Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mount Crag and Middle Mountain

The forecast called for early morning rain followed by clearing and breezy. While waiting for the deluge of rain to stop I decided to hike something short and low. The plan was to hike Mount Crag and Middle Mountain in Shelburne, NH using the Gates Brook Trail, Yellow Trail to Mount Crag then back to Gates Brook to the Middle Mountain Trail and return on the same trails.

Mount Moriah in the clouds

 Trailhead sign

 I went both ways

 Signs on Mount Crag summit

Trail to ledges on Mount Crag

There were a few sprinkles on the drive to the trailhead but no soaking rain. The high summits were completely shrouded in clouds. I'm not sure when breezy turns into windy but I think it crossed over into windy several times during the course of the day.

 East view from Mount Crag

Standing on the summit ledge of Mount Crag

Forest "tunnel"

This trail was a little difficult to find as I initially drove past it, turned around and parked where I thought it was. I jumped out, crossed the road and found the trail sign...this was the right place. I threw on the pack, grabbed my poles and was on the trail heading for my first summit for today.

 Reindeer lichen

 Middle Mountain summit

 Wind-bent tree

Bald Cap Peak

It didn't take long to reach the trail junction. Bearing right on the Yellow Trail it quickly got moderately steep and stayed that way to the top of Mount Crag. There was some nice open ledges at the summit that provided nice southerly views. I took a few pics and made my descent back to the Gates Brook Trail.

Garter Snake

At the trail junction I turned right and was once again making a very easy ascent. The trail was very nice without the usual rock hopping that is found on most trails in the White Mountains. I was soon at the trail junction for Middle Mountain.

 Bridge to nowhere

The trail continued its easy ascent and only as I neared the summit did it become moderately steep. I reached the summit and found limited views to the south. A path to the right took me to the actual summit and there was actually a "Summit" sign. The views were a little less obscured from this side of the summit. The wind was blowing steady. I changed into a dry shirt, took some more pics and then started my descent.

As I made my way back down the trail the clouds were clearing and there was a lot more sunshine. It was a pleasant hike back to the parking area. The air was crisp and Fall was definitely in the air today.

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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