technical Gear Pricing
(NOTE: By “Summer” we mean warmer, summer-like conditions, not the season.)
  • Climbing Helmet: $5/person/day.
  • Alpine Harness: $10/person/day.
  • Rock Climbing Shoes: $15/person/day.
  • Climbing Harness: $10/person/day.
  • Chalk Bag w/ Chalk): $5/person/day.
  • Personal Flotation Device: $10/person/day.

Backpacking Gear Pricing
  • Sleeping Bag (Rated): $20/person/night.
  • Sleeping Pad (Foam): $5/person/night.
  • Sleeping Pad (Inflatabe): $15/person/night.
  • Tent (1-2 People): $20/person/night.
  • Tent (3-4 People): $30/person/night.
  • Stove w/ Fuel: $15/person/night.

Other Gear-Related Pricing
  • Gear Insurance (Regular/Hiking): $10/person/day.
  • Gear Insurance (Alpine/Winter): $20/person/day.
  • Gear Insurance (Backpacking): $30/person/day.
  • Outsourced Gear (Pick Up Fee): $40/person/day.

Gear Option 3 - Open
Bring everything and rent nothing. In which case, you will need everything from the above lists appropriate to your activity, time of year, and expected conditions. Contact us if you have questions, mention it on the booking form, or simply note it when we call to finalize your booking.

Okay… Let’s Do This!

What follows below is the pricing and other information you’ll probably want or need to know.

Half Day Guided Nature Tours Pricing
For one person $175
For two people $125 each
For three people $110 each
For four or more $100 each
Full Day Guided Nature Tours Pricing
For one person $275
For two people $200 each
For three people $175 each
For four or more $150 each
Guided Nature Tours Premiums
Make it private INCLUDED
Other Information
  • The difficulty of this activity is variable and as requested.
  • This activity has a 1:4 guide/guest ratio.
  • The maximum group size is 8 with 2 guides.
  • For parties larger than 8, please contact us.
  • Gratuities not included; 15-25% is customary for a good job.

Want more hiking with less learning? Let’s just go Hiking instead, or speed things up on a Trail Run. Otherwise, go ahead and BOOK IT NOW!

Looking for something smaller? Hoping to spend less time, less money, and have a less intense experience? Please check out our “2-3 Hr. Easy Tourist Tours” offering a glimpse into the White Mountains experience.

Don't Wait Too Long!

Book today to begin your outdoor experience. Use the button to the right to go to our booking form page...

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