Overall Rating: 4/5
SWIMMING NOT ALLOWED
Hike Difficulty: Easy
Hike Distance: .2 mi
Fee: $3 / car, but you can buy one pass and use it at other White Mountain Park locations
Handicap Accessible // Restrooms Available
In the middle of the eastern side of the Kancamagus Highway sits a lovely gorge that shouldn’t be ignored. And while there’s a bridge to walk across where you can see the gorge head on, you can also climb along the rock ledges to get different views and angles of the gorge. In fact, that’s become one of my favorite things to do here, especially in autumn. I’ll bring some crocheting or knitting, sit with my Dunks iced and enjoy the sounds of the rushing water (okay, and, I must admit, many tourists). There are also picnic tables here as well, so bring a bag lunch to enjoy!
Autumn is probably not the best time to visit if you’re not a fan of crowds, but it is definitely the most beautiful time to see it. The seasonal colors envelop the area perfectly and make for some fantastic photographs. Ice and snow in the winter also makes for lovely photos, but we suggest going early in the season as the area is not plowed out, for parking or walking.
There is absolutely no swimming at the gorge and this is well posted about and strongly enforced. Just like many other gorges in the region, the current is extremely powerful and dangerous. There’s far too much chance here to bother taking the risk, so please, stay out of the waters here. There are many other spots along this route where you can enjoy swimming.
As of Mar. 2017, there’s currently a daily pass 3$/car fee; you can stop at one scenic area, pick up a pass and use it at any other area where a pass is needed for that whole day. However, there has been a proposal to raise this fee. If the proposal is passed, the fee goes up to 5$/car in spring 2017. As soon as I find confirmation on this fee, I will update the page.
To find Rocky Gorge, take Rt 112 (Kancamagus Highway) to Albany. If heading west, it’ll be on your right, 2.1 mi after Lower Falls. If heading east, it’ll be on your left, 1.6 mi after the Champney Falls Trailhead.
Have fun and be safe!