WhiteBlaze Pages 2022
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$5 for printable PDF, AVAILABLE NOW. $9 for interactive PDF(smartphone version)
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 46
  1. #21

    Default

    Types of Passes on the White Mountain NF
    Annual Pass
    Valid 1 year from date of purchase
    Cost: $30.00
    Annual Household Pass
    Valid 1 year from date of purchase
    Cost: $40.00
    Daily Pass
    Valid for 1 day, specified at time of purchase
    Cost: $5.00
    In addition to the White Mountain National Forest passes, additional nation-wide passes are recognized on the Forest. Holders of the Interagency, Golden Age, or Golden Access passes are not required to purchase a White Mountain pass.


    So for a short trip if you are using a lot that requires a pass, its $5 a day. You put $5 cash in s special envelope that is filled in with your info and license plate number (bring a pen) , that is placed in a locked pipe with slot on the top. There is tear off receipt that you place on your dash. If and when the ranger comes to check that day they will match up the envelopes with the cars in the lot and write tickets. Its only a few of the major parking lots that require a fee. Usually its the lots that access an AMC hut. There are state owned lots that do not require a fee. Appalachia in Randolph and Lafayette Place in Franconia Notch are currently free although Lafyette Place is beng considered for one.

    Compared to Boston both Manchester and Portland are far less intimidating. IMHO Portland is the least intimidating as long as you have smart phone with nav ap to get you out of town onto RT 113 or RT 302 which are nice drives through the country. Logan in Boston will have more connections and possibly better deals but getting from Logan to 93 during the 3 hour rush hour in the AM or the 3 hour rush hour at night is intimidating. The highways are in tunnels where most smart phone mapping programs do not work. Lots of traffic with cars merging in and out and if you are in the wrong lane at the wrong time you may end up being forced out the wrong exit. IMHO Worth the extra bucks for Manchester or Portland. Both are a lot less stressful.

  2. #22

    Default

    Also note that parking lots fill up early in the morning. By 7AM the popular trailheads are full and spilling out onto the highway (in the few places that is allowed). Weekends are especially bad. Weekdays are not so bad, but you still need to show up early. July is typically a very busy month.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  3. #23

    Default

    The early bird definitely gets the worm for parking. The locals have figured it out and 7 Am is the former 8 Am, I am shooting to be at the popular tralheads at 6:30AM or sunrise.

    BTW, the other optional fee to consider is a NH Hike Safe Card. Unlike most other states, NH bills state incurred costs for rescues. Even though the rescue crews are usually made up of volunteers, there are usually state employees who run the rescue and they will bill their overtime costs to rescue. The big cost is helicopter time, the state national guard may be available to do search and rescue and may bill it as training time, but they may not. This could be in the thousands if the state decides a private helicopter is needed. Accidents are rare based on usage and it would be really hard to get lost on popular trails so most out of state hikers just roll the dice and do not buy one.

    https://wildlife.state.nh.us/safe/

  4. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-09-2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    24
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    I am still trying to decided what month might be best regarding best weather and not as many people and still not totally decided on a 3 day traverse or spending a week in the area doing different day trips and some overnight trips, which is sounding best. I can come anytime. I would love to spend at least one night in lake of the clouds hut just for the experience and tent camp at a site at least once in a secluded area but also open to camping in a valley at an official site right next to my car or even car camping in a remote area. I have done all forms of that before many times. I read of the best time of year to hike the whites being between memorial day and Columbus day. I want to avoid holidays and weekends to somewhat limit the crowds but are there any less crowded warm months such as possibly early September when some schools have started and less family vacations. Is the area just so popular it is like being in a city.

    Is there a month that commonly has the most AT thru hikers.

    Sorry if I ask too many question but it is all new to me and I have the AMC Guide and various maps and read of details on the section hiker website and was told by Philip of that site it would be best to rent a car instead of the bus system.

