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I think I’m in pretty good shape and the first two miles kicked my ass. Got much easier after that. Amazing views once you approach the boulder. Went the extra 1/2 mile to Boot Spur. It was a very easy 1/2 mile and I would recommend to get some great views of Washington.

Took my dog with me. He had some difficulty just before reaching the boulder at about the 1.25 mile mark, I had to lift him up- luckily he is only 30lbs. If your dog can make it to the boulder, it is simple after that.

Took me just over 7 hours with a few breaks. I pushed very hard though.

Took pine bend brook trail to North and middle tripyramids, then descended down sabbaday falls trail. Sabbaday trail, with the exception of one steep section at the top is amazingly gentle sloping, and easy on your feet. I love Sabbaday trail.

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 days ago

Fantastic hike. We followed the directions listed in the description. The views off of WhiteFace were great. This would be a great trail to break up and spend a quiet night in one of the great tent spots we found along the trail.

One of my favorite loops I’ve done and the best trails in the North Country of New Hampshire. I would recommend going counter clockwise because it allows you to go up the steepest section. Bunnell Notch is quite gradual, following a beautiful brook for most of the way. Once you reach the junction with Mount Cabot Trail, you begin ascending steeply. You will pass a neat viewpoint and a cabin before reaching the summit. Here’s the important part, the summit sign on Cabot is not the official high point, on the sign, there appears to be a poorly carved arrow pointing you to a spur trail, this takes you to the real high point marked with a cairn. Continue on to The Bulge, this peak is wooded with a small cairn and counts for your New England Hundred Highest. The Horn is also a Hundred Highest Peak and has the best views in the whole range, offering 360 degree views of New Hampshire’s North Woods, Percy Peaks are clearly visible. Unknown Pond is also a real gem, especially with some foliage, The Horn looms high above it. Unknown Pond Trail also follows a really nice brook, crossing it a few times, but nothing too difficult. Definitely worth doing weather you’re a peak bagger or just looking for a weekend hike, very underrated.

hiking
7 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.

Great hike. Glen Boulder is steep and the return hike had a lot of uphill too. Be prepared!

Gradual ascent up to Mount Osceola, nothing steep or technical. A couple bald granite spots...The drop down to the col of east Osceola is steeper terrain, but well worth the extra mile each way with open views along the ledges.

hiking
8 days ago

like others have said, over 18. Maybe closer to 17 if you do the bushwhack. I enjoyed this hike. Weather was calm. No buggs. water crossings were managable. Brook was nice to follow. Scramble up produced some great views. Meet some nice people. Definitely hard going down after the long hike in and walk out seemed to drag a bit but that was it. I wont be running back to this one but im glad for the experience

I absolutely loved this hike ! At times it was challenging but not overly so . I really recommend approaching from this side !
(Batman)

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.

If you plan on going on this route be prepared. The north face is considered one of the hardest trails in the northeast. Do some research before going. It is on the Terrifying 25 list.
Other than that, its a great hike. I enjoyed it and was exhausted at the end. The views on the three tops were blocked by trees. The return trip down the south was very enjoyable after the rock slide.

hiking
10 days 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.

Interesting hike. If you are scared of heights I would not recommend because there are some parts on whiteface where you need to do some free climbing (my dad said he hiked this when he was a teenager 40 years ago and there were ladders but there are NO ladders at all now). We went up whiteface and down passaconaway, completed the whole loop in 7 hours and 48 minutes.. including breaks. We did take a long break at the top of whiteface (maybe half hour to 45 min long). Started at around 11:30ish and finished by 7.. just minutes before sunset! We weren’t paying attention to time at the beginning of the hike but once we left whiteface we sped up to beat the sunset. Also if you have bad knees I wouldn’t recommend unless you have the time to descend carefully and some type of support.

11 days 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.

The views once you break the treeline on Glen Boulder are stunning. But the hike towards Isolation is deceptively long and the trail quality is poor. You're gonna want at least 3 liters of water and give yourself plenty of time to hike; took myself and a buddy, both very experienced, nine hours.

