Greeley Ponds from Waterville Valley

Destination:  Greeley Ponds (2245')
Trails:  Livermore Trail, Greeley Ponds Trail
Region:  NH - Central East  
White Mountain National Forest, Waterville Valley
Location:  Livermore, NH
Rating:  Easy/Moderate  
Features:  Ponds, rivers, views
Distance:  7.4 miles  
Elevation Gain:  670 feet (cumulative)  
Hiking Time:  Typical: 4:00  
Outing Duration:  Typical: 5:30  
Season:  Winter
Hike Date:  12/28/2007 (Friday)  
Last Updated:  06/27/2012  
Weather:  Clear
Author:  Burt Hemp

NOTE: As of 6/27/2012, this trail is still CLOSED from Waterville Valley to Greeley Ponds due to damage from tropical storm Irene. The trail from Kancamagus Highway to Greely Ponds is open. See the White Mountain National Forest's alert page for the latest updates.

Route Summary   

Two pretty ponds ringed by mountains await you on this fairly easy hike. You get views of the ponds as well as the mountains and cliff faces towering over the water. This route starts from Waterville Valley and follows Greeley Ponds Trail north to the ponds. Although Greeley Ponds Trail continues all the way to Kancamagus Highway, this hike turns back at the second pond and retraces the same path back to Waterville Valley.

Note that many cross-country ski trails intersect Greeley Ponds Trail. The ski trails are marked by blue diamonds while the Greeley Ponds hiking trail is blazed with yellow paint.

  • From the parking lot, start walking on the gated gravel road which is Livermore Trail, also called Livermore Road in this section.
  • After 0.3 mile on Livermore Trail, turn left to get on Greeley Ponds Trail while Livermore Trail continues straight.
  • After 0.7 mile on Greeley Ponds Trail, Scaur Trail will veer to the right. Keep straight/left to stay on Greeley Ponds Trail.
  • Greeley Ponds Trail (photo by Burt Hemp)
  • Just 0.2 mile later you'll reach another junction. Goodrich Rock Trail goes off to the left but you should stay straight on Greeley Ponds Trail.
  • After another 0.2 mile, Timber Camp Trail also leaves to the left; stay straight on Greeley Ponds Trail.
  • The next junction is encountered just 0.1 mile later. Flume Trail veers right but you should bear left to stay on Greeley Ponds Trail.
  • Follow Greeley Ponds Trail for another 1.7 miles upon which you will reach lower Greeley Pond. Look for outlook points at both ends of this pond.
  • Continue along Greeley Ponds Trail for another 0.5 mile to reach upper Greeley Pond. At this southern shoreline is a spur path that crosses the outlet brook of the pond and leads to a small beach.
  • If you wish, you can continue another 0.1 mile on Greeley Ponds Trail to the northern end of upper Greeley Pond. From this end is an spur trail leading down to the shoreline which gives you a different prospect of the pond and surrounding mountains.
  • Retrace your steps to return to your vehicle being sure to follow Greeley Ponds Trail in a southerly direction (with your back to the pond, turn left). Follow Greeley Ponds Trail for 3.4 miles until it ends at Livermore Trail, then turn right onto Livermore Trail and follow it for 0.3 mile back to the parking lot.

Place         Split
Miles
     Total
Miles
Livermore Trailhead at Livermore Road (1580') 0.0 0.0
Jct. Livermore Trail.Greeley Ponds Trail (1580') 0.3 0.3
Lower Greeley Pond (2180') 2.9 3.2
Upper Greeley Pond (2245') 0.5 3.7
Lower Greeley Pond (2180') 0.5 4.2
Jct. Livermore Trail.Greeley Ponds Trail (1580') 2.9 7.1
Livermore Trailhead at Livermore Road (1580') 0.3 7.4

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Trail map of hike route to Greeley Ponds (map by Webmaster)


Trail Guide   

Fresh snow on conifer branch (photo by Burt Hemp) This hike is to the two Greeley Ponds starting from Waterville Valley. I did this trail in winter with cross-country skis and it was just wonderful.

The trail is relatively narrow for skiing but quite manageable. The distance to the first pond is 2.9 miles and is not steep at all. It does go uphill on the way to the ponds, almost not noticeable going uphill slightly. If you are on skis, you will really appreciate this on the way back. In the winter, a lot of people use this trail for snowshoeing.

The day I did this trail it was absolutely clear and had just snowed about 6 inches of new powder the night before, so skiing was spectacular. The total elevation gain from Livermore Road to upper Greeley Pond (the second pond encountered) is about 670 feet over a distance of 3.7 miles.

Greeley Pond (photo by Burt Hemp)

 

 


NH - Central East



  Driving Directions   

The Livermore Trailhead, which gives access to Greeley Ponds from the south, is located on Livermore Road in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire.

From I-93:
  • Take Exit 28 off of I-93 and follow Rt. 49 East for approximately 10.5 miles.
  • Turn left onto Tripoli Road and follow it for about 0.9 mile.
  • Turn right onto West Branch Road (there should be a trailhead sign here) and then make a quick left onto Livermore Road and enter the trailhead parking area.
  • Turnpike to trailhead is a 17 minute drive.

Other Notes   

A parking permit is required to park at White Mountain National Forest trailheads and parking areas. You can purchase a WMNF permit from the forest service and other vendors and can also pay-by-the-day using self-service kiosks located in many parking areas.

For more information on parking passes please refer to the White Mountain National Forest website.

Rates:
  • $3 per day
  • $5 for a week-long pass
  • $20 for a year-long pass
  • $25 for two year-long passes (one household/two cars)

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