Hiking In The White Mountains

 

This past weekend I met up with my friend Dave Tripp in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The day actually started out with me driving Mari down to Boston to catch a flight back to Michigan. I then drove straight from Boston to meet Tripp in New Hampshire. The funny thing is that all of this happened before 11am. I have to say I’m really starting to like the variety of options within such short distances here in the Northeast.

Anyway, I met Tripp at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road and since neither of us had been here before and because we knew nothing about the area we decided to take the Auto Road to the top of Mt. Washington to see what we could see and maybe find some more info about hiking in the area. What we didn’t know about was just how much the fee was to use the road – $25/driver & car + $8/passenger = $33 for Tripp and I to drive to the top… next time I think we’ll just hike.

Discounting the fees, the drive up Mt. Washington is pretty spectacular as far as drives go. The White Mountains aren’t as “craggy” as some of the ranges out west, but that makes them much more accessible and once you look at a map of the area it’s obvious that there are hundreds of miles of trails and a lifetime of exploring in this area.

 

Here you can see a section of the Auto Road before it heads down into the clouds…

 

 

Tripp and Ripley at the top of Mt. Washington…

 

 

Tripp and Ripley at crossing over the Peabody River on our way to camp…

 

After returning from our drive up Mt. Washington we decided to stop at the Pinkham Visitor’s Center to find out more about our hiking options and maybe come up with some sort of plan for the rest of the day and Sunday. At the visitor’s center we chatted with a nice park representative who helped us identify a few different campsites where dogs were welcome. With that information and after looking at some maps we decided to connect the Great Gulf Trail with the Osgood Trail eventually putting us at the summit of Mt. Madison.

 

Filling up with water before we started heading up into drier territory…

 

 

Here is our camp for the night. The platforms are nice but they made staking the tents out more of a creative endeavor…

 

 

Tripp and Ripley moving above treeline on Sunday morning…

 

 

Here you can see Tripp and Ripley with our objective, Mt. Madison, in the background…

 

 

Tripp and Ripley on the summit of Mt. Madison…

 

 

Tripp hopping rocks on the way back down Mt. Madison…

 

 

Tripp just before the trail started heading back below treeline. In the background you can see a lodge and the start of the Mt. Washington Auto Road…

 

 

Back in the trees making our way down. The pictures really don’t convey just how steep this trail was. The 2.5 miles from our campsite to the summit climbed upwards at about 1200 ft/mile. Overally we had a great time and I am already planning to go back and do a partial traverse from Madison to Washington and then back.

 

 

 

 

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