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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
7 days 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!

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
15 days 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.

23 days 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
29 days 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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!

Good trail for moderate workout.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail did not disappoint and is everything previous reviews have mentioned. The first part is lovely with a gradual grade and several small stream crossings. After about 90 minutes into the trail, we reached the beginning of the slide. Some large boulders and ledges at first, which climbed steeper. Some rocks had natural foot and hand holds, other times there was a convenient root or tree. Even though it hadn't rained for two days, there were still areas of wetness that made the climb slick and tricky. We took it slow and really paid attention to our footing and shifting of our weight. The word 'unrelenting' comes to mind! In total, the slide part took us about an hour and 3/4 to scale. Then it's just 10 more minutes to the summit. There's a nice lookout just before the intersection with the Osseo trail. The views at the top were spectacular and give a great perspective of some of the slide activity. What a great sense of accomplishment and reward from completing this trail. We then proceeded to Mt. Liberty and descended by the Liberty Springs Trail

The initial 1.8 is very simple. Would recommend going up to South and then descending North. Saw a black bear while making way back to trailhead so always remember to make noise when hiking in the Whites.

Starts off easy but gets significantly steeper during the ascent. Went up north and down south. Steep loose rock so be careful on the way down (I took a pretty good spill).

hiking
1 month ago

A few suggestions:
-Pick a day that is nice and dry. This hike would be dangerous & extremely difficult to complete in the rain.
-Pack a light bag and leave your hiking sticks at home. You're going to need your hands during the steep scrambles at the end.
-Make sure you have a pair of boots with good tread (avoid getting them muddy if possible)
-You may want to skip this if you have a fear of heights.

This trail doesn't get "scary" until the very end. There are some steep scrambles before, but you can walk right up the rock if you have a descent pair of boots and the conditions are dry.
The scary part is a class 3 scramble. Basically rock climbing without ropes or obvious places to put your hands and feet. I would suggest taking your time and plotting out a route up in advance. The biggest thing is to not freak out! You'll be fine if you take your time and stay focused. All and all it only took a few minutes to finish this section.

I would definitely would suggest this for anyone looking something a little more challenging.

Challenging near top but so fun. Try for a dry day, larger slick rocks.

Great hike. Challenging trail that is poorly marked and there is no official trailhead. The views are worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail starts off super easy before the north-south split. I went south as suggested, but it seemed like everyone I met along the way was descending south. South was a difficult ascent with lots of boulders and trees. The trail between the two was decent, but if you go south to north be prepared to climb again! South decent was miserable. I don't use poles, so it was basically a shale slide with trees to cling to like George of the Jungle. Honestly, either side would've been a miserable decent. The whole loop took me 6 and a half hours, with a 30 minute break at each peak and numerous stops on the way up South, for panting and whining.

hiking
2 months ago

With more than 15 4000-footers and many more hikes under my belt, I decided to hike up this class III trail and it turned out to be some challenge. For first time in my 6 years of hiking experience, I can say that the trail description and warning signs along the trail are completely justified. What starts as an innocuous climb slowly turns into tricky difficult scramble on wet rocks along the brook to give way for the final very steep section of bald rocks with very few crevices to get a proper foothold on. You will need to summon up lot of courage and technical hiking skills for the final 0.1 mile of the hike which is an almost rock-climbing without any equipments.
Heed all the warnings and be totally prepared (mentally and physically) if you want to take this trail. Smaller backpack, proper hiking boots etc etc. Prior experience with rock scrambling is must. Avoid going up in bad weather condition and going down altogether. Decided to come down by Clark trail.

The trail is beautiful yet pretty muddy since it rained the day before. The first part of the trail is very flat but then there's a short, hard steep to the top. At both peaks there was a lookout which provided some great views. The trail was pretty busy but overall a fun hike :)

The trail was the perfect length, all types of terrain and difficulty to challenge anyone. I enjoyed this hike very much! Went up Sandwich and came down Drake. Save yourself for some soaking in the brook on the way down. Very refreshing!
I will definitely do this hike again next year. I would not recommend bringing young children but ages 10+ should be able to handle this hike. Good luck!

on Hancock Loop Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked the Hancocks after a downpour. Muddy, lots of stream crossings, but a fun hike. Mostly flat until the very last mile. When you see the sign for South Peak, 0.5 miles, it's time to work and sweat! Good views but crowded. Would suggest going up south peak and down north as others have said on here but it's pretty comparable.

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