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Clear day. Started very warm at the base. Snow packed trail all the way up but needed the crampons. 3000 ft up the trail was soft due to recent snow fall so took longer then expected. About 25F and windy at Carriage Rd Junction. Got very windy the last 1/4 to the summit but 20 miles of visibility in ever direction. Will definitely be back in the warmer weather.

awesome trail, not very well marked at the peak. The dog's loved it.

It's a good hike, however it is not very well marked.

hiking
10 days ago

Nice scramble at the end, I'd suggest doing the loop to liberty (and go up via Flume). We personnally get going on the ridge to the franconia loop - big day but worth it! Getting many 4000 footers

I can’t say how this hike is as I didn’t make it. I just wanted to post that on Easter Sunday 2018 there was a road closed sign on the road to the trailhead due to mud. I was told the trailhead was about 4 miles up this muddy road so I didn’t risk it with my little Prius. Just be aware. I ended up doing a nice nearby hike to Holts ledge instead.

Tried this one last weekend, didn’t make the summit due to very high winds. Today was perfect! Cool, but very little wind, and lots of sun. The trail was hard packed snow. I used snowshoes, but micro spikes would have sufficed. It’s starting to get a little icy early on with the thawing and freezing. The parking lot was full, and there was a bit of a crowd at the summit, but I was going solo and didn’t mind other hikers around. All in all a great hike. Nice work-out with an amazing view. I’ll definitely be going again.

The first 3.5 miles are very friendly, and then you are faced with a decision: ascend North or South Hancock? We chose to ascend South and go down North. The steeps were very slick as butt-sledding activity was at an all-time high. We wore microspikes for the whole hike except for the descent down the North peak--we wore snowshoes. All in all, a great winter hike! 9.1 miles in 8 hours...lots of stopping. From the trailhead to the loop split took us ~2 hours, and same on the return. So trail-math-wise, we spent just as much time doing the summit loop as we did on Hancock Notch Trail/Cedar Brook Trail.

Steep. The inclines are very steep and covered with ice.

2/4/18 Had the trail to myself

on Hancock Loop Trail

backpacking
2 months ago

Incredible summer hike. We got off trail, but bumped into a kind fellow biker and his dog who got us back on track again. Spent 2 wonderful days on the mountain.

Beautiful day for a hike. Challenging above tree line with constant 50 mph wind with gusts that were making hard to keep footing. Really enjoyed the overall adventure

hiking
4 months ago

Description for this trail is accurate. Various areas of large rock scrambles bolder hopping. A few good views. Overall good hike.

Powder on the ground after the first 1000 ft, some icy patches. Turned back at south peak due to a late start.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

This was an excellent hike. Trails well marked and maintained. I started at Miller and went to North Pack, looped around from summit on Cliff Trail (true to name, steep descent), and on return took the alternate trail back, so the only repeated part was the center Wapack section (which is really nice). Great alternative to Mount Monadnock if you're looking for a fun challenging hike with great views. Cool pine forests.

Icy surface, micro spike needed. Not as hard as initially thought, took decent 4 hours 40 min to complete the loop. The view at the top/Firetower is very nice. The ranger trail down was following a stream first and then trail. Difficult to see marker but you get a sense where the steam is heading do.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice warm up till It gets steep at the loop for north and south peak —during Highwater prepare to get wet multiple Brooke crossings on the flat approach.
Limited views but the outlook’s are pretty -Three stars for the lack of exposed views

11/4
Awesome hike! Parts of the trail had begun to form some icicles and crystallization already! The summit had a little ice and snow but was totally fine to hike up.

5 months ago

Pretty amazing hike. Did it solo

hiking
5 months ago

Not as majestic as Mount Monadnock but you get very good views of Mount Monadnock. The Southern end Miller state park can get very crowded. The northern end has plenty of blueberries during the late summer.

hiking
5 months ago

Excellent trail! Last .5-.7 miles are the toughest. Very enjoyable trail none the less. There are small sites along the trail to camp in if you chose to.

Hiked with my pup; followed the advice to take Sandwich up and Drake's down. That was definitely the right way to go. The first 1.5m on the Sandwich trail are a steady ascent with some steep parts but no rock scrambles. After that, you walk on a magical mountain pass; many level parts with minor ascents. Don't miss Jenning's Peak. The summit of Sandwich is very understated. Drake's is a lovely walk down the mountain. Once the trail meets the brook, it levels out and widens, too. Very nice on the knees :) Definitely recommend this loop. We loved it. I would say it's a moderate hike, not a hard one. However, I hiked it in dry conditions and that made it easier for sure.

Hard but worth it. Take the long way from the Mt Major parking lot for added distance.

6 months ago

We tried accessing the trail off Mount Major Highway, onto Jesus Valley Road (turns into a dirt road), about 500 feet before the trail mark, there were signs up for private property, no trespassing on both sides of the road. We had to tie a round and were not able to access trail from there. Just a heads up...

Took the red up and orange blazes down. Much better than parking at busy Mt Major trail. Take the dirt trail next to the private driveway then look for the red trail sign.

hiking
6 months ago

This trail presented a humbling challenge to my intermediate ability. The trail was slow and steady in the beginning. It then becomes the steepest slab of rock I've ever navigated on foot.(and all fours at one point with my knees not hitting the ground). My short stature was not an asset on this hike. The final ascent to the top required rock climbing without any safety apparatus. This was the mental challenge of the hike. My fingers were two inches too short to reach the rocks edge to pull myself up. My steady footing(I love you KEEN) pushed me through the tiny crevasse to reach the "hand hold" to then pull myself up. The sign at the trailhead is 100% truth. The hike was rewarding because it was a beautiful panoramic view at the top.

Hancock was well traveled today being peak leaf peepers season. The trail starts out like a walk in the woods and then starts becoming gnarly with enchanted looking roots to traverse but the ascent is mild until you reach North trail. Prepare yourself for some steep climbing for about .7 miles but seems longer. This is one of the more difficult climbs I have encountered. Today the views atop North were not existent so we didn't even stop until we reached South Hancock. the path to south was easy going and the views were spectacular. We could see mt Carrigan to our left and a good portion of the mountain range. The descent down started steep but with care we moved right along.

hiking
6 months ago

First time up this mountain, definitely earned my respect. The trail was very easy until the final pitch to the summit ... aggressive slabs and cracks but doable. Would be unsettling if wet. Excellent 360 views from the summit. Great little shelf out of the wind for lunch or a nap. Agree with others not to descend upper Holt. Wonderful hike all around!

this was a fabulous hike, it was challenging for me, being it was my first time backpacking, there was a large field not far from the trail head where people were camping! we started the trail in the dark by headlamps around 615am and made it to the top by 845am. The views were incredible. we hiked it on a Tuesday and other then the few tents set up and the base, we did not see another person on the trail. I loved this hike. I was definitely sore after, but it was more than worth it!

6 months ago

10/04/17 Third time up Cardigan (2nd time up Holt) awesome top, hasn't disappointed yet!" Descended Fire Screw to Manning. Would not recommend going down Holt.

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