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hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful trail, fun trail. I hiked it in micro-spikes on 1/13/19 and ran down while my friends backcountry snowboarded (three carried the snowboards and wore micro-spikes too). We all could have benefited from snowshoes - post-holed the last 2/3 miles of carriage road up to the peak. It was 0 degrees but only felt cold at the beginning of the trail - the sun was out and there was NO wind at the top- fortunate to get a beautiful day!!

You will want waterproof boots, micro-spikes at least, snowshoes ideally. Also the trail is best for backcountry skiing, wasn’t wide enough for the best snowboarding although it was possible. Skinning was evidently tough for my friends who did that. Oh and it totally depends who went right before you did - the snow shoers who headed down before me made my descent much easier. Would have been nice to have more of them on my way up!

did this trail in the fall after a little rain and it was definitely difficult without spikes. trail wasn’t marked well. only continued up to take clarke back down.

trail running
12 days ago

Went out for a 20 mile run and if your hoping to run, guess again. This trail is treacherous. The ascents and decent are steep, there are rocks and roots everywhere, and to top it off the ground was frozen and parts of the trail were more like a bobsled course than a trail.
Though it was hard it was a great trail. I wouldn’t recommend it for running but it is certainly a wonderful hike.
The trail is marked very well and you can tell that it is well taken care of. Fun day overall.

Happy running,
Ultra Ryan

hiking
16 days ago

I didn't have a lot of expectations heading into this hike. The lead in is very easy. With the rain we had in the last week the stream crossings were fun. Ice covered rocks always add to the experience. We did North peak first. And the steepness made it really fun. I honestly wish more hikes were like this. Crampons and an ice axe make it really fun. Great place to practice those skills with less risk if something were to go wrong (not suggesting anyone try practicing self arresting here!) the walk between summits is a neat little snowfield. Good view of the slide in North peak from South peaks summit. Fun quick hike that gets you two 4000 footers. Not bad.

Parking can fit at least 12 cars. Trail begins with a gradual incline that crosses over many streams, in winter micro spikes are necessary, snow shoes if it has recently snowed. Trail takes a slight left and runs across the mountain for a bit more than up it. After that section the trail turns again and brings you right up the mountain, that last section to the intersection with carriage road is very steep and the hardest part, easy with right equipment. From there it’s a very gentle incline to the summit which has great views. 3.5 hours up. South peak is also a great spot to check out and is only .1 miles of a hike, worth it.

It has a pretty good elevation gain in short term. if you are planning to come back before sunset start as early as you can. Definitely a strenuous hike but the views are worth it!

Beautiful views from the fire tower at the top. Did this hike back in November, rainy at the bottom and all snow at the top. Neat cabin at the top that provided a bit of respite from the wind.

Beautiful view and nice hike in the snow! Green trail markers could not be located, but could still find the way to the top. Beautiful view of Mt. Washington.

2 months ago

Great Hike! Challenging but doable in dry conditions. Take your time and stay focused and you'll be fine. Great views. Cool firepower at summit. Holt trail not recommended for descents. Definitely would recommend to anyone looking for a nice day scramble.

Hike to Smarts Mt is an excellent about 8 mile loop going up the AT to the summit and down the old Ranger's trail. Views from Lambert Ridge are very nice but the 360 degree views from the fire tower on top are fantastic. The Ranger trail is an older trail that isn't well blazed but isn't hard to follow normally, but could be in snow. Both trails are pretty steep. I'd rate them strenuous.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Went to north peak then south- descend was tricky as the first and last .5-.7 are very steep and there was ice and snow making it slick! Would recommend trekking poles! Happy trails :))

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome day! We did the whole trail 21.5 miles for the trail, but clocked 23 for the day. Took 13 hours (11 hrs of moving time). Tough day, but saw sun rise and sun set from the first and last peak.

My 20 year old son and I hiked this trail today. It was a good long hike. Unfortunately the top was clouded in so we couldn’t enjoy the view. We will have to hike it again. My only suggestion to other hikers would be to park well below the GPSs idea of where you should park. The road is not passable!

Loved this trail. Very challenging but rewarding. We did it on a cool cloudy day so we had no view but we had the trail to ourselves. Took our dog with us and he loved it. The rocks and rooted were pretty slippery so make sure you where proper hiking shoes. We will definitely be back!

hiking
3 months ago

I had never hiked Mount Cardigan, let along up the Holt Trail. A friend recommended it and I was on board for a challenge. We went this past Sunday after a rain storm and it was not the best idea. the first bit of trail is okay, just muddy. The scramble/climb during the last half mile or so is rough. Between the wet rock and wet moss, it was tricky. It was mostly upper body/core strength since you couldn't get a grip with your boots. If not for a couple ahead of us, we may not have found the right crevice to make our way up. Heed the trail warning and go on a dry day!

3 months ago

Great hike. Went North to South. Steep last half mile, but worth it.