  5. #25

    Default

    AT thru hikers are kind of a minority in the whites, far more day hikers and short run backpackers. It is mobbed from July on (early June can be buggy. Hard to beat September, family vacations are over as the kids are back in school, NOBOs has better be through the area and SOBOs are long since past heading south. My pick of the week is usually the week after labor day week so this year the week of Sept 11th to the 18th is my shot at the dart board. Head up later and you get the earlu leaf peepers who do no not realize that they are two weeks early. The whites are effectively in Massachusetts back yard so its busy on weekends through and including Columbus day. See what reservations you can get at Lakes and plan around it avoiding the weekends if possible. The only down side with September is on rare occasions getting less rare is hurricane remnants heading up the East coast and soaking the area.

  6. #26
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-09-2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    24
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Do you feel I am concentrating too much on a night at the clouds hut. I read of the best time to be on mt Washington to be early morning because of weather and before the cog and road is open for less people and better view and getting there after a night at the clouds hut sounds like a good idea and then possibly going into a valley for tent camping the next night.

    The day hikes mentioned on this all seem very interesting. When staying at a campground in the valley can some gear be left at the site safely like a tent setup while being away for hours during the day and then returning to spend another night.

  7. #27
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-14-2020
    Location
    Evanston IL
    Age
    59
    Posts
    390
    Images
    4

    Default

    I can’t speak to the travel logistics as I thru hiked this summer, but I did one unusual and indulgent thing for a thru hiker. I booked huts for most of the Whites. The food was great as was the conviviality. Yes they aren’t cheap, but someone else lugs the food and it is almost certainly better food than you’d lug yourself. And the huts are right one the trail. It is a beautiful part of the country. Whatever time you go, bring a rain jacket and pants. Can’t imagine a poncho in what I experienced.

  8. #28
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-15-2011
    Location
    Lowell, MA
    Posts
    1,298

    Default

    If you do get a reservation at Lakes of the Clouds, it certainly simplifies a 3-day traverse. As others have mentioned, tent camping options in that area require a 1,000 foot vertical descent and ascent the next day. Still a rugged trip without it. One way to do it is to start from the north and spend the first night at one of the Randolph Mountain Club facilities, like Crag Camp or Gray Knob. Second day get to Lakes, although that does not get you to the Washington summit until afternoon. Third day is a long one, but the terrain is relatively easier (not easy) than the north. You also have a few different options, e.g., you could descend from Pierce or Jackson to the AMC Highland Center, head further south to Webster, or even spend a 3rd night at Mizpah Spring Hut or Nauman tent site (between Pierce and Jackson) if you wanted to break it up. That said, the likelihood of being in the Presidentials for 3 or 4 days without hitting some weather is pretty low, so be prepared for rain, wind, and cold. Lightning when above tree-line is non-negotiable. Find shelter or descend below tree-line ASAP if a thunderstorm is rolling in. You definitely need a map, and you should review the various points of egress along the route before you go, so you can move quickly if necessary to get below tree line to either wait it out, or bail. Depending upon where you bail, it can be a very long way out to a major road. It's a fantastic hike!

  9. #29

    Default

    The huts vary in their scenic view and attributes. IMO, Lake of the Crowds, Madison Hut and Greenleaf Hut are all in dramatic locations, at or above treeline with nearby features that could be hiked to even make it more dramatic. Zealand, Galehead,Lonesome Lake and Carter Notch have their charms but one step lower in the must stay killer view list. Mitzpah is just a hut in the woods relative to the others. The hut experience is an acquired tase for some. They are in incredible demand and AMC stuffs as many folks as they can legally fit in them. Each hut is different, but sleeping accommodations are a large group gender separated bunk rooms with 3 high bunks and they are crammed in to maximize capacity. Light sleepers will not sleep as there is a steady stream of traffic to and from the communal bathrooms, folks snore and fart and many are clueless on flashlight use. Meals are communal and when the hut is full, guests are seated "cheek" to cheek". There are no showers or hot running water so everyone has hiker funk, there is no heat in the bunkrooms. Some huts have a heated common room. There are usually families and kids and that means some kids may be unhappy and let the other guests know they are unhappy.

