Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mount Eisenhower via Crawford Path


The weather forecast was indicating prime conditions for a day of hiking. My hike today would take me over two 4,000 footers. The plan was to hike up the Crawford Path to Mount Eisenhower via the Eisenhower Loop around to the Crawford Path again and back to Mount Pierce on the Webster Cliff Trail down to the Mizpah Spring Hut and across the Mizpah Cut-Off for the final descent to the trailhead.

Sun rising through early morning fog

Sun above the Presidential summits

Mount Eisenhower

Parking lot nearly full in the early morning

On my way!




It was a foggy start when leaving the house this morning but quickly cleared up going across Route 2. The Appalachia parking area was already full at 6:00 in the morning. The ride to the trailhead was beautiful at this time of day with the Presidentials in the clear and just a wisp of clouds above them. It was a good decision to leave early, the parking lot was almost full when I arrived.



First view of the Presidentials from the Crawford Path






The early morning air was cool and it was a brisk start as I moved quickly along the trail to warm up. Hikers were already on the trail with some ahead of me and several behind me, that would be the case all day. I was going to see a LOT of hikers today as I expected especially since tomorrow was going to be a rainy day and it appears everyone else saw the weather report.




"Helpful" ladders on Eisenhower





When I got to the Webster Cliff Trail junction I took a short break for photos and a snack. The views were fantastic! I was soon back on the Crawford Path making my way toward Mount Eisenhower. This would be new trail for me having always hiked to Eisenhower using the Edmands Path. I found all trails today to be very wet and this section was no exception. There was a tricky section of mud that required skirting around the edge with the aid of a few trees for handholds. But other than that a good pair of hiking boots got me through the wet areas with no problems.


A smoky cog train on the way up Mount Washington




A non-smoky cog train

Mount Washington summit

 Mount Monroe

I veered onto the Eisenhower Loop and began my final ascent to the summit. There were two places on the trail that had small wooden ladders in place. I'm not sure why these small ledges were deserving of a ladder because they seemed to be no more difficult than other similar areas that didn't have ladders. I was now above tree line and I watched as a large group of hikers that had passed me earlier were making their way far up the trail, they were really moving fast!

Looking back down the trail from Mount Eisenhower


Mount Eisenhower cairn view

Standing on the top of Mount Eisenhower


Zooming in on the summit of Mount Pierce

Mount Washington Hotel


This was not going to be a day that I would have the summit to myself. There were many hikers passing over Eisenhower today. It was going to be very difficult to get my usual panoramic view from the summit without a hiker or two in it. I waited patiently and was finally able to walk around the small circular summit and shoot a panoramic video while avoiding the few hikers that were there. It was just in time, minutes later the summit was full of hikers.


Heading down Mount Eisenhower



Zooming in on Marshfield Station



Dan and Nicole

I made my way down the north side of Eisenhower heading back to the Crawford Path. When I arrived at the trail junction I happened to see Dan Kennedy and Nicole Truax. I saw their post on Facebook yesterday explaining they would be there filming and interviewing hikers on the Appalachian Trail for Backpacker Magazine. Dan asked me if I would like to be filmed and I politely declined. I did ask them both if I could take their photo for my blog and they agreed. Dan asked me to send him the link to my blog and I said I would.

Dan and Nicole at work






Looking back up at Mount Eisenhower


Once again I was on the Crawford Path and now heading south. The temperature was warming up and it was time to zip off the pant legs and put on a short sleeve shirt. It was a nice hike back over to the Webster Cliff Trail. Except for a few photos along the way I kept hiking up over the summit of Mount Pierce and down the other side to the Mizpah Spring Hut. I continued to meet many hikers along the way.



A very muddy section of trail



View from the summit of Mount Pierce



When I arrived at the hut I took a longer than usual break to eat lunch and relax. After finishing lunch I walked back outside the hut to continue my descent to the parking lot. Before leaving I met Rachel and her four-legged hiking companion Isis. I regularly follow Rachel's blog about her hiking adventures with Isis. It was very nice to finally meet them on the trail. We talked for a few minutes and then I was on my way.






I hit the Mizpah Cut-Off and it was a quick hike to the Crawford Path and then 1.9 miles back to the trailhead. Passed by many more hikers both ascending and descending. I took the side path to Gibbs Falls and found a good flow of water coming down. A photo and I was back on the main trail and was soon back at the parking lot. I arrived to find a forest ranger checking for parking passes, something I don't have to worry about. I buy a yearly pass.

Rachel and Isis


Gibbs Falls


Afternoon view of the Presidential summits

It was very warm when I got to the car. The parking lot was overflowing with cars parked along the Mt. Clinton Road. I changed into some clean, dry clothes and had a cold drink from my cooler. Today was a perfect day for hiking and I'm sure that all hikers in the White Mountains had a rewarding hike no matter what trail they were on.







Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

2 comments:

  1. Absolutely love your pictures of these mountains. Great job with the camera.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks JoAnne, it was a lot of fun!

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