Kancamagus Pass

Kancamagus Pass, a scenic drive during the fall foliage season

Kancamagus Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 870m (2,855ft) above the sea level, located in New Hampshire, in USA. The road to the summit is said to be one of the most popular fall foliage road trips in the world.

The pass is traversed by the asphalted Kancamagus Highway, also known as "The Kanc”, part of the New Hampshire Route 112 (abbreviated NH 112). The road ascends, until arriving at Kancamagus Pass. Stop at the pullout to enjoy a panorama of the surrounding forest and to learn about the watersheds east of the Kancamagus Pass flowing into the Saco River and those west flowing into the Pemigewasset River.

How long does it take to drive the Kancamagus?

The Kancamagus Scenic Byway is 35 miles long. It offers a very beautiful drive through New Hampshire's White Mountains, especially during the fall foliage season. The drive along the Kancamagus Highway takes you back in time as you drive through a forest that offers no comforts of the modern day world; no gas stations, no restaurants, hotels or other businesses have pierced their way into the heart of the Kancamagus Highway. Set aside approximately three hours to enjoy the road.

How do you get to the Kancamagus Highway?

This road is usually open all year, but it can be closed occasionally for short periods while crews clear heavy snows. The Kancamagus Highway receives a lot of snow each year. The first snowfall usually occurs before the leaves have fully fallen, and the last snowfall may not occur until Memorial Day. Winter is long along this road, but it is well maintained, and opportunities for winter recreation abound for cross country skiers, snowshoers, hikers, photographers, as well as the causal visitor. The highway is named for Native American Chief Kancamagus who lived in the area during the late 1600's. This highway is known for its views of autumn foliage and is a popular drive in September and October for so-called leaf peeping tourism. The Kancamagus Highway can be easily accessed from I-93 in Lincoln NH or NH Rt. 16 from Conway NH. As the driver of your vehicle it is quite tempting to look at everything around you, due to the beauty of the surrounding scenery. For your safety keep a close eye on the road while driving. A few spots along the road can get a bit narrow. Also keep an eye out for wildlife on the roadway. It is not unusual to spot deer or moose along the side of the road or in the marshy areas.

 

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