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White Mtn. advice sought.

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  • White Mtn. advice sought.

    Sylvie and I are planning a long Canada Day/4th of July w/end in the Whites. We would arrive before noon on Friday. We are looking for advice on car-camping locations, both free camping and govt. As far as hiking goes our thoughts are centered on above-tree-line hiking. Sylvie wants to do Franconia Ridge and I would like to do Castellated Ridge to Jefferson. Any comments on logistics?
    Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter.

  • #2
    There are several free, first-come first-served campsites along Gale River Loop Road.

    Gale River Loop Rd
    Bethlehem, New Hampshire 03574, USA

    It lies midway between your two destinations. Also a good base for hiking Garfield.
    Looking for Views!


    • #3
      The only advice that I would give you is to avoid the (single file portion of) Greenleaf trail off the summit of Lafayette during more popular times. The Old Bridle Path has wonderful views of the main ridgeline on the way (up or down) though. Have a great time!


      • #4
        Staying in the Twin Mountain region is ideally situated for exploring west-central Whites. Highly recommend WMNF Sugarloaf 1/2 campgrounds, about $20 a night, big sites, no showers (used to be able to buy them as a walk-in in one of the private campgrounds back towards Twin Mountain).

        Get an alpine start if you want to avoid half of Boston and Montreal (oops!) on the classic Old Bridal Path/Falling Waters loop over Lafayette.

        Chop 1500' vertical off your Jefferson climb and get two ridges for one by connecting Castellated to Ridge O' The Caps by the Link, starting/finishing from the Jefferson Notch trailhead. Be aware I was almost tarred and feathered by my group a few decades back when I erred in doing the link AFTER the two ridges. Best get it out of the way at loops start when energy is up.

        Have fun!


        • #5
          Where to start in the Whites, what is the recommended guidebook to begin to the understand the Whites (which may be different than the most comprehensive recommended guidebook)? For context, 27/46 completed comfortably so not looking for beginner hikes, rather beginner education on trails/peaks/how to best experience this area, including the AMC huts.


          • #6
            Contact Steve Smith at his Lincoln, N.H. bookstore He'll have the best answer for you.

            My 'go to' reference for the Whites is one of the books he authored: Wandering Through The White Mountains. Qualitative and quantitative lists galore plus many essays.


            • #7
              Cool thanks- will do!


              • Mike P.
                Mike P. commented
                Editing a comment
                Suspect it is too late, however, that section of the link tends to be worse part.

                Avoid Franconia Ridge on a Saturday unless you get there very early. If early ascending OBP will get you away from the hut so you aboid some hut traffic.

                Castellated is less frequently used than either Caps Ridge or another option, the Jewel and Gulfside to Jefferson. Caps is shortest but among steepest, Castellated has most elevation gain and narrow, not a place to be in a t-storm, Jewell offers a lot of treeline with a better footbed and while still a bad place in weather, allows for quicker travel and at least is a wide ridge.