Time for a day hike!

#10 Mt. Moosilauke 4,802 ft

Trail: Gorge Brook Trail Ridge Trail ->Beaver Brook Trail-> Carraige Brook trail -> Snapper Trail

Total Miles: 7.5    9.8

Elevation: 2,475ft

Trip Summary:

Time for a day hike and another one of peak bagging (new slogan of the summer!). Moosilauke is pretty isolated, being the westernmost of the NH 4k footers. So we choose this one as a longer nicer hike. The bonus is that the summit is above treeline and has a gorgeous alpine meadow.

To start we drove to the Ravine Lodge and parked off the side of the road. A few cars beat us to the trail, but we started around 830 so that was not surprising. As we started we saw the full map of the area, unfortunately we didn’t see the small sign pointing off to Gorge Brook Trail. The trail we took was very nice, easy way through the woods and up the mountain. We kept asking “when is the steap part?”. Of course right after we got to a section of about 4 switchbacks up the mountain. Once we were up the switchbacks we got to a sign! Bad news was the sign said we were on the wrong trail…well maybe not completely wrong, but longer and not the one we wanted. These things happen, so onwards!

Luckily this trail was not too much longer than the original and it was an easy slope most of the way.

Second part of the trail was nice a secluded in the woods, not too steep. We got to another sign! Only 0.4 miles to the summit and we’re on the AT. At this point all I’m hearing (from behind me) is “where is the meadow?” “Do you think we’re at the top yet?” “where is the alpine meadow?”

Luckily within 1/4 mile the trees shrunk and we were out in the meadow on top of Moosilauke. It. Was. Beautiful. And windy.

As we neared the true summit we started looking for a place for lunch. Luckily another pair was leaving a rock shelter (really windy) so we snagged it and settled in for lunch. The summit was surprisingly busy after seeing a handful of people on the way up. Our trail was apparently not as popular as the other. On the summit even out of the wind it was about 45/50 degres. And for a day that was about 80 where we started we were both a little chilly. Good thing our jackets were packed along with lunch. We saw some people that had mittens! Mum wished she had brought mittens…

To the summit for the photo evidence!

After being really confident on the trail we were supposed to take down (still on the AT) we were off. The trip down was really great, it went through a (mini) alpine forest to the south summit of Moosilauke before really turning down the mountain.

It was a great trip down. This trail was definitely more crowded than the one we took up but it was fine. Just more leapfrogging. Deakin also met another lab friend named Molly.

We said goodbye to the AT (for now) and continued down and down and down.

Lots of bugs on the way down, we were dying for a breeze! Nothing too strenuous on the down but we kept moving so that we weren’t eaten alive. Lots more signs down towards the bottom and another bridge crossing. The trek back up to the parking lot was a little wierd, there were a couple signs but didn’t know if we were going to the right parking area. We were! Back to the car and another check off the list.

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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.

Mountains:

  • #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′)

Trip Stats:

  • 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

Campground: Guyot

Trip Summary:

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.

Sign the the left (as you’re looking at it) of Zealand Falls 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,

View from Zeacliff

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:

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.