Hike: Baldpates

SUMMARY

In early November 2016 a friend and I camped out near Grafton Notch in western Maine. The next morning we hiked the two peaks of Baldpate Mountain. Baldpate was supposed to be a great hike above treeline, so we had to check it out.

We parked at the Old Speck parking lot and crossed the street to follow the Appalachian Trail north. We took the side trail to Table Rock and rejoined the Appalachian Trail to both peaks of Baldpate Mountain. We returned along the Appalachian Trail with a short side trip to see Baldpate lean-to. The hike was just short of 8 miles with 3800 feet of elevation gain and took us a little less than 6 hours.

Trail map

Map of hike

At around 9:30 am we pulled into the parking lot along the Appalachian Trail on Maine Route 26 at the Old Speck Trail head. It was mostly cloudy, 30 degrees and there was only one other car in the lot.

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Hike: Mount Nancy

SUMMARY

In the middle of peak foliage in 2016 I took a Monday off work and drove up to New Hampshire to hike Mount Nancy, one of the peaks on the New England Hundred Highest list. Mount Nancy is one of a few peaks on the list without an official trail to its summit, but the bushwhack was an easy-to-follow herd trail when I did it.

I parked at the Nancy Pond Trail head and hiked up the trail to the natural dam on the northwest side of Norcross Pond. From there I took the bushwhack to the summit of Mount Nancy. I returned via the same route. The hike was 9 miles with 3250 feet of elevation gain and took me over 5 hours to complete.

Hike Mount Nancy

Map of hike

I got to the small pull-off parking lot for Nancy Pond Trail in mid-morning and found one other car in the lot. It was windy, cloudy and in the mid-50s; a common autumn day in New England.

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Hike: Iron Mountain

SUMMARY

During peak foliage in October 2016, I brought my two boys to hike Iron Mountain in New Hampshire. Not only was the peak needed for my 52 with a View list, but there was an abandoned iron mine on the mountain that I thought my boys would enjoy exploring.

We parked at the small lot on Iron Mountain Road and followed Iron Mountain Trail to the summit of Iron Mountain. We continued beyond the summit to a vista on South Cliffs and then continued further down the mountain to the iron mine. We returned via the same trail. The hike was about 3.5 miles, included 1500′ of elevation gain and took us a little more than 3 hours.

Iron Mountain trail map

Map of hike

We got to the parking lot on Iron Mountain Road a little after 11:00 am and stepped out to sunny and breezy weather with temperatures in the 70s. We found the trail across the road from the parking lot where it crossed a field on top of a hill.

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Hike: Terrace/Weeks

SUMMARY

In September 2016 I hiked Terrace Mountain, Mount Weeks and Middle Weeks. The goal was to hit Mount Weeks for my New England Hundred Highest list and to red-line some trails, mainly to get the section of the Kilkenny Ridge Trail between Middle Weeks and Bunnel Notch Trail. I also had a side goal of bushwhacking to a knob to the east of Mount Weeks, if I had the time.

I started and ended this hike from the small parking lot at the head of York Pond Trail. I headed up Bunnel Notch Trail to the junction with Kilkenny Ridge Trail and then headed south toward Terrace Mountain. I took the small spur trail to Terrace Mountain summit and continued southeast to Mount Weeks and Middle Weeks. I returned to Mount Weeks and attempted a bushwhack, returned to the trail and then completed the loop back to my car via York Pond Trail. The hike was about 13 miles with 4600′ elevation gain and took me just under 8 hours to complete.

Hike Terrace Mountain and Mount Weeks

Map of hike

I got to the parking lot at the head of York Pond Trail at 8:50 am. There were a few cars in the small lot, so I parked along the road out of the flow of traffic. There was a group gathered at the trail head preparing to hike up to Cabot Cabin for the night.

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Hike: Great Range

SUMMARY

Each fall a couple of friends and I try to take a long weekend to do some backcountry hiking and camping. In 2016 we planned a multi-day hike in the Great Range in the Adirondacks in New York. For me, this was the start of a new peak list. Having recently finished the New England 4000 Footers, I was looking forward to the Adirondacks 46 High Peaks. So, we took a Thursday and Friday off and headed to New York.

For this hike we parked at Garden, hiked up to The Brothers, Big Slide Mountain and Yard Mountain, hiked down to Johns Brooks Lodge and then halfway up to the Wolfjaws to camp at Wolf Jaw campsite. On Friday we hiked up to the Great Range and traversed Lower Wolfjaw, Upper Wolfjaw, Armstrong Mountain, The Gothics, Saddleback Mountain, and Basin Mountain and then hiked down to Slant Rock campsite. On Saturday we hiked up to Little Haystack and Mount Haystack before heading back to Garden Parking, following the valley out. The hike was over 24 miles and included 10,000 feet of elevation gain.

Hike Great Range

Map of hike (interactive map)

THURSDAY

It was a five hour drive from where we lived to Keene Valley, New York, so we started in the dark on Thursday morning. We needed to rent a bear canisters so we stopped at The Mountaineer, an outdoors equipment shop, for the canister and some other supplies. I spilled my coffee down the front of my shirt on the drive, so I picked up a new shirt so I wouldn’t smell like food in bear country.

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Hike: Corona Arch

SUMMARY

At the end of my trip to Utah, just before heading back to Salt Lake City, I took a small detour away from Moab. I followed the Colorado River around Poison Spider Mesa to hike Corona Arch. It ended up being my favorite hike of the trip, and was short and hot.

From the parking area on Potash Road, along the Colorado River, I followed the well-worn trail past Bowtie Arch to Corona Arch and returned the same route. The hike was across desert and red slickrock and featured a few spots with cables and ladders to assist the hike. The entire hike was very exposed to the sun, so it would be best to hike early in the morning or late in the day. In total, the hike was 2.5 miles with little elevation gain and only took me an hour and a half to compelete.

Map of hike

Map of hike (interactive map)

I arrived at the parking lot just before noon and there were three other cars in the lot despite it being the middle of the day and scorching hot. From the parking lot the trail climbed steeply to reach a railroad track cut into Bootlegger Canyon.

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Hike: Grandstaff Canyon

SUMMARY

On my last day in Moab, in August 2016, I went on a couple of hikes outside of the National Parks. My first stop was to Grandstaff Canyon (which at the time had been called Negro Bill Canyon, but has recently been renamed), home of Morning Glory Arch.

From the parking area on Utah Scenic Byway 128, I hiked up the canyon to Morning Glory Arch and followed the same route back. The trail was sandy and crossed a stream many times. There was also plenty of vegetation and shade. The hike was 4.5 miles with very little elevation and took me 2:15 to complete.

Hike Grandstaff Canyon

Map of hike (interactive map)

After breaking down my weekend campsite I made the short drive to the Grandstaff Canyon trailhead, arriving at 9:00 am. The temperature was in the 70s and the skies were finally clear. I could tell Grandstaff Canyon was a popular spot as there were already a half a dozen cars in the lot.

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