    There is usually some sort of presentation after supper and guests are guilted into leaving big tips for the croo. Meals are at a fixed time and IMO the best time to hike is way before they serve breakfast at or just before sunrise. The croo's temperaments can vary, in the early season they are enthusiastic but can get burnt out later in the season and adopt the fake smile for the guests later in the season. Croos work and live together, mos tof the time the vibe is good but other times things can be strained. They can work hard and recreate hard on occasion out of sight of guests. So if you are not into crowds and light sleeper your experience may be less than optimal. The trade off is walk out the door in the early AM or in the evening and the views can be incredible. The so called Golden hours are the 1 hour around sunrise and sunset and hard to beat a sunset from the Lakes dining room or from the nearby top of Monroe or the from the top of Madison at Madison Hut. The view from up towards Lafayette from Greenleaf with evening alpenglow is also hard to beat.

    For folks staying at huts for multiple nights the spacing is set up to make it an easy days hike on a nice day between some of the huts and not so easy between others. It just means a much lighter pack and no need to carry food. It is a minimum 2000 foot climb up to the ridge from the valley and varying approach distances so folks staying at the huts skip doing this on a daily basis. Days are much longer around the solstice in June, sunrise is around 6 Am and sunset is around 9 PM around June 21st. figure in some light an hour before and after. The sun rises much farther north and sets much farther north near the solstice and that means some great golden hours on north slopes. Waiting until the fall equnox cuts hours of daylight to 12 hours (7 to 7)

    So if you are really want sunrise or sunset from above treeline its hard to beat staying at a hut unless you night hike. There is an increasing number of folks who night hike to catch sunrise or sunset froma summit. The trails are well marked and pick a night with a full moon and you will not be the only one out on the trails. You also can park at the Caps ridge trailhead and do about a 45 minute hike to the first Cap and get a nice sunset view. So shifting one of your hikes either early or later can get you the sunrise and sunset if you are comfortable hiking with a headlamp. The sunrise on the ridge n Wildcat mtn is pretty special as there is a great view east for sunrise and then the entire east side of Mt Washington is lit up with early morning sun. The hike is up a maintenance "road" up the ski slope so it easy hiking in the dark. More than few folks hike up late the nght before and camp on the the ski slopes to catch sunrise (no water or facilties up there). its legal camping as the summit ridge is technically just below treeline (but has good views from various viewpoints.

    Many folks leave their tents setup for several days at a campsite, theft is rare. IMO if you have a car, camp out of the trunk and minimize what you leave. Lots of critters make their living raiding campsites so its best to leave the tent flaps open and let them do their thing. Rent a car with a trunk and avoid leaving valuables within sight. Car break ins can happen on occasion so carry your valuables in your pack and keep things out of sight in the car.

    I do need to stress that a visit to the whites is to many a trip to candy store with far too many things to sample in one trip. It is predicated on being in shape for multiday hikes or factor in rest days. The number one complaint from visitors is they bit off too much the first day and are too sore to go hiking the next two. Except for the trail runners, no one is keeping track so adopt a slow pace with plenty of breaks and hike long hours. Many crank out an early hike and get back to camp in in. Ideally hike longer days at a slower pace and mix in some early hikes with some late hikes. The other issue is that with Covid and lack of employees is plan to eat in. Buy a throwaway cooler and fill it up at grocery store otherwise plan on burning up a lot of time in the AM finding breakfast and waiting in line in the evening. Gorham does have McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts, same with the Conway area but plan on losing an hour. The trails and parking lots are least busy in the early AM so bring a trail breakfast and get an early start and avoid the mentality that you need to eat lunch at the summit. Summits are busy from around 11:30 AM to 1 PM with folks who plan their lunches and frequently the afternoon clouds start to bubble up and the haze on horizon starts to kick in.

