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Temporary Transplant to the Whites

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  • Temporary Transplant to the Whites

    I live in Burlington, VT, and I've hiked and bushwhacked extensively in the ADKs and Catskills, as well as Vermont. I did a loop hike over part of the Presidentials last summer, which was super enjoyable. I'd like to go back to the Whites, but there are too many choices for me to decide where to go. The Bonds look pretty breathtaking, but so does Moosilauke, Twin, Franconia Ridge, and the Dry River Wilderness. I wouldn't even mind re-ascending Washington, as I'd like to hike it this winter anyways, and I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to develop a deeper understanding of its layout.

    Anyways, any suggestions from those who are more experienced on good 'introductory' (overnight)hikes for someone used to the Greens and Adirondacks? I'd prefer something that really can't be found 'at home.'

    Thank you

  • #2
    As you probably saw, there are a number of good loops involving the Presidentials and the Great Gulf. Sphinx, Six Husbands, & north part of Madison Gulf Trails esp. nice. Same for the north side of the north peaks there. The Castle Trail to Jefferson is neat, with its "castles", and can be made into a number of loops incorporating a side jaunt to Adams. My favorite Washington loops: up either Huntington Ravine or Nelson Crag trails, south over Alpine Garden, then across the Bigelow Lawn by the Davis Path, and down Boott Spur (all this from the Pinkham Notch visitor ctr) -- or on the west side, up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, over to Clay & down the Jewell Trail. I've only gone to the summit of Washington once in the last 15 or 20 years. Too much fast food, vending machines, piped music, and buildings.

    The Pemigewasset is notable not just for all the great peaks around it, and the huge variety of trails, but because the whole area inside the surrounding mountain groupings is undeveloped. There aren't that many places in the northeast US where you can be in an area like that with high peaks & see nothing private at all.

    The peripheries have lots of fun too. The Carter range, the Baldface range, and the Wild River Wilderness between them, is a great area. Just as a day hike the Baldface circle loop is a classic, but you can do multi-day stuff in that wilderness or the ranges too. Same goes for the Mahoosucs to the north (though if you access them from the north side via Success Pond Rd, depending on the road condition a higher clearance might be useful).


    • #3
      Originally posted by rickhart View Post
      [...] I've only gone to the summit of Washington once in the last 15 or 20 years. Too much fast food, vending machines, piped music, and buildings.[...]
      You go during the wrong season

      I've had some of my most amazing alpine hiking experiences up there. Spending more than 24 hours above treeline in the winter is quite the experience.

      I like all your other suggestions as well. Lots of fun to be had in the Whites.


      • #4
        Hi David:

        Personally I'm more of a day tripper. I read a couple of things in your request one is for different experiences, another is that you are looking for multiday trips and the other is that you would like to do bushwhacks. The trek from Waumbek to Cabot and beyond is not a bushwhack but in the right conditions will give some you a little bit of everything. While many people do the bonds in several days. Bushwhacking many of the slides say to get on the rim or West Bond would be unusual although it's done and the other side towards Carrigain is rarely traveled in winter. I love the Sleepers between the trips and the New Hampshire Whiteface which is a trail and can be done in one day but in two if you wanted. Also bushwhacking off the Han****s is truly the road less traveled towards the Captain and Carrigain or on the other side of Vose Spur the Nancy and Lowell are also not for the faint of heart. Hope that gives you some different thoughts.


        • #5
          I enjoyed several multiday hikes in the whites... 35 years ago! LOL!

          On one trip, we parked at Pinkham Notch and hiked over Mt Washington and onto Franconia Ridge. There was (and probably still is) a shuttle to get back to Pinkhan Notch.

          On another trip we hiked Montalban ridge, over Mt Washington to the Northern Presidentials and down to Pinkham Notch. I think one of us had to hitch back to our car for that one. Life was easier back then and hitching was cool. I don't know about now.

          I did a Winter hike with a base camp at a shelter called "The Perch". We tented for warmth. After 2 nights out we moved over to Grey knob cabin. That was rebuilt

          A bunch of others too.

          The hiker shuttle is key for mutliday hikes.

          What kind of adventure to you like? That would help with suggestions.
          Leave No Trace!