Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Webster Cliff Trail to Mounts Webster and Jackson

I was invited to join fellow hikers Brian and Melanie on a hike to Mount Webster (3,910') and Mount Jackson (4,052'). I suggested hiking up the Webster Cliff Trail from Route 302 to these summits since neither one had done this route before. They agreed and it was a beautiful hike across the top of the cliffs with many viewpoints along the way. There was also several good ledge scrambles and rock climbs to keep the hike interesting. The weather was fantastic with lots of sunshine and a good breeze blowing to keep the bugs at bay and providing relief from the warm temps.

We crossed over Mount Webster on the way to Mount Jackson then descended the Jackson Branch Trail to the Webster-Jackson Trail back to Route 302. I had spotted my car here so we could drive back down to the Webster Cliff Trail parking area where Brian had parked his car. With great weather and plenty of spectacular views into Crawford Notch and beyond we all had a fun day of hiking! I'll keep the narrative short and let the photos tell the story of this amazing hike.

 Early morning fog as I leave for the trailhead

 Looking up to the ledges where our hike will take us far above the parking lot

Zooming in on the ledges

 The Webster Cliff Trail is a section of the Appalachian Trail

 A sign with lots of info

 Bridge over the Saco River

 Reflection on the Saco River

 A huge split rock

 Split rock from another angle

 Brian climbing a steep section of trail early in the hike

 A tree appears to be growing straight out of this rock

 Getting some views

 Stepping out onto the first ledge outlook

 Looking north through Crawford Notch

 Great view of Signal Ridge to Mount Carrigain

 Lots of mountains seen in this view

 Melanie takes a photo of Brian with a great backdrop

 My turn for a photo

 A view south in Crawford Notch

 The Willey House site far below

 Zooming in on Brian's car

 Mount Webster straight ahead

 Cairn on top of another viewpoint

 "Skull" on a cairn

 Brian posing with the skull

Comparable smiles

 Enjoying the views

 Very windy

 Mount Webster

 Looking back

 Melanie climbing down a ledge

 Melanie climbing up a ledge

 Here comes Brian

 Still climbing

 A view back to the last outlook

 Another ledge scramble

 Still ascending Mount Webster

 Another steep up

 Melanie at the top of another ledge scramble

 Looking down the cliff at the bottom of Crawford Notch

 On a precarious perch

 On the final push to the summit

 Brian climbing the final steep section to Mount Webster

 Mount Washington from Mount Webster

 Mount Washington and Mount Monroe below

 On the summit of Mount Webster

 Hikers on the summit of Mount Willard

 Railroad trestle in Crawford Notch

 Brian capturing the views

 On our way to Mount Jackson


 Bluebead lily

 Bog bridges

 Ascending Mount Jackson


 More ledge scrambling

 Almost to the summit of Mount Jackson

 On the summit of Mount Jackson

 Mount Washington from Mount Jackson

 Summit of Mount Washington

 Mizpah Hut

 Melanie feeds the gray jays

 Gray jay waiting


 Two gray jays

 About to make our descent

 Melanie takes the lead on descent

 Descending the ledges

 Brian carefully descends

One more ledge scramble on the way down

Big toad trying to look small

 Water crossing

Taking a break and cooling off

 End of the trail

Back at the beginning

Presidentials on the way home

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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