Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Warm Hike Up Signal Ridge to Mount Carrigain

The forecast called for a warm day and partly cloudy skies with possible late day thunderstorms. This sounded like a good day to get an early start and hike Mount Carrigain (4,700'). My hike would take me out and back on the Signal Ridge Trail for a round trip total of ten miles.

I left the house at the crack of dawn. As I came through Pinkham Notch the sunrise was beginning to hit the summits. I stopped and got a photo of the early morning  sun shining on Glen Boulder. The sun was high in the sky when I arrived at the trailhead on Sawyer River Road.

There were other hikers parked here before me so I would not be the first one on the trail today. A cool breeze was blowing in the parking lot when I started my hike. Soon after I got into the woods and up the trail it started getting warm and I was down to shorts and short sleeves.

The first couple of miles is mostly flat with a gradual climb, a nice warm-up. The trail then begins a steady, moderate climb and there was not even a wisp of a breeze. There was a hint of humidity and it made for a very warm hike. When I got to Signal Ridge the air was cooler and it felt good. After a few photos I kept moving on to the summit.

As I got up to the summit I was met by a couple of dogs and a hiker. I noticed there was no one on the tower so I climbed up before anyone else arrived. I had passed a couple of hikers so I knew I would not have the tower to myself for long. I was able to get my panoramic video and several photos before the other hikers climbed the tower. We talked and enjoyed the views. It was a beautiful morning to be on the Mount Carrigain summit tower!

I came back down off the tower and ate my sandwich before starting my descent. There were many more hikers arriving as I started the five mile return trip to Sawyer River Road. It was getting warmer and I was glad to have gotten an early start this morning. I kept meeting hikers almost all the way back to Sawyer River Road.

I hoped to get back down at noontime but I spent some extra time enjoying the summit. I got back to the trailhead at 12:30. This was my fifth hike to Mount Carrigain and each time I've had great views, today was no exception. It was a very enjoyable hike with spectacular views!

Enjoy the photos and videos!

 Early morning sun on Glen Boulder during the drive through Pinkham Notch

 The hike starts here

 Early morning sun through the woods

Signal Ridge Trail

Vernal pool reflection

 Easy water crossing

 Early morning reflection

Crooked tree

 Interesting tree

 View from Signal Ridge

 Mount Carrigain up ahead

 A hiker and his dogs resting on the summit tower

 Hancocks from Signal Ridge

 Mount Carrigain summit tower

 Stairs Mountain

 Mount Washington in the distance behind the clouds


 Signal Ridge

 Desolation Trail

 Loon Mountain

 On my way down

Summit of Vose Spur

Vose Spur talus field

Zooming in on the tower where two hikers are enjoying the view

A last view from Signal Ridge before descending into the woods

Mushrooms are starting to emerge

A look back up to Signal Ridge

Tree burl

Old beaver dam

Back at the water crossing

Back at the beginning

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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