East Osceola view
"East Osceola", (4,156'), the eastern peak of Mt Osceola
, is less famous and less often visited than the main summit of Osceola. The East peak would be almost totally unknown (like the West peak) were it not the thirty-fourth highest peak on the AMC's list of 48
New Hampshire peaks. As it is a bit harder to reach than its larger sibling and offers decidedly inferior views, East Osceola is usually hiked as an afterthought or solely for completion of a list. In winter when the road to the easier trail up Mt Osceola is closed, the route over East Osceola becomes the standard route to Mt Osceola.
The easiest way (in summer) to reach the top of East Osceola is to first hike up Osceola from the southwest, then follow the trail eastward along the ridge (seen in photo below). This trail is noteworthy for a short scrambling section known as The Chimney
East Osceola from Osceola. The trail between them follows the ridge; the Chimney is beside the small cliff at center.
The only other trail (actually it's the continuation of the same trail, the Osceola Trail) to East Osceola climbs its northeastern ridge from Mad River Notch just north of Greeley Ponds. It is somewhat steep. See the attached route page
For the route over the top of Mt Osceola from Tripoli Rd [closed in winter], see the Mt Osceola
East Osceola view
For the Greeley Ponds route starting from the northern trailhead (Kancamaugus Highway):
Take I-93 to Lincoln, NH (Exit 32). Take the Kancamaugus Highway (rte 112) eastbound a bit more than nine miles (you'll pass the Loon Ski Resort, Hancock Camprground and Lincoln Woods trailhead, Big Rock Campground and Discovery trail, and the East Pond trailhead) until you begin up a switchback on the Kancamagus Highway. The Greeley Ponds Trailhead will be on your right. There's a small lot at the trailhead, and additional parking at viewpoints higher up the hairpin turn, one of which is also the Hancock Notch trailhead. These are usually plowed.
The southern end of the Greeley Ponds trail (about 3.6 miles south of the northeast end of the Osceola Trail, compared to 1.3 miles for the northern trailhead) is 0.3 miles from the west end of the Livermore Trail, which starts on Tripoli Rd about a half mile from the Waterville Valley ski area. Ample parking, usually plowed.
WMNF parking fee
collected at trailheads.
East Osceola can be easily done in day so there is little reason to camp while hiking the mountain. However if you like to do backcountry camping check out the Backcountry Camping Rules
The closest roadside campground to the northern Greeley Ponds trailhead is Big Rock, on the Kancamaugus highway.
Recent trail conditions reports from multiple sources are collected and mapped here:
That site also lists road closures.
Generally, there's not much to worry about on these trails, barring enormous storms.
a view from the trail
East Osceola isn't too tall, and is wooded, so conditions should be more like the valley forecast below than like the forecast for the Higher Summits of the White Mountains
, but the high-summit forecast is worth a look especially if you're planning to linger on the open ledges of Mt Osceola proper.