New Hampshire Short Hiking Recommendations above treeline?

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zijin_cheng@yahoo.com

 
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New Hampshire Short Hiking Recommendations above treeline?

by zijin_cheng@yahoo.com » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:39 am

Hello all, I went hiking in Colorado and loved it, mountains off the freeway with beautiful views above the treeline, but its way too far especially considering I live in Toronto.


Planning a trip to New Hampshire in May (around White Mountain National Forest) and am looking for short hikes (8 miles round trip) that take place above the treeline? I went hiking in Lake Placid and a lot of hikes took place below the treeline which meant that spectacular views were reserved for the summit and not the approach.

I was doing some research, apparently Mt Washington has spectacular approaches but is too long, I heard good things about Mount Adams, but would like more options, and would like to defer to the experts.

Thanks a lot

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Re: New Hampshire Short Hiking Recommendations above treelin

by nartreb » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:50 pm

("purple forbidden city"?)

As you may have noticed while living in Toronto, the eastern parts of North America are covered in forests. Treeline in New Hampshire is around four thousand feet, depending on wind and soil, so there are no mountains at all with an approach above treeline.

Your large above-treeline areas with short-ish approaches are:
Presidential Range
Franconia Range
Mt Moosilauke
Mt Mansfield (Vermont)
Katahdin (Maine)

and various smaller peaks: Cardigan, Chocorua, Baldfaces, ...

Mt Adams and Mt Washington are about the same distance and difficulty, via their most direct routes. Washington's shortest trails are actually a little shorter and less steep than Adams'.

Here's a trail map:
https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.2742 ... =14&b=f16a

Click around on this site for tables of distances and elevation gain:
http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/washington.html

If you're limited to eight miles and you want to spend the majority of your hike above treeline, you'll want a shortcut. You could take the Caps Ridge trail to Mt Jefferson (I think the road to the trailhead will be open in May) and wander around the ridge from there. You could drive the auto road up Mt Washington, or the auto road up Mount Mansfield, Vermont (which also has a ski lift).

Or maybe you'd prefer to hike up some rock slabs so you'll have views during most of the hike, even if the summit isn't as high as the others: South Baldface via its ledges, Chocorua via Piper trail, Welch & Dickey loop, ...

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Re: New Hampshire Short Hiking Recommendations above treelin

by zijin_cheng@yahoo.com » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:27 pm

Haha no the romanization of my name is based of a Chinese dialect in southeast China, in Mandarin it would be Zi Jing Zhong.

Thanks for the recommendations, someone alerted me that May is blackfly season so I'm definitely open to moving it to late June early July.

I've found a couple of trails that seem promising, but don't have much info on how long I have to hike on each trail before I break out above the treeline, wondering if you or someone could help with that:

Howker Ridge Trail
Airline Trail
Osgoode Ridge Trail
Tuckerman's Ravine Trail
Caps Ridge
Franconia Ridge (via Greenleaf Trail)

We definitely don't mind turning back partway if we are too tired.

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Re: New Hampshire Short Hiking Recommendations above treelin

by vasocreta » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:15 pm

Mt. Madison could be a good option if you are looking for a hike that is roughly 8 miles round trip. Go via the Valley Way Trail and you are looking at approx. 4.3 miles each way. Most of the hike is under well protected forest but you are afforded some great views once above treeline and in the last push to the summit.

Here is a decent resource for more details: http://4000footers.com/madison.shtml

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Re: New Hampshire Short Hiking Recommendations above treelin

by zijin_cheng@yahoo.com » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:07 pm

Thanks, after much research, I realized I'm looking specifically for ridgewalks (or large exposed trails), hence my inclusion of Airline/Howker for summitting Madison. Are there any other ridgehikes in WMNF that I've missed?

What about Glen Boulder Trail?

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Re: New Hampshire Short Hiking Recommendations above treelin

by nartreb » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:17 pm

I gave a link to the map, above. You can right-click to measure distances (it will even measure trail distance if you keep your mouse over the trail).

Caps ridge is about 1.5 mi to treeline, howker ridge is about 3.4.

Airline is pretty scenic, but it's about 2.8 to treeline.

Tuck's ravine trail climbs the headwall; you get a lot of your elevation gain very suddenly. About 3 miles to any views, and it's a 'trade route' - very crowded.

