Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Loop Hike to Mount Pierce

After climbing and standing on ladders and scaffoldings for two days while painting my house I was looking for a short, easy hike. I also needed to be at my son's soccer game by 2:00pm. So I thought Mount Pierce (4,310') would be a good choice. My route would take me across the Crawford Connector and up the Crawford Path to the Webster Cliff Trail over Mount Pierce and down to Mizpah Hut and across the Mizpah Cut-Off back to the Crawford Path and back to the parking lot. A round trip total of 8.1 miles.

As I drove to the trailhead I could see that the high summits were in the clear. I arrived at the parking lot and it was already full so I parked along the road. There were many hikers taking advantage of the good weather today. It was a cool morning and I started out in a fleece layer but took it off shortly into the hike. I spent the first mile leap-frogging with other hikers.

I reached the Webster Cliff Trail junction and made the turn up to the summit of Mount Pierce. The sun was warm with only a slight breeze. There was a spectacular view to the north all the way to Mount Washington. I stopped long enough for a couple of photos and continued on to the Mizpah Hut. There were many hikers along the way.

When I got to the Mizpah Hut I zipped off my pant legs and changed into a short sleeve shirt. It was comfortably warm without the humidity that I have been experiencing on previous hikes this summer. I didn't stay long and was soon on my way across the Mizpah Cutoff. It was a quick trip across this trail back to the Crawford Path completing the loop from Mount Pierce.

I was setting a good pace but got careless when I stepped on a slippery log used as a water bar. I slipped and went down very hard with a full body impact including a face-plant. It took a moment for me to get back on my feet. My first thought was that I had fractured my cheekbone but I was fortunate to have hit a piece of ledge with a bed of soft moss on it. My only other injury was a wrist sprain. The legs were in good working order so I continued my hike back to the parking lot.

I arrived at my vehicle and was sore all over from the fall that I took on the trail. I considered myself lucky to have not been seriously hurt. A change of clothes and I was on the way to my son's soccer game. This was a great day to be out hiking and there were a lot of hikers taking advantage of the beautiful weather. I've hiked Mount Pierce several times now and it's always a nice hike any time of the year!

Enjoy the pics!

Full Harvest Moon through morning fog

Northern Presidential summits under a clear sky

The hike starts here

Gibbs Brook

Crawford Path

Downy Woodpecker

Another Downey Woodpecker on the same tree

Gray Jay

First view from the Crawford Path

Mount Eisenhower 

Webster Cliff Trail junction

Mount Washington

On the summit of Mount Pierce

Bog bridges

A look back at Mount Pierce and Mount Washington in the distance

A southern view from the Webster Cliff Trail

Mount Jackson summit

At the Mizpah Hut

A view of the Presidential summits after the hike

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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