The Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves is a great location for exploration that families can take at their own pace. It starts with a three-fourth mile boardwalk through the gorge. You may remain on the boardwalk, or, if your kids love off-roading, you can explore the boulder caves. This is an excellent outdoor activity in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
The Mysterious Boulder Caves
The site starts with a short walk descending approximately 300 feet along the entrance trail. The first stop from the trail is a viewing platform with great views of the gorge. From there, you enter the gorge and meet your first cave, The Sun Altar.
Next up, families explore more rock and boulder formations, caves, and waterfalls. We visited this spot in July 2016 with a five, seven, and 15-year-old. Basically it is about a mile long “trail” with boardwalks, ramps and ladders that takes you through about a dozen glacial caves. There’s “The Bear Crawl”, “Lemon Squeezer” and “Devil’s Kitchen’ to name a few. All three kids loved it! At each cave there was an alternate route in case someone in your group did not want to crawl on their hands and knees through a cave. It took us a little over an hour and we could have gone back around again if we’d had time. Although other groups were there, it never felt rushed or crowded. You can always let people go by you. Babies in backpacks couldn’t get through and those parents took the alternate routes. (Note: no strollers are allowed.) And not all the grandparents could make it through each area, or wanted to, either! There’s a very pretty waterfall at one point.
There’s plenty of parking and, of course, a gift shop. But there is not a restaurant. Pack a lunch! We thought we’d buy lunch there, but ended up with snacks like yogurt, granola bars, etc from the snack bar area. There are restrooms at the gift shop/ticket area but none along the trail.
There’s a clever little “quiz card” kids can pick up at the ticket booth, fill out along the trail and then turn in for a sticker and prize. We also panned for treasure at the Lost River Mining Sluice after the hike.
Rates and Hours:
Open daily early May—mid-Oct (July and August 9 am-5 pm). Cost is $19/adults and $15/4-12 3 and under free.
It’s about 40 minutes from the Montshire Museum in Vermont that has already been reviewed. It took us over 2 hours from Northampton. The address is 1712 Lost River Road, North Woodstock, NH.