Echo Crag is a small, single pitch trad climbing area on the northeast side of Franconia Notch that overlooks Echo Lake and the ski slopes of Cannon Mountain. Despite its diminutive stature when compared to most of the other Franconia Notch crags, Echo has a surprising diversity of good climbs at all levels. Most of the shorter, moderate routes are located on the left (north) side of the crag, while the right (south) side boasts the longer, more difficult routes. The quality of the rock is generally good on the well traveled routes, with a little loose stuff here and there and vegetation in between some of the climbs. Most of the routes have either bolted anchors or slings at the top, but due to the steep slope above the crag they have to be led to set up a top rope. Unfortunately, the cliff stays wet from seepage well into the spring, and after any amount of rain. But in the summer, the shaded cliff with great views back towards Cannon, Echo Lake, and Artist’s Bluff make this a great place to climb. If you make the hike in and find the rock too wet to climb, you can always try Profile Cliff (about 10 minutes up the hill from Echo). Echo’s a great alternative to avoid Rumney’s crowds and Cannon’s approach.
Drive north on I-93 into Franconia Notch State Park. Continue past the big walls of Cannon and Hounds Hump Ridge to the north side of the Notch. Take Exit 34C (the same exit for the Echo Lake beach) and turn right towards the Governor Gallen Memorial (if you go under the parkway overpass you’ve gone to far). The trail to Echo Crag starts behind the green highway sign just past the exit. To park, continue towards the memorial past the obvious right hand curve. The safest bet is to park at the end of the road near the memorial and hike back up. You can also park along the road after the curve (if you park on the curve or near the trail head you’ll get ticketed or worse). Be warned that a few break ins have occurred at Echo, so secure your valuables, don’t leave anything in plain sight, and lock your vehicle! Hike up to the road sign, and follow the easy path for about 10 minutes back to the crag. About half way down the trail, you’ll come to a jumble of boulders and tress. To the left is a faint trail that leads up to Profile cliff (another 10-15 minutes of hiking). Continue straight to Echo – the first wall will be a somewhat dirty, 20-foot high bouldering wall, fallowed by the Square Inch Wall. Continue along the base of the crag to reach the other walls.
What a good route, with even better views and exposure. One of the longer routes at Echo. Climb the blunt arete to a 2 bolt anchor just below the trees. The crux is a little past mid height at a fixed cam. My 60 meter rope just barely gets me down, but I've been on it with other "60s" and had to do two raps (which is easy enough)....[more]Browse More Classics in NH
I experienced Echo for the first time the other day and I was not let down. I only climbed at the Square Inch Wall but it was awesome. Everything protects well and the variety of climbs are awesome. A great place to learn about trad climbing.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Feb 24, 2013
If anybody who knows the crag well can make a list left to right of the routes for any or all of Echo's walls, post it up and I will sort them. Thanks.
Hey Mark, this list is for the Square Inch Wall, from the left starting at Anna's Treat and heads right over into the next wall but whatever it's better than what's there. I have no idea where the other routes are. Thanks.
Anna's Treat Cinch Sack Live Free or Die - Part 2 Beeline VH-1 Cooler Sacrifice Three Belches Mandrill Ed's Weed Be Gone (The sheild) Carpet Path (The grunge wall)
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Jun 25, 2014
Thanks, Mike. I ordered those and combined the two entries for Carpet Path. I'll do Ed's Weed Be Gone later. We'll get it all accurate eventually :) If anybody has any more corrections or suggestions, let us know or use those blue "Improve This Page" buttons.