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The trail is in very good shape considering how early in the season it is. With snow covering roughly 60% of the trail, make sure you tackle this short half-day hike with decent waterproof hiking boots and consider bringing micro-spikes. I took my 5 year old black lab out today and she was able to complete the trail with no problems! The view overlooking lake solitude is stunning.

hiking
22 hours ago

4/22/18 Trail conditions were still snowy, some mud but not too bad. It took 90 minutes up at a steady pace. Not a difficult hike but will definitely get your heart pumping. The last mile or so gets pretty steep and somewhat slippery. Would’ve benefited from micro spikes or hiking poles. We brought our boards and skis up and skied down Ridge Run which was completely snow covered. We saw numerous other peopling skinning up the trail.

Wonderful hike. Bring crampons this time of year.

Enjoy!

hiking
9 days ago

Very well-marked and beautiful trail. Challenging at some points. Amazing views!! Unfortunately I couldn't quite make it all the way to the firehouse- had a scary ice wall that I just couldn't cross. So close!! Will definitely go back to make it all the way to the top.

By far one of my favorite hikes. Not too challenging amazing 360 views with some shelter on top. Already can’t wait to go again.

Not too hard.

Your legs will burn. But it is so worth it!!! This is the first "true" hike I did! I was supposed to do it with my bro, but at the last minute, his job called him, so I went alone! What an adventure it was! Who could have known that it was only the beginning of a bigger adventure! Two years later, I was in Nepal facing the Mt Everest!

Solo single-day winter traverse

backpacking
2 months ago

Beast of a trail for backpacking, much more suited for ultralight backpacking or slack packing. Made it halfway to through but forced down after submitting Washington due to weather. Will definitely be going back to complete the rest of the traverse.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail itself is nothing special, though it is very well-marked and easy to follow. The view from the summit would make fighting your way through 3 miles of thorns and vines worth it, though. I climbed twice last summer, yesterday was my first winter ascent here and spikes are an absolute necessity. It was icy from bottom to top, with several sections of extremely hard, thick ice that showed evidence of people sliding once you got past the ledges. Full crampons wouldn’t be overkill, I brought mine “just in case” and we saw several hikers wearing them. Make the effort to really stamp your spikes in, and if you use poles drive those in as well.

It was a bluebird sky almost all the way up, but clouds started blowing in when we got near the summit. The views were still amazing, my partner was huffing and puffing his way up after 3 months of forced rest from a bad mountain biking wreck and he thought the views were worth the effort. The temp was maybe 5F, with 20+mph winds, so the 15 minutes or so we spent out of the wind in the fire tower after getting our pics were a nice break before the trip down.

Total time spent on the mountain, including breaks, was 6.5 hours. It was a very enjoyable hike, one I won’t have any problem doing again.

A hair raiser but excellent hike. Only do this one in good weather.

Great view from the fire tower at the top! Trail was steep in sections. Nice view points along the way with lots of rock face towards the top. Micro spikes were a must!

Moderately hard almost all uphill trail to fire tower on top of mountain with great 360 degree views. Great cardiovascular exercise. Families were doing it with young kids but it is a rigorous hike.

5 months ago

Nice hike. The top mile was icy. I’d recommend spikes. The view from the tower was worth it!

Unbelievable really. The most exhilarating hike in New England if not the entire Northeast. Don’t even think about doing this hike unless you are in great physical shape and an experienced hiker.

hiking
5 months ago

Not well marked in a few places and we went a 1/4 mile off the trail when we hit the granite. It was the beginning of November and already getting icy at the top. The hike was steep as others here have said. The views did not disappoint and we loved the fire tower:) I came down some of the steep spots on my butt but all in all we had a great day!

Great hike, fantastic workout. Starts off nice and easy but gets much harder as you go up. Can get slippery in some spots where there are only rocks, but the view from the fire tower is amazing. Don't be fooled when it looks like it opens up, there is still around a mile left! Definitely more strenuous of a hike than we thought it would be.

One of the most rewarding mountains I've ever climbed. In my opinion one of the only climbs in the east that is comparable to mountains out west. Similar to some climbs I've done in the Rockies. Some class III even class IV maneuvers near the chimney section of the knife edge. We climbed on October 23rd, 50+ degrees and sunny with 10-15mph winds ON THE PEAK: very rare for this time of year. One local said it was the warmest October since the 1940s. A lot of websites/forums will mislead you saying Baxter closes the trails on October 15th which is totally false. Just monitor weather very closely, NE weather at altitude is known to be dangerous and unpredictable. Always carry gloves, warm hat, rain gear, layers, dry socks, high calorie foods, flashlight and first aid/moleskin. My girlfriend and I consumed about 5 liters of water combined. Bear spray is not needed because the black bears are very skittish in this area. Keep a safe distance from moose because bull moose can gore you to death. You are above the tree line for at least 60% of this hike. Do not attempt after first snow event or with any rime ice unless very experienced and with proper gear because there is a great deal of exposure in some places and one slip could be fatal. Also do not attempt with a fear of heights. Be prepared for 9-10 miles of very strenuous hiking/boulder hopping/climbing/sliding with about 4000 ft of elevation gain depending on route. We started at roaring brook and took Helon Taylor (pr: Heel-on) up and Saddle down which I thought was the best route. Dudley is closed and taking Cathedral down looked deadly. Do not recommend reversing loop because it is a lot more suspenseful doing knife edge as you approach south peak and baxter peak, also reversing would save a lot of tough climbing for the end. Anyways, be prepared and have fun!

