Starting off the 4k list with a bang, me, my mom and my faithful dog, Deakin, did an overnight backpack to grab 4 4-thousand footers.
- #31 Zealand Mtn. (4260′)
- NA Mt. Guyot (4580′) (doesn’t count on the 4k list but is an added bonus)
- #16 West Bond (4540′)
- #14 Mt. Bond (4698′)
- #30 Bondcliff (4265′)
- 20.9 Miles
- 4,720 ft. gain
- May 26-27, 2012
Trails: Zealand trail -> Twinway Trail -> Bondcliff Trail -> Wilderness Trail -> Lincoln Woods Trail
Online resource that we used: http://www.hikenewengland.com/ZealandGuyotBondsNH090814.html
Day 1: Started off at Zealand trailhead off rte. 302. To reach the trailhead just keep going down Zealand road all the way to the end (it’s a ways but just keep going till the dirt stops). The Zealand trail is quite a nice
flat start to the day, goes through woods and past a couple ponds. There are some boardwalks above some swampy areas. The trail starts to get steep about 2 miles in on the way up to Zealand Falls Hut. We started with a group of 5 guys and their dog Buddy. Buddy and Deakin quickly became trail run friends as we kept leap frogging each other up to the hut.
From Zealand Falls Hut you head up the Twinway trail. And up and up and up. This is a very steap section of the trail and follows Zealand falls till you get to Zealand Cliff. Zealand Cliff is a great stopping point,
we dropped our packs at the signpost and went the 0.1 miles to the lookout. Grabbed a snack then headed out.The trek to Zealand was about 1.7 miles and included a steap section that had a ladder. After a little push Deakin was up and over this section. Again there was a sign to Zealand summit, so we dropped our packs and went to 0.1 miles to the treed in summit. No views here just a sign and a sense of accomplishment for our first 4k footer of the trip.
We went down Guyot then took a left onto BondCliff trail to Guyot camground. It was super windy on the backside of Guyot and I went on ahead to make sure we had a platform. We had been hearing that Guyot fills up fast and will start turning people away at that point. It was only 2pm but we wanted that tent site. When I got to Guyot I tried to find the caretaker. I was in line after a group of four also looking for a spot for the night. It’s never good when the caretaker is wondering how to tetris tents on platforms to fit people in. Luckily making friends at Zealand trailhead paid off and the group of 5 guys that were ahead of us saved us a spot. Really made our day.
Note: Guyot campground is down the trail, a good 0.2 miles of down till you get to the caretakers tent.
We set up camp, grabbed water at the spring and in general took a rest. The 8 miles of up we did to get there made for some tired people and pup. However from the campsite you can do a little extra to West Bond for an amazing view. It adds another mile and ~800 feet to your day but rather do it now without our packs then in the morning with.
So after a good rest we were on our way again up to West Bond. And it was worth it. The view was incredible and for a while we were the only people + dog on the summit. You have a great view of Bond Cliff, Bond and Guyot. As well as several other mountains I couldn’t name. As we were taking it in Deakin started napping, puppers was exhausted and had no interest in the views apparently. I guess people stay up to see the sunset but we were more interested in dinner in the daylight so down we went back to the campsite. A delicious dinner and some cards then we were all exhausted and were asleep by hikers midnight (9pm).s tent and the hodgepodge of platforms on the mountainside. It is a great site though with a shelter, spring and outhouse. Fills up fast and the caretaker does try to accommodate but get there early! By 430 people were being turned away and camped along the trail to Bond.
Day 2 dawned bring on the side of Guyot. Both mum and I were awake around 530 and were having coffee by 6. It was a quiet morning in the campsite but made for easy walks to the spring to grab water for breakfast and to fill the water pouch for the day. A leisurely coffee and breakfast before breaking down camp. We packed up and were on the trail by 730am. We were more excited that we had only a morning of uphills then it was downhill to the car (and the beer waiting in said car).
Up and up we went to Bond, the tallest of our mountains during this trip. The view again was amazing. Also cool was that we could see the ridge trail that would bring us up to BondCliff. No dallying on this peak just a little looking then off to the next. The trail to Bondcliff is really amazing views on both sides but quite rocky. As we started to summit Bondcliff Deak was put on the leash since I didn’t want any flying dogs on our trip. Bondcliff was a great summit. Rocky and expansive and lots of views straight down the cliff. From here we took a little snack break to take in the last peak of our trip.
Then the trip was all downhill. In a good way for us. The next 8 miles was downhill and flat. We did admit that it got a little boring towards the end. Getting to wilderness trail felt longer than the 4.5 miles it was supposed to be. 2 miles on the wilderness this takes you to the lincoln woods trail for another 3 miles of flat. Flat was getting a little boring towards the end. We did cross a big river and a couple bridges, but at this point we were both kinda done. Luckily we made it the last few miles to our car and more importantly a beer. The beer wasn’t cold but we didn’t care. We made it all 21 miles and 4 (5 really) mountains.