The best reason to stay here is if you are planning to hike in the Franconia Notch area, esp. if you want to hike Franconia Ridge, doing the loop up Falling Waters and down Bridle Path. You won't have to fight for a parking spot and it will be easy to get an early start, which is particularly important if you plan to do this hike on a pleasant weekend day! On the same side of the park are trails to Lonesome Lake and on up to Cannon and the Kinsman range. The Pemi River and Trail run through the campground as does the paved multi-purpose trail, so if biking's more your thing, it's a nice way to explore attractions through the Notch.
It's sandwiched between the mountains and the highway, so sites are close together and you WILL hear traffic, but it offers bathrooms with flush toilets and hot showers ($) and dishwashing sinks. The majority of the sites are reservation only and summer weekends you'll want to plan ahead. There's a camp store with a few camp essentials, dry firewood, souvenirs, and a table to sit and explore hiking plans, etc. They post weather information out front and there is a hiker information center out front as well.
Some of the sites along the river are better suited to tents than trailers, with the tent/table/fire on a pad closer to the river. Most sites are wooded, though there are a few (15 & 16) in an open grassy area in a separate loop that is up the hill behind the camp store.
I did a loop hike in this park and stayed at several of the backcountry sites with friends a few years ago. There are so many amazing peaks an the views are incredible it is well worth the challenge of the hike. The important thing is to make sure to plan in advance since the terrain is challenging and some of the trails can be confusing. It is worth your time to purchase a good map and plan out water fill ups as well as campsites long in advance. Also check out if you need permits and such since that is important. This area can get very cold in the winter, when we did it, so be prepared for surprise snow if you do in certain times of year.
Campsites are a bit close together. Quiet hours strictly enforced. Nice amenities
A huge campground with showers, camp store, RV sites, and tent sites. During the summer months there are regular nature programs through Discover the Power of the Parks. Bike trail that runs the length of the park can be accessed here, as well as trails to Lonesome Lake, Kinsmen Mountain, Canon Mountain, and the Franconia Ridge Loop which includes Mt. Lafayette.
We had site 57, near the small creek. Should have been great sleeping with the babble of the brook, but it was drowned out by the drone of trucks on the freeway. The bathrooms are heavily used and not very clean. There are some nice things to see in the park, but you do have to pay $16 to hike on the Gorge trail.
Often crowded, very busy. Perfect access to Franconia Ridge hikes. Mix of RVs and tents.
Lafayette Campground sits at the base of Mount Cannon in Franconia Notch State Park. Sadly my visit was brief and rainy, but Franconia Notch is beautiful nonetheless in all it’s gargantuan splendor! The site was on the smaller side, but shaded. Most of the sites were relatively private. The roads could get a bit confusing and maze-like, but was generally relaxing to stroll through once you get your bearings.
I came with friends in June 2017 to hike Mount Cannon. Feels good to say I did it, but the hike is definitely not for novices. It’s exhausting for a pro, which both my friends were, but I was far from that. It was a long haul up and down and took between 6-8 hours in the rain. Ended up breaking a finger and hurting my foot, but I survived. My entire body hurt for days afterwards.
Despite the bad hiking experience, I’d love to visit the grounds at least and explore more of the area. It truly is gorgeous.This time though, I’d be looking forward to a more laid back experience.
Lafayette has the WARMEST showers! The facilities are clean, the showers are huge, you can wash your dirty hiking clothes in there while you wash up. Perfect location and great amenities!
It had been on my list to hike the Franconia Ridge for years, and it did not disappoint when I finally made a point to go! There are five peaks total, however, we only did 3 - up Mt. Lincoln, across to Little Haystack, and then Mt. Lafayette with a stop at Greenleaf Hut for our descent. Lafayette, the highest peak on this trail, is over 5,000ft. It was overcast on an August day during our trip, but had no effect on enjoyment. Incredible views all around; half expecting to see a ranger, bearded dwarf, and elven archer chasing a horde of orcs (please catch my Lord of the Rings reference).
Camped here as a 'basecamp' for the Franconia Notch loop trail. The best part is that you can walk directly to that trail (and other less intense but equally beautiful ones) right from the campground, so you don't have to worry about parking spots at the trailhead. They have potable water, no showers, but clean flush toilets. There's also a store in the campground that has all the supplies you could ever want as well as firewood. The campsites are pretty open, but have enough space between them. My only quip is that the fee they charge you online for your reservation only accounts for two campers, so expect to pay more if you are camping with more than two people. Overall, great location!