“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and. above the clouds.” – Edward Abbey
The White Mountains have always been full of beauty and peacefulness. It wasn’t until recently when I started actually their biggest mountains that I realized how much. beauty they truly hold. Hiking these mountains as an adult has taught me more than I could have ever imagined a ‘simple’ hike could offer.
Heading out on my second 4000 footer was exciting and exhilarating. I could not wait to hit the trail that I had read offered one of the best views in the Whites. The summit did not disappoint with that even with an overcast sky, all you could see was a sea of mountains.
Trail conditions were good, the parking lot was empty, and we managed to get the summit basically to ourselves. I would highly recommend this hike for anyone looking for a way/moderate hike with views. You also pass Gibbs Falls along the way which is a pretty little waterfall, nice cool off spot for pups (or people!)
It took us a little under 3 hours to reach the summit and that included a good amount of short 5 minute breaks along the way up. The incline is pretty gradual which is nice, though the trail is pretty rocky which is rough on the knees, but overall not over strenuous. We had a pup with us and he had no trouble at all the whole way up. Once hitting around 3000 feet or so you get a few flat patches which is nice. The hike was pretty humid for the first hour and a half but then began cooling off. There were ZERO bugs, how amazing! Once we got to the summit the temperature dropped a good 20 degrees or so and it was pretty windy. The temperature change was refreshing but finding a good place to eat was tricky, we ended up heading down to the first little outlook and the wind was blocked almost completely.
On our way back down we started running into more and more people, which made us glad to have had an early start. We saw people of all ages hiking the trail. The trek down is always faster but definitely straining on a whole new muscle group. Making falling my go to on the way down, though I am a klutz naturally, tired legs going down a mountains makes it that much worse (haha). Upon reaching the bottom of the trail we came back to the little water hole and bridge, so we took our packs off for a rest and the pup got to cool off. The water was ice cold and extremely refreshing.
I really enjoyed this trail and look forward to completing more 4000 footers before winter arrives. I really look forward to autumn hikes because that is my absolute favorite time of year! I am already planning on hiking Mount Osceola, hopefully this coming week!
If you have any suggestions for the best hikes in the Whites please leave a comment and let me know! I have been working on my 52WAV list for a few years now and now began working on the 4k footers.