A friend and I made this a two day trip. Trailhead parking and directions were not entirely clear as we drove right to the Blueberry Ridge trail head. After some deliberation decided that we would park at the Ferncroft parking area 2/10m from the trail head.(this is the right move). We hiked in at 0900 and took our time. Even with the heavy rains the day before there was no water avail until the old Camp Rich site just below the summit loop. We saw a lot of moose and bear sign(picture of bear scratching was taken 10-12 feet from my hammock at Camp Rich). Although the summits are in tree line there are a couple of good overlooks. Camp Rich was a cool little piece of the hill. You can feel some of the care and history of that camp and can imagine many hikers and backpackers having great times and creating life memories. There are 4-5 decently flat sites with a large fire pit and plenty of deadfall. It has been very responsibly used with a solid “no trace” look. There is a pristine water source right at the eastern edge of the camp. To find the camp you will have to pay close attention. As you start to round the northern height of the clockwise loop, you will see the first ascent trail to Passaconway. Just before that left turn is a small stream running across the trail, back up from the stream about 20 feet and look north(left) to see a clearing and a lightly tread path into the clearing. Once in the clearing the path will lead you NW about 20-25 yards to the campsite. It was beautifully silent all night, no highway or road noise, with just the occasional jet wash overhead. BRING A BEAR BAG! To really up the seclusion and very lightly used trails we choose to bypass Diceys Trail and take Walden Trail to Wonalancit Ridge Trail. We where very happy with the choice as it was obviously very infrequently used. Great hike, great company, awesome. In summery if you are in it for the big bold summit views, not here. But for nature, seclusion, and very light traffic, you will love this hike.
Say hello to Lip the “fungi” on the Walden Trail (see photos)

hiking
13 days 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.

Perfect weather for this loop on Sunday. Views are pretty limited. If you like extended exposed views, this is not the best hike. Managed the full loop with my 4 yr old lab in about 5 hours. He loved it. For those with dogs, the Blueberry Ledge trail was bone dry. There was no available water until the Rollins Trail just before heading up the final ascent to Passaconaway.

Good hike with steep inclines. the trail is full of rocks and tree roots so good hiking boots make a difference. No spectacular views until you get to the summit and even then the view is brief. The woods along the way are filled with different species of colorful mushrooms and the woods can seem quite magical. 6.2 miles round trip took nearly 5 hours with breaks. A moderately difficult 4000 footer for beginners.

The Greely Pond in & out was steep and brutal but overall a rewarding trek. The first mile is flat but that quickly changes to a progressively more difficult quad grinder as the trail separates at the first fork. From the split, you will hike up approx. 1.5 miles of HARD, relentless elevation gain that yields to a more moderate traverse into Osceola and back. There are minimal views from E Osceola. Your hard work is rewarded once you summit Osceola, as you will be greeted with panoramic views into Waterville Valley. Take your time on the descent, as there are many loose rocks and gravel.

Dogs are allowed off leash here, but due to the substantial grade of the majority of this trail and rough scrambles, I would strongly recommend against bringing your 4 legged companion.

I lost a black diamond carbon fiber hiking pole on the trail (I think it had fallen out near Osceola's summit.) If anyone finds this please contact me at joe@highlinecapitalpartners.com

I will provide a finders fee. Thank you!

Great hike. The climb up Holt was very steep and absolutely would not recommend in wet conditions or as a descent. Lots of bouldering/scrambling with the last .5 mile getting intense and the last quarter/eighth getting downright scary requiring some technical climbing ability and liberal use of hanging on to notches in the rocks and roots to get a footing and push up. Not for the faint of heart. But once up absolutely gorgeous views. Agree with all on the tail end of skyland and a good portion of woodland trails being very overgrown and recommend pants. We moved fairly quick throughout and finished in about 5 hours exact. Would do it again with very good gripping shoes and no wetness on that holt ascent.

Not exactly the hike we did but the closest I could find...
We started at Zealand Road and hiked across Zealand, went through the Bonds and back and over to Galehead hut for the night. The next day we looped to Galehead and back, through the twins and the unmaintained trail up Hale and back to the car. The first day was about 17 miles and a good amount of elevation, the second about 14 miles but much easier. Great way to get all of the mountains in the area, and it sure was beautiful!

