Camping at Jefferson Notch Road in the White Mountains

Nestled deep in the lush green forests of New Hampshire lies a hidden gem for campers – Jefferson Notch Road. This secluded camping area offers easy access to stunning mountain views, pristine hiking trails, and an abundance of wildlife.

We will provide everything you need to know to plan the perfect camping trip to Jefferson Notch Road, from choosing the best campsite to must-see attractions nearby. Whether you’re a novice camper or seasoned outdoor enthusiast, read on to discover why Jefferson Notch Road should top your list for your next camping adventure.

Choosing the Best Campsite

Jefferson Notch Road offers numerous scenic campsites to choose from. Here are some of the best options to consider:

  • Site 1A – Located near the parking area, this site offers proximity to the vault toilet and easiest access to your car. The campsite is roomy and relatively private.
  • Site 4 – For seclusion, head to site 4 which is set back from the main road. Listen to the sounds of Moose Brook while you relax at this wooded campsite.
  • Site 12 – Get panoramic mountain views at this campsite perched on a hillside overlooking the Presidential Range.
  • Group sites – Several group camping areas are available, perfect for large families or gatherings of friends. Group site 2 can accommodate up to 20 people.

Keep in mind campsites are first come, first served at Jefferson Notch Road. Arrive early, especially on summer weekends, to secure your top choice spot.

Campground Amenities

While basic, Jefferson Notch Road offers some nice amenities to make your camping experience more enjoyable:

  • Vault toilet – Located near site 1A, this provides the only restroom facility in the campground. Come prepared with your own TP.
  • Potable water – Fill up water jugs at the hand pump located between sites 3 and 4. Boil or filter before drinking.
  • Fire rings – Enjoy campfire cooking and relaxing at the end of the day around a fire. Don’t forget your roasting sticks!
  • Picnic tables – Each campsite contains a wooden picnic table.
  • Food storage boxes – Store your food securely away from wildlife in these bear-proof storage boxes.

The campground does not have showers or electric hookups, so come prepared to rough it. A stay at Jefferson Notch Road is about getting back to basics and enjoying nature at its finest.

Peak Season and Occupancy

Camping season at Jefferson Notch Road runs from May to October. The campground fills up quickly during the peak summer months of July and August, especially on weekends. If visiting during peak times, arrive early in the day on Friday to claim your spot. The campground is busiest from Thursday to Sunday each week.

The 25 campsites often reach capacity during peak season. Overflow camping is allowed, with tents permitted in designated areas as space allows. Holiday weekends like July 4th and Labor Day also draw large crowds.

On less busy weekdays in the shoulder season months of May, June, September and October, you’ll have a better chance of snagging a choice campsite, with more privacy and solitude.

Attractions Nearby

A large part of the appeal of Jefferson Notch Road is the proximity to top attractions in the White Mountains area. Here are some must-see spots near the campground:

  • Mount Washington – The tallest peak in the Northeast at 6,288 feet. Drive or hike up for unbelievable vistas.
  • Presidential Range – This mountain range contains Mt Adams, Mt Jefferson, Mt Clay and Mt Washington. Epic hiking awaits.
  • Echo Lake – Paddle, swim or fish for brook trout at this stunning alpine lake.
  • Cannon Mountain – Ride the aerial tramway up this 4,080 foot peak, or drive the scenic Kancamagus Highway on its western slope.
  • Franconia Notch State Park – Home to attractions like the Flume Gorge and Basin cascades.
  • Clark’s Trading Post – Ride a steam train and see trained black bears at this quirky and fun family attraction.

With the campground situated right in the middle of these remarkable White Mountain attractions, you’ll have easy access to days full of adventure and exploration.

Best Hikes Nearby

Hiking is a top activity to enjoy during a stay at Jefferson Notch Road. Some of the best trailheads and hikes close by include:

  • Mount Jefferson via Caps Ridge Trail – Starting across from campsite 27, hike 5.2 miles roundtrip to Mt Jefferson’s 4,700 foot summit. Outstanding alpine scenery.
  • Ripley Falls – Short 1-mile hike to scenic 100-foot cascading falls. Great for families.
  • Sugarloaf Mountain – Moderate 4-mile loop passing a small pond and lush forests to 4,000 foot views from Sugarloaf’s bald peak.
  • Zealand Trail – A popular 2.5 mile hike over footbridges and waterfalls to Zeacliff overlook. Extend further into the Pemigewasset Wilderness.
  • Arethusa Falls – The tallest waterfall in New Hampshire at 140 feet. 1.5 mile moderately steep hike.
  • Mount Pemigewasset Trail – Challenging 9-mile hike with bushwhacking over varied terrain leading to wide ranging views from Mt Pemigewasset’s summit.

With trails ranging from easy to difficult, hikers of any ability level can experience the beauty and adventure of the White Mountains from Jefferson Notch Road.

Camping Tips

To make the most of your Jefferson Notch Road camping experience, keep these tips in mind:

  • Bring layers – The mountain weather can be unpredictable. Pack warm layers even in summer, including hats and gloves.
  • Look out for wildlife – Keep food locked up to avoid unwanted bear visits. Watch for moose, deer, foxes, and falcons which may be spotted.
  • Pack bug spray – The mosquitoes and black flies can be fierce in early summer. Don’t get caught unprepared.
  • Be prepared for rain – Bring a waterproof tent, tarps, and rain jackets in case of stormy weather.
  • Fill up on water – Take advantage of the potable water pump so you don’t have to pack in bottled water.
  • Bring a camp stove – Ditch the campfire cooking and pack a propane stove for quick, easy meals.
  • Take safety precautions – Always tell someone your plans, pack a first aid kit, and watch your step on uneven terrain.

Following these suggestions will ensure you have the most enjoyable and trouble-free camping experience at scenic Jefferson Notch Road.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you head out to Jefferson Notch Road, check out responses to some frequently asked questions:

Do you need reservations to camp at Jefferson Notch Road?

No, all campsites are first come, first served. Reservations are not possible. Arrive early, especially on weekends, to secure your desired site.

Can you have campfires at the campground?

Yes, each campsite has a fire ring for campfires. Practice fire safety and fully extinguish any fires before leaving your site.

Is camping with pets allowed?

Yes, pets are permitted at Jefferson Notch Road campground if kept on a leash and cleaned up after.

Is drinking water available on site?

Yes, there is a hand pump with potable drinking water located centrally in the campground. Boil or filter before drinking to be safe.

Are showers available?

Unfortunately no, there are no shower facilities. The campground only has basic vault toilets and drinking water available.

What are some first come, first served campgrounds nearby?

Besides Jefferson Notch Road, check out Hancock Campground, Passaconaway Campground, and Covered Bridge Campground for other first come, first served camping options close by.

Does cell service work at the campground?

Cell service is spotty at best. Verizon tends to work better than other carriers, but don’t count on having cell service during your stay.


Ready to plan an amazing camping trip to scenic Jefferson Notch Road? With unspoiled nature, incredible views, and a remote setting, this campground offers a peaceful outdoor retreat and easy access to White Mountain adventures. Follow the tips in this guide to choose the perfect campsite, know what to expect on site, and experience the best area hikes and attractions during your stay.

Happy camping!


My name is Evelyn and I started Camping The Camp to combine my love of the outdoors with my background in environmental science. I hope you’ll find helpful as you discover the joys of camping. It’s more than a weekend trip - it’s a chance to disconnect from devices, reconnect with loved ones, and make memories to last a lifetime

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