Hiking the Bond Mountains

By: Maddy Hunt, Discover the Power of Parks Interpreter

The Bond Mountains boast some of the most beautiful views in the White Mountains.  This range includes Mt. Bond, West Bond and the Bond Cliff located in the middle of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. This is a 22  mile, 2 day (or 1 day!) round trip. The hike is rough going, even at times grueling, but well worth the effort! Plan this hike around your own hiking abilities, pack weight restrictions, schedule and stamina.

This trip began at the Zealand Campground parking lot. You will drive to the end of Zealand road in order to pick up the trail head. Starting early is always a good plan!

Where it all begins! Zealand Trail head!

The hike begins on a 2.5 mile flat trail going through woods and wet lands. The wild flower Woodland Aster  lit up the trail on either side once I got to Zealand Pond.

Woodland Aster growing on the trail near Zealand Pond

Once you pass the AMC Zealand Hut, you will hike up 1.7 miles of some steep trail. What is motivating you at this point is that you know the Bond Mountains have some of the most beautiful views in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. This section of the hike is full of rocks, roots and a ladder! At the top are some amazing views!

View from the top of the Zealand Trail

From here you will be walking on a fairly level trail with some ascending and descending as you progress toward Mt. Guyot. At this trail junction, you will turn left walking through a grassy alpine summit. Great views!

Grass and krumholtz meadow at the Bond Mountain trail junction

Here you hike to the Mt. Guyot Shelter, a great rest stop, and if you are planning to make this a two day trip, also a great place to drop off your tent and other heavy items before you begin your ascent of Mt. Bond.

The hike up to Mt. Bond is a fun one filled with great views and lots of rocks! Mt. Washington, if not hiding in the clouds (like on this day), can be clearly seen from the summit.

Panorama of the view from Mt. Bond

The Bond cliff is the next leg of the hike. You will descend down steeply from Mt Bond and hike 1.3 miles to the end of the Bond Cliff. A nice spot for a summit nap!

On the bond cliff looking back at Mt. Bond. You can see West Bond on the left.
Boot shot/Summit nap on Bond Cliff(I recommend wearing sunscreen for this activity)

The hike back up to Mt. Bond is another story, quite a steep ascent over some loose rocks, but a fun one nonetheless. Here you will descend down Mt Bond until you get to the junction for West Bond, a 15 minute .5 mile hike to complete the Bond trip.

Sunset on top of West Bond. That is the Franconia Range in the distance.
From right to left Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Lincoln, and Little Haystack.

Happy hiking out there everyone! As always hike safe, hike smart, be prepared, and most importantly, have a blast!


Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Discover the Power of Parks is presented by New Hampshire State Parks in collaboration with the Student Conservation Association and AmeriCorps and made possible by generous financial support from Eversource. The program offers a look into the natural world through hands-on programming. Interpretive programs focus on connecting participants with nature and building appreciation for New Hampshire's unmatched natural heritage. Programs include guided hikes, interpretive tours, and imaginative environmental workshops for children and families. Programs are offered free to guests with paid park admission fee. No pre-registration is required.

4 thoughts to “Hiking the Bond Mountains”

  1. Great trip! I’m planning on doing the Bonds/Twins next month, and have a question: is the water at the Guyot Campsite drinkable, or does it need to be treated/filtered? Thanks! Chris

    1. Hey Chris, It absolutely needs to be filtered – its a busy place, lots of people …. so yes, either iodine, aquamira, other purification tablets, boiling or the ole pump!

  2. Nicely done. What a great area to hike in all the seasons. West Bond has one of the best sunsets in the whites.

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