Started at the Jesus Valley trailhead. Took Snowmobile (red), then Main (blue) all the way up to Straightback Mountain. This trail well earns it's name. As soon as we started on the trail it was a mile straight up. The first 2 miles took us 2 hrs. At the top of Straightback we took Main (blue) over to Brook (yellow), then back to Snowmobile (red) to get back down to the trailhead. It was super foggy the day we went but I'm sure the views would have been pretty nice from the top. I will go back but I would not take the blue trail up again.

hiking
3 months ago

Overall a pretty good hike but somewhat lackluster. Went up to South Hancock first then over the North Hancock. Pretty steep ascent to South peak but only for about 0.75miles. Small outlooks at top of each mountain offer limited views. As others have posted saw many signs of bears but no actual bears for us.

3 months ago

Did this loop on Wednesday 9/19. The first four miles are easy and the actual loop of the Hancocks is hard but short. Can’t say much about the views since it was cloudy and foggy when I summited. I saw an alltrails review about a bear towards the end and a reminder to make noise while hiking- well let me tell you, I did not make noise and I also ran into a bear about two miles from the trailhead. The bear was the best part.

I would advise going up south first (I didn’t). It has a lot of loose rocks and it was very difficult to descend that route. Including breaks the whole hike took me 6.5 hours.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice, pretty uneventful hike. Went up South first, which is a nice leg workout after having a very easy start. Plenty of places to step and hold onto on the way up. Not much to look at from top of South, so we kept going. Fast and easy connection over to North and we had a snack on the overlook ledge with some fantastic views. Heading down from north was very steep and loose, however it was not difficult as there were plenty of handholds and trees strangely in just the right spots. Slowly levels out then there’s a dip, a water crossing and back uphill to close up the loop. Took us 4.5 hours with a 15 minute lunch break.

Fun run into the loop intersection. Fun run out. It’s the white mountains so expect roots and rocks. Up north mtn was steep but good footing. Down south mtn was a bit sketchy with loose scree. The view points were close to each summit and gave nice long views. Fun trail run.

This was a nice trail. not overall challenging and the views come close to the top. the top of the holt trail is a lot of fun and very steep. it's the only difficult part on the trail though and is only the very end. great views at the top. we enjoyed this trail for a quick hike.

This hike is easy to get to, has no parking fee, and offers the opportunity to hike either a pretty hard trail, or one that is fairly moderate. Took Sandwich Trail on the way up and it was pretty rigorous. After the first viewpoint it starts to be a flatter walk in the woods. Went up to Jennings Peak which was really stunning; plenty of room there to sit and relax. Went to Sandwich after that which was less impressive. A good view for sure but it’s hidden by trees and there isn’t a lot of room. Went down Drakes Brook Trail which was a pretty easy descent. One of the toughest parts of the hike was probably the brook crossing on both trails. It required a little more maneuvering than I’d expected. All in all, great hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Plan on rewarding yourself after this trail, because the Hancock’s offer none. The long flat first section tests your ability to not trip over tree roots- the steep 1/2 mile(s) will challenge your leg strength and stability, and there are no views at the top. These have been ✔️’d off the list.

4 months ago

What a delightful hike that doesn’t try to kill you yet keeps it interesting. However, Challenging portion was the ascent / descent. Went south as suggested, and am glad about the choice though both were rough. Not sure there’s a clear best option? Steep, 1/2 mile up, and then on the way down just tons of loose rocks everywhere. Shout out to the trees lining the trail that literally saved my butt.

I consider a good hike to have a view as a reward. “Eye candy’. Jennings peak was worthwhile as well as an outlook on the way up. After that we hiked to sandwich dome. Not much of a view there. We came down Drake. I would consider Drake to be a moderate hike. Going up the other way was moderate to hard.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is well trodden and, with one exception near the junction of cedar brook trail and the Hancock loop trail, easy to follow. I hiked it in 5 hours 20 minutes. The trails are blazed yellow but just before Cedar Brook meets the Hancock Loop, you have to hike up the stream bed and there are no blazes for a stretch. I hiked up the North peak first and down the South and was happy with this choice. I definitely recommend hiking it in the fall as water crossings would be tough in the spring snowmelt. Trail was dry for me but would be tough in a wet day. Overall the views were limited. It’s number 40 and 41 for me so I had to do them but overall just meh for 10 miles.

did it in knee deep snow not the best conditions to hike but deff worth it great views from top

hiking
4 months ago

Trip up to the Hancock loop was very easy, we made great time. At the split you have a decision based on hiking preference. We went up south first the trail was in good shape. Footing was good and not much loose stuff but steep. Coming down from Hancock the trail was loaded with loose rock but didn’t feel quite as steep.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice Labor Day hike up Pack Mondadnock on Wapack Trail then down Marion Davis Trail back to parking lot. Refueled then took on section of Wapack across the road. Little did I know I was hiking just above one of the very first downhill ski areas in the USA. There is a monument to Charlie Beebe and his Temple Mtn Ski area up at the top. Cool cairn's and schist seats in camp area along trail to Holt Peak. Tried to come back via alternate Wapack trail which was seriously overgrown, not an option. Will be back to take in the entire Temple Mountain range and Burton Peak (and have a closer look at the ski slopes!). Good stuff!

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