Don’t end your hike with a parking ticket

To avoid congestion and potentially dangerous situations, parking on the shoulder of Route 73 between Chapel Pond and the Rooster Comb trailhead is off limits. Parking on the shoulder of the road near the Cascade Mountain trailhead is also off limits. Shuttles are available. read more

The lowdown

Owl Head Lookout offers great views after an ascent that is steep only for the last few yards.

Be prepared

  • Elevation: 2,530 feet
  • Elevation gain: 1,257 feet
  • Distance: 2.6 miles to the lookout
  • This hike is part of a much longer and more difficult hike to the summit of Giant Mountain
  • Follow Leave No Trace principles


From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 9N, south of Keene, follow Route 9N toward Elizabethtown. Continue for 5.75 miles to the trailhead for the Giant Mountain Wilderness Area on the right. Park in the parking lot and begin by following the dirt road.

Owl Head Lookout in winter

Owl Head Lookout is an excellent snowshoe excursion, and it's perfect for beginners looking to spend a little more time in the woods. Snowshoes will suffice on the generally well-packed trail. Expect a significant drop in temperature as elevation is gained, and be prepared for wind on the open ledge. Always bring extra layers, especially for higher elevations, and don't hesitate to turn around if the weather starts to turn.

The hike

From the parking area you will begin following a dirt driveway for a short distance before dropping into the woods. From here you will have the pleasure of hiking though a very attractive mixed forest. The climb is easy for the first mile to a crossing of Slide Brook, after which it is steady but never steep. The trail rounds out atop a ridge at 2.5 miles, where there's a short, steep, 0.1 mile spur trail to the lookout. The summit has wide open views in almost all directions.