If you love the outdoors in the winter, our Cannon Mountain Ski Resort is the place you should be when Old Man Winter comes calling.
This 4,100 foot peak, a part of New Hampshire's White Mountains range, offers outdoor lovers many activities the year round. Rock climbers love it in spring, summer and fall (the shear, imposing Cannon Cliff is a special favorite). Skiers love it in winter. And, for the those for whom ice climbing sends shivers of delight down their spines, the aforementioned Cannon Cliff is an ice climber's Mecca.
Cannon Mountain once was the site of the rock formation Old Man of the Mountain (a rock outcropping that looked eerily like the craggy profile of an elderly man's face). The world-famous attraction collapsed in 2003, but Cannon Mountain continues to fascinate visitors for its beauty and the many activities available here.
Cannon Mountain actually is the "parent" mountain of three peaks, collectively known as The Cannon Balls. These hills vary in height from 3,693, 3,700, and 3,769 feet. Cannon is what geologists call an "exfoliating granite dome," formed when granite is lifted up to the service of the earth during a "mountain-building event," during which the overlying rock erodes away. The granite expands, with fractures forming parallel to the service. As the granite itself erodes (the "exfoliating") it does so in concentric layers and eventually becomes dome shaped.
Aside from the former Old Man of the Mountain, Cannon Mountain possibly is best known for its ski resort, also called (simply) Cannon Mountain. The resort got its start in the early the early 1930s, when the first racing trail in North America, the Taft Slalom, was cut in the area. The resort is home to the continent's first aerial tramway, built in 1938 (a new tram was constructed in 1980, one that's about three times larger than the original).
Visit the ski resort and you'll be shushing in the ski trails of those who participated in the first Alpine Skiing World Cup races held in North America (1967). You also will be able to visit the New England Ski Museum (its entrance is one of the resort's old ski cabins). It's here that you'll be able to see historical ski equipment, photos, literature, skiing artwork, ski clothing and equipment, and much more.
If it's great rock climbing you seek, Cannon Mountain has it. The Cannon Cliff is 1,000 feet high and more than a mile long. It's considered to be the largest vertical rock face in the northeast region of the U.S. The cliff is big with ice climbers in the winter.
If you have little ones in your party who aren't up to rock or ice climbing or skiing, not to worry -- Cannon Mountain has many "kid-friendly" activities, including riding the ski resort's tram in the summer (mid-May through mid-October). Be sure to visit the observation tower for a great view of other peaks in the White Mountains, grab a bite in the summit restaurant and purchase a memento of your trip in the gift shop. In addition, even though the rock outcropping is no longer there, you and your family can visit the Old Man and the Mountain Historic Site. You also should check out Profile Lake, a great fishing spot for those who enjoy angling as well as fly fishing.