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Franconia Notch was once home to the famous Old Man of the Mountain rock formation, the symbol of New Hampshire, but today it’s lauded for its iconic routes and epic granite rock features. One of the best parts of the Notch is the Artist Bluff — a beautiful place to spend a day featuring spectacular views over the park, especially when the stunning fall colors of the surrounding mountains stand in contrast to the snowy peaks in the distance. This outdoor enthusiasts’ oasis offers a variety of routes, from enjoyable beginner routes to moderate routes perfect for a mellow intro to multi-pitch trad climbing up to 5.13b!

Adventure highlights

  • Solid granite stone

    A spectacular mountain pass with the best rock climbing in the region

  • Climb the Eaglet Spire

    New Hampshire’s only free-standing spire is home to several excellent routes

  • Try out iconic routes

    The famed Hounds Hump Ridge and Cannon Cliff are home to dozens of advanced routes

Available itineraries

Half-Day Intro to Rock Climbing With a Private Guide

Step into the great outdoors and experience rock climbing on the famous Artist Bluff in Franconia Notch! On this half-day introduction to rock climbing, you can learn fundamental climbing techniques and climb your first single-pitch route with the help of your local expert guide!

Full-Day Intro to Rock Climbing

Learn the fundamentals of rock climbing under the watchful eye of an experienced local guide. Practice basic rock climbing techniques, such as belaying and anchor setting, while mastering your movement on the rocks. Franconia Notch’s mellow routes will provide the perfect setting, and the views will motivate you to go even higher! No prior climbing experience is needed— beginners, families and groups are welcome!

Full Day of Intermediate Rock Climbing with a Guide

Use your time outdoors to learn to lead and expand your skill set. Go over the different types of rock protection, how to place the gear, how to clean it, construct anchors, etc. Then start you on a mock lead and potentially lead by the end of the day! Climb some of the more exciting and larger formations in the New Hampshire area and enjoy a day of adventure on the rock.

Full Day of Advanced Rock Climbing with a Guide

This venue offers a lot of iconic routes for advanced climbers looking for a challenge. Depending on your goals for the day, you can climb classics, learn how to set up top ropes, become more efficient with multi-pitch, or how to set up rappels. Your guide will spend time catering to what you want to learn. If you just want to climb, take your pick from one of the iconic routes such as the Ten Years Later (5.10b), the Predator (5.11-), or the Love Triangle (5.13a)!

Full Day of Multi-Pitch Rock Climbing at Cannon Mountain

At 4,080-foot (1,240 m), Cannon Cliff granite dome is the tallest and most respected cliff in New England and home to a number of multi-pitch rock climbing routes. It is known for both its technical rock and ice climbing on its cliff face. Notable routes include the Whitney-Gilman Ridge with 5 pitches and Moby Grape with 9! Join your experienced guide and find alpine serenity on a remote, unforgiving, and challenging wall.

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Meet your guides

John Willard
John Willard
Lead Guide and Founder of WMG
John has climbed, hiked, and backpacked in numerous states across the United States and has worked in the Cascades guiding on bigger mountains and objectives. With a B.S in Outdoor Education, Leadership and Tourism, as well as multiple AMGA and AIARE certifications, he is the perfect company in the outdoors.
Willard Mountain Guides
Willard Mountain Guides
Willard Mountain Guides
The main goal of WMG is to provide the best guiding service, climbing experience, and fun to anyone who is willing to learn and experience the outdoors. They are here to help others gain their full potential through climbing. Experience new things, create new perspectives and enjoy the physical and mental challenges under their watchful eye!
Alex Teixera
Alex Teixera
AMGA Rock Guide, AMGA Assistant Alpine Guide, Ski Guide
AMGA Rock Guide, AMGA Assistant Alpine Guide, Ski Guide
Alex is a full time guide based in New Hampshire. He works in New England, Red Rock NV, Joshua Tree NP, and the North Cascades of WA. He began guiding in 2007 as a AMGA SPI and continued to grow as a guide. He is the owner and lead guide at Mooney Mountain Guides LLC.
Mooney Mountain Guides
Mooney Mountain Guides
Mooney Mountain Guides
AMGA Certified Guides
Mooney's team of certified guides call the Northeast an adventure wonderland. Whatever your objective, one of their certified guides will be there to help you along the way!
5.00 (3 reviews)
Sherman B (source: Guide’s website)

John brings the stoke! He’s a great instructor who brings a ton of enthusiasm for climbing and creates a supportive environment for learning.

