If you're looking for to find western Kancamagus Highway camping, this campground serves as an excellent place to start your White Mountain adventure. The nearby Lincoln Woods Visitor Center is the jumping off point for numerous hiking trails leading into the Pemigewasset Wilderness; the Kancamagus Highway is an extremely popular scenic byway with numerous hiking, picnic, and swimming spots; and the town of Lincoln offers many amenities.
This campground is in a good location to explore the kanagamus highway and the white mountains! It is close to Franconia notch and plenty of hiking/other activities. Bathrooms and running water available! Nice spot.
We had a last minute change of plans to our hiking trip due to a delay. We wouldn’t have the time to hike into our pre planned area before dark, so decided to set up shop here. This place was actually pretty great. Each site was pretty large and most of them had access to the river. Which had nice areas for swimming and wading. Each site had its own bear box and it was only a short hike down from the car. The park connected directly to some beautiful AT trails that we took advantage of the next day. It was also pretty cheap! $12 or $15 if I remember correctly. All self registration.
This place is a gem. It closes after the first snowfall of the year and will not re open untill it all thaws. But head here in the fall to see the beautiful colors. Outhouse toilet no running water but there are wells to get fresh water. Hiking all over around here.
Camping here is always nice since it never closes. Near the river allows for relaxing nights.
I stayed at Hancock campground in mid April this year. Great clean accessible bathrooms, beautiful grounds and large campgrounds. Leashed dogs are allowed. There are both walk-in and drive up tent sites. The walk-in sites are directly next to the beautiful Pemi River. Great overall would return again.
I haven't stayed here, but I checked it out on Columbus Day weekend because it's one of the few campgrounds open year-round (plowed, unlike Lafayette Place, which is walk-in) in the White Mountains. Most of the reviews talk about the walk-in tent sites, but there's more to this campground that is located along the Kancamagus Highway just before the Lincoln Woods Visitors' Center.
If you're a tent camper and don't mind carrying your gear downhill to a site, drive straight ahead to a parking lot. A few of the sites (3 & 4) are accessible from the far end of the parking lot, but for most of them you'll head down the steps in the middle with sites in two levels branching out on each side. Sites are large, but close together and although you're in the woods, there's not much to separate you from your neighbors. Even sites 10-20 are directly on the water.
Sites 22-55 are suitable for RVs and tents. Those on the back side of the loop are close enough that you can hear the Pemi River running below. A few of the sites are pull-through. There are no hook-ups, but water available via spigots and flush toilets are available - except in winter. I'd recommend sites on the back side of the loop to provide some more distance from traffic noise. I chatted briefly with a host who remarked that sites on the western end of the loop have some cell phone coverage, unlike the rest of the campground.
If you stay here, you're only a few miles from Lincoln where you can pick up any necessary supplies. This end of the Kanc your nearest hiking options are Lincoln Woods and Greeley Pond for family friendly trails, or Lincoln Woods to head into the Pemi wilderness, including peaks in the Pemi loop and Owl's Head. The Hancocks are via a trail at the hairpin on the Kanc. Franconia Notch and its many hiking trails and the multi-use trail are a short drive away.
Bring cash or a check to pay your camping fee in the iron ranger. Fees cover the first vehicle; a second vehicle is an additional $5.
This would be one of few places I find acceptable to camp, that are near other people. I usually don't like camping with 20+ other people in one looped area. The sites here are pretty well spread out. Not ALL of them, but look around. We found what I would think is the best. The one we ended up at had stairs leading from the car down to our site. It was further away from the other sites and had the pretty much private stream running by it. The area we had for use was pretty huge, we had a giant tent 10-12 plus a pop up tent to put over the picnic table, and there was still a ton of room for the car, fire pit and general run around area for our dog. I never felt like we had to lock up everything we owned either. A short walk to the toilets from all sites. Bring a headlamp of course. TP is in the outhouses bring a spare hand sanitizer bottle to use after.
FYI there is a pretty awesome hike close by you can do. I mean you have to drive there but it wasn't far. It goes up to Mt Moosilauke. We ended up taking Beaver Brook Trail to the Cascades, checked out the shelter and headed to Moosilauke Summit. A crazy hike pretty much going up the side of a waterfall. The peak was 4,802ft. Worth it! I'd say an 8 mile trek from the car, up, and back. I included just a couple pictures to entice you since its not about the campsite! There are a TON of trails near this campsite, this would just be my favorite of the 6 or 7 we did.
Hancock Campground is one of 6 national forest campgrounds along the Kancamagus Highway. Campsites can't be reserved and the campground does fill up on the weekends. We were lucky to score a walk-in tent site on a Saturday in August, and while it did feel a bit like a tent city, we loved that there were no cars at the campsites. It made the tenting area feel more like a community. This is a busy campground, but lovely all the same.
We got site #19, which was one of the last sites available. It had a picnic table, fire pit, and bear box. There were awesome waterfront sites nearby, but they were taken, of course. Cost was reasonable - $22 per night. Pit toilets were near the parking area, but there was a real bathroom with a sink and a flush toilet in the car camping area. There is also a fabulous swimming hole. Clear, cold and deep just off the car camping area.
Hancock Campground is a five-minute drive from Lincoln, NH, and very close to awesome hiking trails in the White Mountain National Forest and Franconia Notch State Park.
It was my first time going to a first come, first served campground. I was a little nervous about not having a reservation since it was a nice weekend and it's so convenient to many great hiking spots.
We got there late morning, the check in directions were clear. We picked our spot, set up and paid. Done!
Loved that the plots weren't on top of each other and cheaper than other places. Facilities were clean. I can't wait to go back and try one of the riverfront sites.
Great for primitive camping. Beautiful area adjacent to the river. Set up a hammock on the shoreline and have a tasty beverage before bed. Sites can be close together.