Straight up aye!

I hiked this on 4/16. Decided to take the clockwise direction. The ascent was steady but never particularly steep except for one scramble near the top of drake Brooke. A pretty scenic and steady incline for the majority of it. The descent down noonside was alternating flat and then steep. Due to the ice it was not moderate! It had several steep death sheets of ice which covered the width of the trail. Better have crampons. When I say that there were sheets of ice, I mean a significant portion of the descent was completely covered in slick ice. We had to go through the wood on the side as it was safer. The trail also seemed as though it probably wasn't maintained in a while because there were numerous fallen trees along the route unanswered and more importantly no clear pass of the Brooke without walking directly through it at the point of the trail. The trail sign also I met only after about a mile into the trail from the entrance from the road, sAll that aside the views are excellent, and it can be a great experience if you plan for it. Hopefully a lot better than we had planned for it. Start early and make sure ice won't be an issue. o the distance is actually greater than said. Keep in mind the elevation is above 2000 ft for much of the hike, so conditions will reflect that.

So 75% of this hike was great on 5/17/20, however the ice and snow for the top mile- mile and a half made it rough. Not everyone had microspikes, and even if you did, non waterpoof boots were soaked from snow. At some points we had to slide down icy areas on the way down. We went up sandwhich mtn trail which was somewhat challenging with the snow but doable. Down Drake brook was bad until we got beyond the snow. Also the peak to Jennings was almost unclimbable but we had no spikes and a small pup. All that said it was a beautiful hike and without snow/ice it would be very fun.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
8 days ago

I would say it's harder then regular "moderate" trail. Higher half or the trail has a bunch of snow and ice. Few parts are really dangerous where it's very steep and icy. Highly recommend to bring ice cleats. Also the part where you have to cross the river is hard. Now the river is full of ice cold water so finding a safe place to cross is a challenge. I went clockwise and it took me 3.5 hours to go up (with breaks and lunch) and 2 hours down.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
1 month ago

Great trail with steep portions and gorgeous views. I would brining your spikes to slip on about a third of the way up where you hit hard-packed snow and ice on the trail. I took the counter-clockwise route and would say I was glad to be going up that vs. down it (icier and icier than the trek down the other side of the loop)

Super fun hike! River crossing if going counter-clockwise can take a little bit to find a good place to cross. River is running high with the snow melt. Last bit of climbing up to Noon Peak is a pretty icy and a bit tricky. Other than that, great loop up to Jennings and down Drakes Brook which is such a nice and fun trail to go back down on. Wouldn’t recommend doing this loop clockwise for the time being.

This is a great trail for views. I went up the Brook side and it wasn't to bad. there was hard packed snow. If you have a dog I would recommend that you leash them before getting to the peak of Jennings because of the ledges. The noon side was all ice and tricky to get down.

The trail & scenery were beautiful! We hiked in mid-March & it was very icy, however. Micro spikes are an absolute necessity & even with those.. we had to scramble & scoot down on some steep parts. There are multiple different trails to take & we absolutely became lost at a few points because there were a limited number of maps and the signs were misleading. We’ve been on several hikes in the white mountains & this was definitely the most confusing. We were practically the only people out there though & the few waterfalls/streams along the hike are very peaceful. Still enjoyed ourselves, just definitely not “easy” in the winter due to ice.

snowshoeing
icy
snow
3 months ago

hiking
icy
snow
4 months ago

Beautiful winter hike. The trail is snow covered with a few icy spots. We had snowshoes, but micro spikes would have been sufficient.

We did the 3 mile loop in mid November. It was an easy hike next to the brook. We had to scramble through the first few steps because it was icy on the steps. But the rest of the hike was an easy walk with few ups and downs. Didn’t feel like there was much elevation gain.

I did this loop counter clockwise which is the way to do it in my view as you climb up the steep desolation trail. Unfortunately I had a misty fall day but I am sure the views are awesome when the weather is fine. Other than desolation I found this to be pretty fast hiking. Did the 14 mile loop in 6 hours. Stream crossings were a bit challenging but managed to find a way by going up stream a bit. Lots of moose sign on the back side.

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