Trail Distance: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: 2650'
Terrain Rating: Easy Side of Moderate
Hike In: 11AM
Hike Out: 4:05PM
Trailhead: In the winter, Starr King Road is closed. We parked at the snowmobile parking across the street from Starr King Road on Route 2 because there were 0 snowmobiles there and we couldn't find the "other" parking lot. It's a short walk from the lot to the trailhead. The extra distance is added here into the hiking stats totals.
Mount Waumbek is a perfect beginner's winter hike in the White Mountains. The mileage is relatively short for a 4,000 footer, the navigation is easier as there are no big turnoffs, and you get some nice views even though you're below treeline.
On a cold -6F winter day, we embarked up Mount Waumbek after a slow start in Boston. The drive is a little over 3 hours, so you need to wake up early enough to finish before dark. Boston had received 18 inches of snow the day before, but it looked like Waumbek only received 6 or so. There was fresh powder, so we put on snowshoes for this one. It was fresh powder all the way through with a few blowdowns.
Starting at the trailhead, it's just one trail all the way up! The trail began through skinny trees, slowly moving up the mountain. It was a nice, gentle climb and our MSR Evo Ascent snowshoes were perfect for the occasion. We stopped quickly for a few layer breaks, trying to make sure we never started sweating.
Around 3 miles in, you'll reach what I can best call a tiny brick monument. That means you've reached Mount Starr King! It's possible to get some views here of the surrounding mountains so try to take a look. We pushed onto Mount Waumbek though, as it was considerably colder up top. Once we got to Waumbek, there wasn't much for views but the trees were completely covered in snow and made for some pretty hiking. After we reached the summit at 2:11PM, we turned around and slid/glided most of our way down the mountain.