The Presidentials from Mt. Avalon
Mount Avalon clearly contains one of the best view of the Presidential of all the mountains at Crawford Notch. This is a smaller peak that one achieves as they attempt to climb Mount Field and Mount Willey. As a matter of fact, it is difficult to determine the actual peak until you come across the cairns marking the summit. Views from the are excellent north toward the Presidentials and east towards Crawford Notch.
Mount Avalon is located in Grafton County in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The actual hike to Mount Avalon is fairly straight forward with well maintained and marked trails. The trail starts off on a relatively small incline but eventually turns into a rather steep climb to the "summit" of Mount Avalon.
Getting ThereBeginning at the town of North Conway, New Hampshire, take Route 302 norhtwest to the Crawford Depot which will be on the left side of the road and also being at the highest point that Route 302 reaches in this area. There is adequate parking here. The actual depot is a train station.
Once you've parked your vehicle, cross over the railroad tracks and look for the sign marking the trailhead. Head into the forest along the well worn trail and follow the signs towards the summit. As soon as you enter into the forest, you will see a large sign at a split in the trail. This sign has a map all of the trails in the area. Bear to the right at the split in the trail and follow the Avalon Trail, making several stream crossings, and then paralleling the stream. This portion of the trail is fairly flat as it follows the contours of the stream. At the next well marked trail juncture, make a left and follow this rather steep portion of the trail (continues as the Avalon Trail) to the summit of Mount Avalon. If you care to make it to the top of the ridge, you could continue on the Avalon Trail and summit Mount Field and Mount Willey.
Red TapeOn this trailhead there are no fees due to the fact that the AMC Crawford Notch Lodge is located right there.
When To ClimbThis small mountain could be climbed year round. Conditions could be pretty severe in the White Mountains. Make sure to dress appropriately and don't underestimate the conditions. Also, the day I climbed Mount Avalon, the steep portion of the trail was covered in ice. This area gets little sunlight. Don't let the flatter portion of the trail fool you for what may come. In winter crampons are nessesary. Though Class 1, the last half mile of the trail steep and is hard to do on snowshoes.
The AMC White Mountain Guide is an asset when climbing in this area. I've found the maps and information to be very helpful.
In additon, you may want to purchase the USGS quad sheet for this area: Crawford Notch
CampingThere is a campsite several miles south of the Crawford Depot called Dry River Campground. There are (31) primitive campsites available for $13 per night. Here is a link to the campground.
Dry River Campground
Mountain ConditionsThe Mount Washington Webcam can give you an idea of current conditions in the White Mountains
Here are two websites that will provided you the best information on conditions on Mount Avalon.
Appalachian Mountain Club
Current Trail Conditions
Weather ForecastsHere is a link to Weather at Crawford Notch. Take into account the elevation increase for weather on the summit.
Weather in Crawford Notch
Summit Picture LogPost all hero pictures here.
Special ThanksSpecial thanks to iceaxeman for his original submission of this page.
- Mount Washington
Good site for current conditions and weather.
- North East Ice
Good site for local ice climbing conditions.
- Dry River Campground
Information on camping.