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Nippletop and Dial 7-21

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  • Nippletop and Dial 7-21

    Three friends and I started out at the AMR gate at 9:00 a.m., about an hour later than we had hoped, but thankful to be hiking on such a beautiful day. The day was consistently cloudy, but no rain.
    We took the Gill Brook Trail Cut-off, about 1.8 miles from the gate, and headed up towards Elk Pass. Along the way, we enjoyed the view of the smaller falls to our left, the pond on the left with some beautiful Gentian growing on its shoreline, and the next pond on the right, complete with yellow water lilies.
    Elk Pas was steep, but at least dry. We were glad to be heading UP the pass, and not down. At the junction to Bear Den, we turned right to head towards Nippletop, less than 10 minutes away. The summit was crowded, but the people polite. I was excited to finally be able to rattle off the names of the summits along the Great Range. Dix, visible to the east on the way back towards Bear Den, will be our next hike.
    The trail from Nippletop to Dial was a pleasure. The ridge-like “walk through the woods” was cool and quiet.
    Dial, easily identified by the big rock and the signs pointing to Bear Den and Nippletop, was empty when we arrived. Again, the views of the Great Range were impressive, and we were unable to identify any residual smoke or damage from the fire on Sawteeth earlier in the week, even though both trails to Sawteeth were still closed on Saturday.
    The trek to Bear Den took longer than expected but it too, was a nice stroll. As we approached the west shoulder of Noonmark, my friend J informed us that she was pretty sure she saw a bear “a while back.” She wasn’t joking.
    We pressed on over the shoulder and admired the change in vegetation towards the summit.
    The descent toward the Lake Road was soft for at least parts of the trail. I was impressed with the trail work where the old, severely eroded trail had been redirected just slightly, yielding a trail that at places, almost felt like walking on hay and mulch. The abundance of young birch and striped maple was also a pleasant sight. While steady in its descent, there were only a few sketchy parts for our tired middle-aged legs.
    We signed out, well, later than expected. But this hike was worth every minute, hour, sunset.....
    Last edited by hikinmama; 07-23-2012, 08:52 PM. Reason: wrong date given!
    #8495

  • #2
    Thanks for the TR Hikinmama. I always like hearing about what wildflowers are about (Gentians, Waterlilies). In two weeks I should be doing a high camp at Elk Pass and I'm keen to hear anything I can about the area.

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    • #3
      Nice TR. Is taking Elk Pass up to Nippletop first the better way to do this loop?
      http://www.adkhighpeaksforheroes.com

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JW1069 View Post
        Nice TR. Is taking Elk Pass up to Nippletop first the better way to do this loop?
        I don't think there's really a better way. I've done it in both directions, and I prefer the opposite direction. There are things to recommend the counter-clockwise direction, however, such as ascending the steepest part of the hike, as hikinmama mentioned.
        46/46, 12/48, 58/115
        46-R #6866

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        • #5
          We did it CW in late April, with snow on the trail down to Elk Pass it was quite easy.
          Enjoying the journey with my favorite hiking partner.
          Please visit ADKGurl's Blog: 46-High-Peaks

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JW1069 View Post
            Nice TR. Is taking Elk Pass up to Nippletop first the better way to do this loop?
            It was recommended by two of my sons who both know how steep descents are so tiring on my knees. For me, it was definitely the better way to go, plus, the final walk on the Lake Road is much shorter to the gate than if we had come out closer to the lake.
            #8495

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AdkWalrus View Post
              I don't think there's really a better way. I've done it in both directions, and I prefer the opposite direction. There are things to recommend the counter-clockwise direction, however, such as ascending the steepest part of the hike, as hikinmama mentioned.
              What he said!
              #8495

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Joe View Post
                Thanks for the TR Hikinmama. I always like hearing about what wildflowers are about (Gentians, Waterlilies). In two weeks I should be doing a high camp at Elk Pass and I'm keen to hear anything I can about the area.
                Have a great time!
                #8495

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