Left Glen Ellis lot at 9:00am on a beautifully clear day. The trail is steep all the way to the boott spur cutoff but the views are awesome. Summited Isolation at 12:20 and headed back up Davis path and over boot spur to hike back to the car. The elevation gain is intense but I think this route is more scenic and less annoying than Rocky Branch which is how most people hike down. Made it back to the car by 4:30. I would hike this again but stop at boott spur rather than going all the way to isolation.

The view from Bondcliff is in my opinion one of the most magnificent in the Whites. The only possible negative would be the long flat approach. Miles of abandoned logging railway could be monotonous, if you only focus on the peak. You could bike the first 3 miles, many people do. A short excursion, at the first river crossing, to Franconia Falls is worth the time if you can spare it. Once off the railway check the weather. The gradual incline up the ridge is marked by many river crossings and trails that become fast moving streams with no alternative to avoid wet feet during a downpour. Not dangerous, just bring a change of socks. The final climb is a relatively easy, non technical, rock scramble. The reward is more than worth the effort. If you plan on camping, there is currently a zealous black bear which has been damaging equipment. With the fall coming, he is likely to become more of a nuisance, so make noise and use the bear boxes, or hike in to 13 falls or Guyot, no problem at these. Also the bridge at the 3 mile point, spanning Franconia Brook is I believe ‘technically ‘ closed. It is still functional but at some point you may need to find another way to cross.

The day was picture perfect. We did both East and Mount Osceola. Nice easy start and then steep incline. I enjoy going up but my problem is always the descent. What am I missing? It takes me forever and yet people come down like it is no big deal. The views were amazing so it was totally worth it. I think the best part of hiking is the people you meet on the way. When we got to Mount Osceola the Boy Scouts we’re having a flag ceremony in commutation of 9/11. So we watched the flag being raised, said the pledge of allegiance and headed down. How great is that?

hiking
16 days 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.

Goal was to hit Mount Isolation. Took Glen Boulder Trail up to Boott Spur for a view over Tuckerman before heading back towards Mount Isolation. Really enjoyed Glen Boulder Trail! Although very consistently steep, it was dry and fast through various landscapes (Dense forest, tight low scrub, above treeline alpine, and some rock scramble). The hike down Davis Path was fast, except watch for the fallen trees. Hit AMC 4000 Mount Isolation, with amazing views of Mt. Washington, before taking Rocky Branch Trail back to the car. They should rename the trail "Wet Rocky and Branchy Trail". Most of the time felt like we were rock hopping and puddle jumping. Lots of mud. Stream crossings were passable without getting wet. Some grouse on the trail as well! Glen Boulder Trail A+ / Rocky Branch Trail C-

hiking
20 days ago

Firstly? 17.2 miles? Bullocks. When I got back to the trailhead, I had 19.6 on MapMyRun (which is usually pretty on the money in terms of GPS tracking).

That being said, Owls Head is NOT THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD. You just have to readjust your expectations. Think of it like a really (really) long riverwalk (and cross), followed by a slightly treacherous rock climb. If you think of it as a hike with all the usual hike accouterments , you're going to be disappointed.

Things to consider: the cairn to get to the slide is tiny and you can easily miss it. There's a bear warning sign now, which makes it a little easier to spot. The slide itself is easy enough to follow up (to scramble? Eh, depends on your skill level), but I found myself getting really confused on the descent. A little hair raising, especially when you remember you're in the middle of the Pemi wilderness.

That being said, it's really cool to be in the heart of the Pemi wilderness. The view of Fraconia Ridge from the slide is breath-taking and makes up for the lack of views at the summit. And the riverwalk portion is very meditative. So, yes, you'll probably only do this if you're getting your NH48 et al, but it's not the chore everyone makes it out to be.

This trail was very strenuous right off the bat. People aren't kidding when they say you start climbing and keep climbing! we climbed A and D and it took us about 8 hours

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