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A spectacular expanse of rugged granite peaks and primitive forests, with 500 miles of some of the country’s oldest and most historic hiking trails, New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest is a raw and beautiful slice of New England outdoors. It’s home to some of our favorite cabins in the region, and more notably, the highest peak in the East: 6,288-foot-tall Mount Washington, known to Indigenous peoples as Agiocochook, “the place of the Great Spirit”. The mountain is well-known to have the world’s worst weather and the region’s most epic backcountry skiing all in the same place. How very New England, amirite?
Here in the Whites, you’ll also find the legendary hut system run by the Appalachian Mountain Club, which is worth a visit when they’re up and running again—come for the historic cabins perched atop craggy peaks, stay to meet the "croo" and their freshly baked goods.
Whatever your activity of choice, be it leaf peeping, skiing, climbing, thru-hiking, or a traverse along one of its world-famous ridgelines, the National Forest itself is largely undeveloped and thus pretty dang pristine. That means you’ll hunker down in a warm, inviting, and tastefully designed cabin along the perimeter of the Whites in a few of its adventure hubs like Conway, Lincoln, and Jackson. Don’t worry, there likely to be really good beer and even better views wherever you land.
Start planning your next trip now, and let the following list of our picks for the best cabins to rent in the White Mountains of New Hampshire be your guide.
Vibe: Austria Haus
Intervale has a penchant for European ski chalets, some good, some bad, and some downright ugly. The Vienna Lodge does it right, with a careful mix of traditional design elements, pdated decor, fresh white walls and a modern style that’s a little less stroopwafel and a little more cozy alpine aprés. Perched up high on a hill with panoramic mountain views, it’s not far from the mountains or downtown. Aka perfect.
Vibe: Yes Way, Chalet
If the wall-to-wall ski decor didn’t already tip you off, the chalet-style Cedar House is the perfect basecamp for powder hungry skiers and boarders looking to get first chair at nearby Cannon Mountain. Nestled inside Franconia Notch State Park, it is a veritable paradise for outdoor lovers and adventure seekers who appreciate going full send both on and off the mountain. It’s minutes away from trailheads, mountain biking, Echo Lake, and the towns of Sugar Hill and Littletown, which are well worth a quick drive north.
Vibe: Cabin by Design
Get cozy in this architectural 1960s A-Frame (kinda-sorta) in the White Mountains. Its unique curved shape puts a funky twist on what feels like a mid-century classic, with all the familiar elements of a cabin, like a wood-burning stove, large ceiling beams, and forest views. Plus, it’s just north of the popular Franconia Notch and Cannon Mountain.
Vibe: Mid-Century Hideout
Big enough to host your quarantine crew, this 4-bedroom house is tucked away in the heart of the Mount Washington Valley. A red board and batten exterior, glass-fronted living room, large stone fireplace and shiplap ceiling epitomizes this getaway’s combo of mid-century and rustic mountain style. With a view in nearly every room, you’ll feel at home in the mountains.
Vibe: Downtown Mountain Retreat
Situated on the western side of the Whites, this light-filled mountainside vacation rental is more house than cabin, but you can’t beat its close proximity to legendary skiing at Loon Mountain (just two miles away), downtown Lincoln, and some of the region’s most popular hikes. A soothing palette of earth-tones and a new pellet stove crank up the hygge vibes.
Vibe: Bohemian Massif
Farmhouse style meets laidback cabin in the woods in this Conway cottage. The exposed beams and large sliding barn doors contrast crisp white walls and eccentric boho touches like a swinging hammock chair in this unique spot. Hang by the outdoor firepit or head over to Cathedral Ledge for some spectacular hiking and climbing, plus, a drive down the famous Kancamagus Highway will take you on a dreamy trip straight through the Whites.
Vibe: The Alpine A-Frame
Cozy, quiet, and close to skiing, hiking, biking, and more. This A-frame leans into the vintage cabin feel with a retro color palette of warm and soothing tones, plush mid-century furnishings, and a pop of aqua on its front door that invites guests to step back to simpler times. Close to the northwestern terminus of the Whites, you can really relax and unplug up here.
Vibe: Laidback Basecamp
This cabin puts you close to the bustling downtown of Conway’s restaurants, shops, and breweries, as well as a quick drive to the trailheads and Pinkham Notch Visitor Center at the base of Mount Washington. Adventure is accessible yet this simple and rustic retreat is still tucked away for a peaceful stay. And really, where better to sip on hot cocoa by the fire than in a chocolate-colored cabin in the woods?
Vibe: Riverside Retreat
Nestled in between the White Mountains and the Saco River, this black cabin brings adventure right to your front door. Stay here for the minimal and simply-styled interior that does little to get in the way of your focus on the natural beauty just outside. Take advantage of it by gathering around the fire pit or gas-powered fireplace on the front deck, swim in the Saco, and cook up your meals under the stars.
Vibe: An Easy Escape
When you want a neat and tidy spot to retreat to for a long-weekend, book a few nights in this Saco River Chalet. It’s big enough to comfortably fit four with spacious and cozy rooms that feature natural wood panels and modern design pieces for a minimal yet updated space. Spread out onto the deck, the mountains, or right into town, as this cabin is perfect for those who want to be centrally-located and still have privacy.
Vibe: Elevated Eco Lodge
Perched atop a sunny ridge overlooking the Presidential Range, this luxe lodge is a sustainable powerhouse that channels its abundance of natural light into renewable solar energy. Bright and spacious with a wide-open living area and top-of-the-line kitchen that includes a professional gas-range stove, there’s plenty of room to sprawl out both inside and into its expansive outdoor area. Not to mention, Jackson might be the most beautiful town in the Mount Washington Valley.