DISTANCE
12.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,124 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

cross country skiing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

snow

no dogs

backpacking
4 days ago

Incredible hike. This was our first loop since my gf broke her back in January 2018. We arrived at the AMR gate at about 7:30AM Saturday morning with full packs. Headed up the Gill Brook trail for our ascent and made a quick stop at Indian Head (@9:45ish). Indian Head has some AMAZING views, so I’d suggest stopping if time permits. Hiked for another few hours and set up camp at the Elk Pass ponds. There was room for maybe 2-3 tent sites. With time to spare, we decided to leave our packs and head towards Colvin. The hike up Colvin wasn’t too intense (arrived at 2:30PM). Colvin has a very small survey marker, getting us our first High Peak of the weekend.

We were running low on water and stamina, so we decided against attempting Blake. After speaking with some fellow hikers, it seemed like a lot of work that we didn’t want to exert for a wooded summit. We made it back to the tent and made some dinner. We’ll have to come back another time.

Hit the trail Sunday at 7:30AM up Elk Pass. This was quite difficult, especially after filling up 4 water bottles (Elk Pass is your last chance to fill up!) and having full packs. There are views behind you almost the whole way up to the split. We got to the split at 9:15AM, ditched our packs, and ran 0.2 miles to Nippletop. Awesome views westward towards the Great Range and Marcy in the distance.

Trail to Dial was 1.9 miles and felt long. There were a few ascents and descents before you reached Dial, which felt kinda cruel. Headed out was pretty gradual and a nice breather from the steepness of Elk Pass. The way down bothered both of our knees and we were happy to get back to the car.

85 degree weather, sunshine, full packs, and 30-45 min on each of the peaks (plus Indian Head), got back to the car at around 3PM Sunday. Would consider a lighter day pack and faster pace if I were to do it again. Headed in to Keene for a well deserved beer! 38 more to go!