Greenleaf isn't a bad choice for getting above treeline quickly - only 2.2 mi to the hut, less if you bushwhack from the rest area by Profile Lake. But you should strongly consider the Falling Waters - Bridle Path loop. Super crowded, two or three miles to first views (depending which direction) but it's a classic and I just prefer loops.

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Re: New Hampshire Short Hiking Recommendations above treelin

by nartreb » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:31 pm

Yeah, Glen Boulder is a good choice for you. You get views within two miles, and as you keep going you get the whole open ridge of Boott Spur to explore. One of the best parts of Mt Washington, and usually not as crowded.

You might also consider crawford path -that's about three miles to treeline, but it's a smooth and gentle three miles and the ridge from there on up is lovely. Edmand's path is a similar option, a little bit quicker to treeline.

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Re: New Hampshire Short Hiking Recommendations above treelin

by zijin_cheng@yahoo.com » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:18 pm

nartreb wrote:Yeah, Glen Boulder is a good choice for you. You get views within two miles, and as you keep going you get the whole open ridge of Boott Spur to explore. One of the best parts of Mt Washington, and usually not as crowded.

You might also consider crawford path -that's about three miles to treeline, but it's a smooth and gentle three miles and the ridge from there on up is lovely. Edmand's path is a similar option, a little bit quicker to treeline.


Thanks, we are excited to do Glen Boulder! Crawford path looks good, but i've heard its chock full of people on weekends, not that we mind, but we would prefer fewer people. Therefore I am looking at Mt Webster/Jackson as that looks like a less travelled path due to not being 4000ft.

If possible, I would like your opinion on foot traffic on weekdays for Glen Boulder/Webster, and I heard black fly season dies down end of June but mosquito season starts up?

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Re: New Hampshire Short Hiking Recommendations above treelin

by nartreb » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:18 pm

Webster-jackson is almost entirely below treeline. You do get a bunch of views from along the edge of Webster cliff, and you can see over the krummholz on the top of Mt Jackson. Plus there's an interesting alpine bog up there, but it's probably not what you're going for.

Weekdays in spring should not be crowded.

Best defense against black flies is to get above treeline. It's usually breezy up there, and that keeps them from pestering you. Exact timing is unpredictable - depends on snow melt.

Given a choice, I'd take mosquitoes over black flies every time. Less active during the day, less painful, and more sensitive to bug spray.

I got a bunch of clip-on fake dragonflies for my backpack, they seem to scare the horseflies, have yet to test them on black flies.

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Re: New Hampshire Short Hiking Recommendations above treelin

by zijin_cheng@yahoo.com » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:16 pm

nartreb wrote:Webster-jackson is almost entirely below treeline. You do get a bunch of views from along the edge of Webster cliff, and you can see over the krummholz on the top of Mt Jackson. Plus there's an interesting alpine bog up there, but it's probably not what you're going for.

Weekdays in spring should not be crowded.

Best defense against black flies is to get above treeline. It's usually breezy up there, and that keeps them from pestering you. Exact timing is unpredictable - depends on snow melt.

Given a choice, I'd take mosquitoes over black flies every time. Less active during the day, less painful, and more sensitive to bug spray.

I got a bunch of clip-on fake dragonflies for my backpack, they seem to scare the horseflies, have yet to test them on black flies.


What about the ridgewalk between Webster/Jackson? I thought that was above the treeline?
Yup we are getting tick spray for the dog also.

If Webster/Jackson is mostly below the treeline, Crawford/Edmands looks like an amazing option. Guessing that foot traffic on crawford/edmands is higher than Glen Boulder because its on the same side of Mt Washington as the Cog railway (change of plans to go July 1st/2nd).

Also thinking of doing Caps Ridge, steep but short.

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Re: New Hampshire Short Hiking Recommendations above treelin

by nartreb » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:26 pm

that map I linked has the option of switching to satellite view, you can see treeline for yourself.

Cog railway has almost no effect on foot traffic. It doesn't have much capacity, and the riders mostly aren't interested in walking. Sometimes riders will wander down from the summit to Lake of the Clouds, but not all the way to Eisenhower.
Generally the east side trails are a little more crowded than the west, because they're better known, and they're a little closer to North Conway. Glen Boulder is usually much less crowded, than, say, Tuckerman, though, because it's a much less direct route to the summit.


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