The last few weekends have been pretty good as far as hiking goes. I’ve been making it out quite regularly and the weather has been cooperating nicely. This past weekend Tripp drove down from Montreal on Friday night and on Saturday at 5:30am we picked up Ben and headed over to the White Mountains.
The original plan was to do some hiking and camping, but certain parties had had some long work days and were not stoked on the idea of waking up on Sunday and driving 3 hours back to Burlington only to have to drive another 3 hours back to Montreal. So, with these new criteria we decided to crank out our hike and then make the drive back to Burlington that night. I had wanted to head up the Crawford Path and then follow the ridge all the way to Washington, but there was no good way to make that into a loop and we had no way of repositioning our car. We eventually decided to hike up the Edmunds Path, follow the ridge to Mt. Washington, and then have the option of taking either the Jewell Trail or the Ammonoosuc Trails back to our car. This did require a little over 2 miles of road hiking, but that’s a small price to pay for not having to move the vehicle… and road miles go by so quickly.
The Edmunds Trail is a great way to gain the ridge. The hiking is fairly easy and straight forward and the trail is at no time overly steep. It does take a little bit to get to as the trailhead is on a seasonal road that prohibits access to unauthorized vehicles. As this was our first time hiking this route and we didn’t see any other way. Also, of note, the Edmunds Trail takes you up along the flanks of Mt. Eisenhower, but does not take you to it’s summit. Once you gain the ridge you will need to do a short out-and-back to hit that summit. Then you just jump on the Crawford path and keep putting one foot in front of the other until you hit Mt Washington’s summit.
I can’t say I’m much of a summit photo kind of guy and when we first reached the Washington summit it was enshrouded in clouds and there wasn’t much of a view. Also, despite the weather there were still quite a few people making the drive up the auto road and we felt little need to be apart of the circus that is the Mt Washington Summit. So, we decided to head down. At this time we were all feeling pretty good, so instead of hiking back to the Lake of the Clouds Hut and taking the Ammonoosuc Trail back, we decided to continue on and take the Gulfside Trail to the Jewell Trail which would also take us back to the lot where we parked our car. This ended up being a brilliant idea as the sky started to clear right as we began our decent and we enjoyed some beautiful views all the way back to the treeline.
We chose the Jewell Trail as it followed the ridgeline and we hoped it was provide some good views as opposed to the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail. Gladly, we were not disappointed. The decent down the Jewell was awesome! The scenery was spectacular and the trail itself was very easy to navigate and felt fairly easy on the body without any large amounts of scrambling or large drops to navigate. It made a subtle descent and was the perfect way to finish the day.
Be sure to check out the more complete gallery of images below, and check back soon as this weekend we will either be back in the White Mountains or possibly the Adirondacks… I still undecided at this time.