hiking
6 months ago

Great fall foliage hike! 2 miles up took about an hour and a half. Beautiful view of the lakes and trees from the top. We ran back down the ski slopes took about 40 minutes. The doggie loved it. No streams so carry water for the puppers.

hiking
6 months ago

Great views at the top. This is a challenging hike.
Made it up in 2 hours and down in hour 45.

hiking
6 months ago

This is a really good trail. Varies along the way, from woodsy to rocky to even more rocky. Great views all around at the top, including a good view of Washington. It's a very popular trail though. I got there early and was the second to arrive; by the time I left there must have been 30 cars along the side of the road

Good half day hike! It is a bit challenging sometimes with the steepness and many rocks. If it has just rained some of the water crossings can be tricky! But great view for the effort put in!

Solid trail. Lots of awesome dogs. Great views from summit.

We hiked this on a beautiful fall day. Not a difficult hike in a beautiful forest setting. Very doable for little kids. Good view of Lake Solitude from ledge that we almost missed. The ledge can get crowded due to the limited viewing space. But if you can find space to sit and enjoy the view, it is well worth it. We continued to Mt Sunapee summit where there is a ski lodge with restroom facilities and good view of Lake Sunapee. Apparently people get up there via ski lifts.

Scariest thing I’ve ever done. This made Cathedral Trail seem easy!!!!! We had 20-25 mph winds on a clear day, with gusts up to 35 mph, possibly more. Don’t even attempt this if it is raining, icy or snowing. I have a healthy fear of heights and this was the most challenging trek mentally. Physically it is not all that demanding but excess caution should be used. This is mostly climbing and scrambling. Make sure you get to the Togue Pond Gate EARLY if you don’t have a parking pass. They save approximately 5 parking spots for those without passes. We parked at Roaring Brook Campground and trekked Chimney Pond, up Cathedral to Baxter Peak and across Knife Edge and descended via Helon Taylor. This is a full day hike - and for me, mentally challenging. It was a full body physical effort for much of Cathedral and Knife Edge, make sure you’re fully prepared for this. Also make sure you have plenty of attire to accommodate your needs as the temperature can change vastly as you summit. Completed on 10/1/17. **Additionally** we did encounter a black bear about a mile into our trek on Chimney Pond Trail. Just make sure you use caution and educate yourself about what to do if you run into wildlife. We had (obv) no issues, but worth tossing into the description!

This was a nice fall hike. I only hiked Round Mountain, Mount Frissell, the South Slope High Point, and to the tri-State marker. The trail wasn’t bad at all and I met some high pointers on the trail. I really enjoyed this hike.

hiking
6 months ago

The challenge with these "moderate" ratings is that the Lonesome Lake Trail, the Sugarloafs and Mt Kearsarge north are all "moderate." Kearsarge is significantly harder than the other two. Significantly, I tell you, my friends. Some places have Kearsarge listed as moderate side of difficult. There are a few places where the trail evens out and is flat for a minute or two- a welcome break. Other than that, besides a gradual beginning, this hike gets steeper and steeper. It's pretty rocky and rooty, as well. The 360 views at the top are awesome. As I was standing on the top, clouds were blowing through me! The enclosed fire tower is great for windy and cold weather. There is also an outdoor toilet at the top with a great view. I personally wouldn't do this hike if it was wet because going up and down the rock slab would be tough for me, very slippery. I felt that the really good views were at the top. You have a few obstructed by tree views on the way.

Easy hike. We had lunch at the top Will do again.

backpacking
6 months ago

We used this as a backpacking mileage test; full packs, and see how far you can get on mountain terrain in a day. Beautiful views, easy stepping ridge-line trails, and a way around the toughest peaks (the AT) in case the weather turns. There are shelters with water along the trail, but the weather is famously changeable and dangerous, and it's not easy getting off them after the weather turns-- the descent is often through a steep boulder field.

Plan your camp early, or at least don't plan to find a campsite at sundown. The sites which are out of the wind/weather are down steep and slick side trails, and it is often a long way to a flat area to pitch a tent. This is a beautiful place to hike, and also a place where one can end up soaked and exhausted in a tent which is tied to a tree so that it doesn't begin sliding down the mountain in the night.

Loved the hike - and lake solitude. Serene, peaceful.

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