Hike: Shelburne Moriah


Shelburne Moriah, the sometimes overlooked sibling if 4000 footer Mount Moriah, is one of the taller 52 with a View mountains. In mid-November 2016 I tackled this summit not just for its status on the aforementioned list, but because it was supposed to be a beautiful summit to behold.

I parked at the Shelburne Trail head and hiked on the Shelburne Trail until it intersected with the Kenduskeag Trail. I followed the Kenduskeag trail to the summit of Shelburne Moriah and little beyond, and returned via the same route. The trip was 11 miles long, included 3600 feet of elevation and took just under 6 and a half hours to complete.

Hike Shelburne Moriah

Map of hike

After a moment of confusion and consulting my maps, I found my way to the parking lot at the start of the Shelburne Trail off of Route 2 in Shelburne, New Hampshire. It was cool, windy and cloudy, but there was only one other car in the parking lot, so I knew the hike would be a solitary one.

The trail started out on two miles of logging roads before climbing singletrack to the Kenduskeg Trail. The trail got steeper as it climbed the Kenduskeg Trail and passed below some ledges. I decided to bushwhack up to one of them for better view and a bit of a climb.

After a few steep sections I started to hit some of the good views.

Mountains and clouds

Vista while hiking up Shelburne Moriah

I made it to the Shelburne Moriah summit at 9:30 am. Although it was very cold and windy, it was also mostly clear and very beautiful.

Mountains and clouds

Shelburne Moriah Mountain summit

Man with mountains behind him

Summit Selfie

Snow topped mountains in the distance

Presidentials behind Carter-Moriah Range

I played with idea of hiking to Moriah or at least to Appalachian Trail junction, but turned back after hiking down to the col between Shelburne Moriah and Middle Moriah Mountain.

After returning to Shelburne Moriah, I explored the summit and its many views, ledges and boulders.

Mountains and clouds

Lenticular clouds in the distance

Back at the forestry road I found a swimming hole and jumped it. Though it was mid-November and close to freezing out, I couldn’t resist going for a dip.

Man in swimming hole with cascades behind him

Found a swimming hole

When I got back to my car I had only seen one other person during the hike. Shelburne Moriah was an excellent day hike. With its moderate climb and spectacular views, I can’t wait to return to it for a trail run.


Video of Shelburne Moriah hikeVideo of Shelburne Moriah hike
Music from Free Music Archive: “Silhouettes” by The OO-Ray


Date Hiked: 13 November 2016
Elevation Gain: 3600′
Distance: 11.0 miles
Book Time: 7:20
Actual Time: 6:25

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