Viewed across the wind swept snow covering Lonesome Lake, late day, blue hour light falling on the snow capped mountains of Franconia Ridge, with the full moon rising high above the mountains.
Blue Hour on Lonesome Lake.

A Winter Sunset Photo Adventure.

Come along on a guided winter adventure to frozen Lonesome Lake where we’ll photograph the scenic Franconia Ridge as it’s bathed in the last light of the day.

Listed as a moderate, family friendly hike, it’s 1.6 miles* along the Lonesome Lake Trail to the shore of the lake, across which you’ll get your first glimpse of the Appalachian Clubs Lonesome Lake Hut. Luckily for us the hut is open year round and will provide a welcome respite from the cold wind that often blows across the lake. *Being able to hike directly across the lake will knock a few tenths of a mile off our hike.

Bring a few dollars with you as there are usually home baked treats as well as hot chocolate available at the hut.


12:00 – 12:30p.m. – Meet at the Lafayette Place Campground parking lot for a gear check and introductions. Due the the limited amount of parking at the Lafayette Place campground parking lot(southbound side of the Franconia Notch Parkway) I recommend parking at the Falling Waters Trail parking lot (located on the northbound side of the Franconia Notch Parkway), then taking the walking path under the highway.

1:00p.m. – We’re on our way! The hike should take approximately 1.5 – 2 hours, depending on everyones abilities.* This will allow us plenty of time to enjoy the hike yet still be up on the lake in plenty of time to enjoy the scenic views and warm up and catch our breath in the hut.

4:20 – 4:30p.m. – About half hour before sunset we’ll head out to the lake and get set up for what will hopefully be some beautiful late day light falling on Franconia Ridge.

5:30(give or take) – Depending on the conditions we’ll finish up shooting and then head back into the hut to pack up our gear and get ready to head back down to our cars.

*We will be hiking at a pace that’s comfortable to everyone and we will be staying together as a group, no exceptions.

Please refer to the gear lists below for recommended camera gear, the required hiking gear, as well as a list of optional equipment. If you have any questions please use the Contact tab at the top of the page.

Gear List ~ Camera.

Camera ~ DSLR, mirrorless, or advanced point and shoot.*

*Note – non-photographers are welcome on this adventure.

Lens ~ Wide angle zoom. Medium telephoto(ie 70-200). Optional.

Sturdy Tripod.

I would also recommend you bring extra batteries due to the cold weather decreasing the longevity of camera batteries.

Backpack ~ To carry it all. See the Hike Gear List for more info.

Gear List ~ Required for the hike.

Backpack (35-40L Hiking Backpack recommended) ~ I strongly recommend a conventional hiking backpack as opposed to a camera “backpack.” Few camera backpacks have the capacity to carry the additional clothing layers, water, and snacks, that a hiking backpack will. A hiking/backpacking pack will also have a proper hip-belt that will allow you to more comfortably carry the load on your hips(where it belongs), and not all on your shoulders.

Clothing Layers.

Lower Body ~ medium weight base layer, merino wool or capilene(NO COTTON), with wind/water resistant shell pants.

Upper Body ~ Light and medium weight base layers, again, NO COTTON. A compressible insulating parka(down or synthetic). Hard shell hooded jacket for protection from the wind(a rain jacket can work as a substitute as long as it fits over your insulating layers).



I use both. Gloves will allow you the dexterity to operate your camera. Mittens are generally much warmer when you need it.

Insulated Hiking Boots.

I’m a big fan of merino wool socks too. If you’re feet are prone to sweating you may want to consider an extra pair. This way you’ll be able to change out of your sweaty wet socks into a warm dry pair. You’ll thank me for this suggestion as we’re standing out on the snow photographing.


Choose your weapon – micro spikes or snowshoes. Due to the popularity of the Lonesome Lake Trail the trail will most likely be well packed down at the time of our hike. Therefore micro spikes will be all the traction aid you’ll need. However, in the event there are several inches of new snow, snowshoes may be required.


We will be hiking back down in the dark, so a headlamp is a must (along with spare batteries). I personally carry 3 headlamps, just in case.

Food and Water.

Plan on at least 32oz of water and as many high calorie snacks as you think you’ll need. When it comes to food/snacks choose items that will be easy to eat when it’s cold out. My favorite hiking food is a PB&J or PB and Nutella sandwich because they pack a lot of fat, protein, and calories to keep you going.

Optional Equipement.

Trekking poles.

The trail isn’t very technical, though there are a couple of moderately steep sections where trekking poles may come in handy, especially on the decent.

Chemical Hand Warmers.

Depending on the temperatures you may be glad to have these in your pack. They’re inexpensive, so toss a handful in your pack.

Hydroflask/Thermos of your favorite hot beverage.

Hot chocolate, soup, even jell-o are great for warming you up when the temps are going down.

Cost ~ $50 per person. Limit 6

Lonesome Lake Sunset Hike