Hiking the Pemi Loop – 3 Day Backpacking Trip

Come along for 3 Days of Hammock Camping, Hiking, and Backpacking on a classic Pemi Loop in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

The Pemi Loop, made popular by it’s distinction as one of “America’s Hardest Day Hikes” in a May, 2005 Backpacker Magaizine article, is not actually an “official” trail, but rather a series of AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) trails joined to create a 31.5 mile tear drop shaped loop in New Hampshire’s Franconia Wilderness Area.  GPS track data is available on the Trip Data page.

For this hike, I’ll be solo hammock camping with my Hennessy Hammock and the larger 12′ x 10′ Deluxe Hex Tarp, due to the threat of cold and wet late summer weather. In the White Mountains, weather can turn on a dime even with the brightest of forecasts, so when the weather report actually says things are going to be iffy, you’d better take it seriously. For this trip we’ll experience a wide range of conditions – from hazy summer heat, to gusty bursts of hail and chilling nighttime lows.

Sintax77 Pemi Loop Route

An aerial view of my 3 Day Pemi Loop route.

Gear List Highlights:
Hennessy Expedition Asym Hammock
Hennessy Deluxe Hex Tarp equipped with
Zing-it guy lines & Dutchware Wasps for quick, knot-free setup
Hammock Gear Incubator 40 underquilt
Hammock Gear Burrow 40 Topquilt
Osprey Hornet 46 Backpack
Fenix HL25 Headlamp
DIY Cookpot w/ DIY cat can alcohol stove
Ribz Front Pack for Carrying Camera Gear
Samsung H300 HD Camera (3 spare batteries), GoPro Hero 3 Black, RAVpower      10,400mAh USB battery pack, Garmin 650 GPS

Pemi Loop Direction:

Parking and Start Point:
Lincoln Woods Visitor Center N44° 03.820′ W71° 35.300′

Trails Used, Day 1:
Lincoln Woods Trail
Osseo Trail
Franconia Ridge Trail
Garfield Ridge Trail
Setup Stealth Camp
Summits: Mt Flume, Mt Liberty, Little Haystack Mountain, Mt Lincoln, Mt Lafayette
Mileage: 11.5 Miles
Gross Elevation Gain:
Pemi Loop Day 1 Graph - Sintax77

Trails Used, Day 2:
Garfield Ridge Trail
Twinway Trail
Bondcliff Trail
West Bond Spur Trail
Bondcliff Trail
Lincoln Woods Trail
Setup Stealth Camp
Summits: Mt Garfield, South Twin Mountain, Mt Guyot, West Bond Mountain, Mt Bond, Bondcliff
Mileage:17 Miles
Gross Elevation Gain: 
Pemi Loop Day 2 Graph - Sintax77

Trails Used, Day 3:
Lincoln Woods Trail
Return to Car
Mileage: 4.5 Miles
Gross Elevation Gain: 
Pemi Loop Day 3 Graph - Sintax77

3 Day Pemi Loop Trip Totals:
32.5 Miles
Gross Elevation Gain:
Pemi Loop Trip Total Graph - Sintax77


12 thoughts on “Hiking the Pemi Loop – 3 Day Backpacking Trip

  1. Great video SinTax,
    I’m curious though…why the switch to low cut ( at least they look like low cut ) sneakers instead of your old ‘tried&True’ Garmont boots? What is the brand name of your new footwear? The Pemi Loop is one I really would like to do…if not this year…definitely next year. I just did Mt. Jefferson ( Caps Ridge Trail ) and it was a pretty rough ‘rock scramble’ . how steep and rough was the trails you used on this trip? Also….why the switch on your hammock setup…from carabiner and rappel rings…to buckle strap ( I think that’s what you called it. Is it a better setup? Thanks for the enjoyable video and the reply to my queries


    • Awesome trip and video, Sintax77, but I am also curious as to why you ditched the Python Straps? They worked so well in your winter Adirondacks video that I a was left behind wanting a pair for myself.

      • Thanks, Jari. The python straps were great and I still have them (eventually trying to get two systems going for my wife and I), but I’m always looking for new items to experiment with. So far, here are some advantages I’ve found: The 10 foot Kammock Python Straps with carabiners weighed 14.5 ounces, plus I was still connecting to the hammock with the stock rope at 5 ounces (admittedly I could have trimmed this, but didn’t want to make any permanent changes), the cinch buckles, Amsteel connecting loop, and 15 foot straps weighed in at 10.75 ounces total. After switching over, my full hammock system weighed a 8.75 oz less while increasing by strap reach per side by 5 feet. I’ve also come to enjoy the fact that you can adjust the cinch buckles to the exact length needed, compared to the Python Straps, which are constrained to increments of 4 inches or so for each loop.

    • I finally went to trail runners after a couple years of getting my base weight down, as well as increasing my ankle strength / comfort over the course of some decent trips. The Pemi Loop definitely has it’s share of steep terrain, loose rock and occasional steep scrambles (coming down from Garfield, towards the hut comes to mind). The Adidas Terrex Swift-R held up well though. Good traction and water resistance as well.

      As far as the cinch buckles go, I address exactly that in this video that I just did: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDJwSyrychc

  2. Great video. We were actually backpacking the Dix Range in the Adirondacks when you were filming this. Our group will finish our Adirondack 46er August 2015 and eyes on the Whites and Vermont Green Mountains. We backpack, but have yet to summit mountains with full backpacking gear. There are three of us that share a water filter, jetboil stove, one guy carrys the shit shovel and toilet paper, and 3 person tent we split up with poles, tent, ground cloth and rain fly. Each carry 2 sets of clothes (one to wear hiking, the other to dry for the next day), 30 degree sleeping bag, food, rain gear, down jacket, fleece vest, trekking poles, crocs for camp footwear, phone, I have a Spot GPS, 70L backpacks amd 24L daypacks. Yet our base weight is at 35-40 lbs each. I’m not dropping the jetboil or water filter. Wondering what we are doing wrong to bring our base weight to 20 lbs. Hammocks are lighter but splitting a 3 lb tent between the three of us can’t be that bad. I’m just not seeing where you’re skimping out to drop your base weight in half. If we do the Pemi loop with full backpacking gear we need to seriously cut our weight down.

    • You know that base weight excludes water and food carried? It seems crazy that you’d be anywhere near 40lbs given the general gearlist mentioned above…

  3. Is the Garfield Pond Campsite you have tagged here the same site you used in the video with big bad Zeke?

  4. Sintax,

    Found your channel a couple of months ago. You do a great job.

    Couple of questions.

    1). We live fairly close to each other. ( based on my guess where you live ) Any local trails that are good for preparing for the Whites?

    2). I don’t have much camping experience. But I am in very good shape. Would a solo November Pemi loop be extremely stupid thing to Do?

    3). Beyond the obvious gear. What are somethings I should have in my backpack.



  5. Sintax, love your channel. I was wondering if you still had the gps coordinates to the Garfield Pond stealth site where you stayed with Zeke on the Pemi loop. I don’t have the Garmin software and cannot open the gpx file. Thanks!!


  6. Love your videos and would like to know if this Pemi-Loop hike is dog friendly for a dog that hikes regularly. He recenly accompanied me on a Mt. Washington hike via Tuckerman to Lions Head to Washington. Thanks for all the great videos.

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