Marvel at the sculpting effects of weather and time as you explore the gorge and accompanying caves nestled in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
Amid New Hampshire’s spectacular White Mountains, Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves stand out as unique natural destinations. See the effects that millions of years of water, wind and weather have had on this area. Lost River is so named because it disappears beneath the surface of the steep glacial gorge. The gorge is lined with caves and rock formations.
After you enter from the parking lot, walk along a short trail to the log cabin Welcome Center. Here, purchase tickets, have a snack in the café or pick up a souvenir in the gift shop. Learn about the area’s wildlife and history through a series of videos and exhibits on display.
The path through the gorge is 0.8 miles (1.2 kilometers) long and full of things to see and do. If you want an easy walk, stay on the boardwalk and enjoy the breathtaking beauty surrounding you. If you’re feeling ambitious, travel closer to the mysterious boulder caves along the way.
The first cave is the Sun Altar. From here, explore rock formations including Fenris the Wild, Devil’s Kitchen and Parallel Rocks. Caves such as Shadow Cave and Cave of Silence vary in size and shape. Listen for the spectacular Paradise Falls crashing next to the trail.
For a truly unique experience, take a Lantern Tour. Departing at dusk, these guided tours take you through the gorge and caves using headlamps and lanterns.
Explore several free trails from the parking lot, such as Kinsman Notch Ecology Trail and Nature Garden Walk. If you’re an experienced hiker, tackle hand-over-foot hiking along the Dilly Cliff Trail.
Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves is open daily between mid-May and October in all weather. Purchase a day or season pass. Special tours, such as the Lantern Tour, cost extra. Parking is free with admission.
Because scrambling along slippery rocks may be involved, remember to dress appropriately. Sturdy footwear and a water resistant shell will help keep you both safe and comfortable.