Dalton J (source: Guide’s website)

My first guided experience in the mountains was with John and I can confidently recommend him to anyone! He was knowledgeable, experienced, and tailored the course to my abilities/skills. I felt safe the entire time and learned sooo much through his guiding and teaching. 100% recommended.

Fantastic outdoor guides!
Nina M (source: Guide’s website)

I had a fantastic time rock climbing with Mooney Mountain Guides and would absolutely go again, in a heartbeat. I warmly recommend them to anyone looking for a fun, well-organized, exciting, safe, educational outdoor adventure.

I went on a guided trip with Alex, the owner, at Rumney for a full day. Alex was very responsive throughout the scheduling process and the entire trip was exceptionally well organized. I appreciated that Alex took the time to inquire about my rock climbing experience/goals/likes & dislikes, and then structured the day based on that. He was a very knowledgeable, patient, supportive, and kind instructor and I definitely learned a lot on the trip, not to mention had a wonderful time spending the day in beautiful autumn New Hampshire.

If you’re thinking about signing up for a trip, do it! You’ll have a blast and make some great memories.

Things to know

  • What you get in this adventure:

      • Experienced rock-climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • Half or full day of rock climbing in Franconia Notch
      • All technical climbing gear

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation
      • Food and snacks
      • Beverages
      • Accommodation
  • If you can climb a ladder, you’re good to go. Being in good shape is always a plus but far from necessary. Rock climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up a cliff using brute strength. To ensure you have a fun retreat, your guide will choose routes that best suit your skill and fitness level.

  • Franconia Notch has plenty of options for beginner climbers. Whether you’ve never climbed before or are transitioning from the gym to outdoor climbing, your guide will customize the day to suit your skill level and objectives. With a guide by your side, you’ll learn something new, stay safe on the rocks, and most importantly, have fun!

    For intermediate to advanced climbers, Franconia Notch has loads of routes to spend the day on. Your guide will discuss your objectives and customize the day to your goals. Let your guide plan the day so you can focus on developing your skills while climbing the classic routes or best hidden gems the area has to offer.

  • All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:

      • Helmet
      • Ropes
      • Climbing hardware (quickdraws, cam devices, stoppers, etc.)
      • Belay device
      • Chalk bag
      • Harness with a locking carabiner
      • Rock shoes

    Here’s a list of the things we suggest you bring:

      • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25L bag)
      • Headlamp for multi-pitch venues that may require early starts/late finishes
      • Water bottle
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Sunglasses
      • Lunch and snacks
      • Camera — optional

    Dress comfortably and for the weather (check the forecast). We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For Intro to Rock climbing, the max. client-to-guide ratio is 6:1.
      • For intermediate and advanced rock climbing, the max. client-to-guide ratio is 3:1.
      • For multi-pitch climbs, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 1:1.
      • Costs per person decrease as the group grows, making it a perfect opportunity to go climbing with your friends and family.

    If you are traveling with a bigger group, let us know and we will make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors under the age of 18 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Franconia Notch, most people fly to Portland International Airport (PDX) in Maine, which is just over two hours away. You can rent a car or use one of the local shuttle companies to get to the Franconia Notch.

    The exact climbing spot will be discussed after the booking. Guides determine exact locations after considering the skill level of the group and factors such as crag traffic and weather.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

    Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on safety measures in North Conway, New Hampshire, please refer to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services website.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • Day Trips Cancellations
    Fully refundable within the initial 48 hours from booking, unless the trip date is less than 7 days from the time of the booking.
    Cancellations up to 7 days prior to the trip date are refundable 100%.
    Cancellations within 7 days prior to the trip date are non-refundable.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ,
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