  10. #30
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-09-2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    24
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Anyone have any experience or opinion on doing this area with a professional group where essentially you pay for a planned route, food, lodging and a guide on the trails for at least a few days and even some provided gear. I have never done anything like this because they seem expensive compared to my normal expense and possibly somewhat elementary from what I am use to and I already have a variety of needed gear. I have backpacked for decades and some with groups but mainly by myself for the last ten years. I have simply never been to the area and have not hiked above tree line for decades and wonder if that would simplify things but also allow me to have pretty much the same experience and enjoyment.

    I read of one three day trip each night staying in a hut. I commonly say the advantage of being by yourself is you get to do what you want, when you want and sometimes with groups feel like I am missing some activities I would prefer.

  11. #31

    Default

    Last thing I knew AMC runs or ran guided hut to hut hikes. THey used to do it during the shoulder seasons when the nuts were not as busy. Give them a call as their new website is the worst.

  12. #32
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-09-2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    24
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    I have read of their trips which I believe are full. I read of a company titled wildland trekking which sounds very interesting. Much more expensive than trips I commonly do but I guess very educational on the area and would not be by myself

  13. #33

    Default

    IMO, unless you are newbie or just lazy no need for a guide, book two nights one at Madison Hut, then Lake of the Crowds and then a room at the Highland Center or the hiker option at Shapleigh Lodge and use the AMC shuttles. Take the bus up to Pinkham Notch, stay at Pinkham then catch the shuttle in the AM to Appalachia in Randolph. The hike up to Madison Hut is 2 to 3 hours so you have plenty of time to get up there and check out the summit of Mt Madison. The normal route up to Madison is Valley Way from Appalaichia but there is zero view, you can easily do the Airline whose upper section skirts along Kings Ravine and still be at the hut in plenty of time. Make sure you catch sunset from the ridge on Mt Madison (15 to 20 minutes) from the hut. BTW, the RMC trail network is quite dense with lots of local trails and intersections, its easy to take the wrong trail despite great signage so pay attention. The hint is the huts are crowded inside so plan to spend time outside of them right up to supper. Most guests are in groups but they usually are interested in talking to other folks. Not the place for an introvert. BTW they do not sell alcohol but if you bring your own bottle but you need to carry it down as they do not carry visitors trash. Bring a sleep mask and earplugs.

    You have plenty of time the next day for the best of the best hike to LOC. You can easily add in the summit of Adams and Jefferson via blue blazes (the AT skips several summits to avoid the worst weather exposure). The one warning is the summit of Mt Washington is a zoo. Its loaded with tourists and there is long waiting line to get your picture at the summit. Its easy to spend way too much time there. There is a nice photo spot with sign just below the summit that is quicker. If the forecast is good no need to rush to LOC. The summit of Monroe is not far from LOC but the sunset views from LOC are pretty darn good.

    Day two after LOC is still real nice but a bit less bony and easier walking all the way down to Crawford Notch via the Crawford Path that diverges from the AT near the summit of Mt Pierce, dont skip the Monroe and Eisenhower blue blazes. You end up with wasted day the next day at Pinkham as you cannot catch the bus to Boston in the afternoon as there is not one. With a rental car you can catch the morning shuttle to Pinkham, pick up the car and still get a evening flight out of Portland or Manchester.

    The AT along the ridge is easy to follow. A lot of it is screed in to keep hikers off the alpine plants. If the weather sucks, a guide is not going to make it easier and they cannot change the weather. The hut posts weather forecasts every evening and the hut crews will advise you if its going to be dangerous day on the ridgeline.

    There are lot of folks heading between the huts. Sure a guide can point out the scientific names of the alpine plants along the way but they still look nice and odds are you will be too busy watching your feet or stopping and checking out the view. There are roads paraleing the ridge and plenty of trails to bail out if the weather does go weird during the day. (Note there is "rule" as to which way you bail, if you need to bail, bail to the west, to the east are two wilderness areas with steep wall glacial gulfs, yes there are trails that go there but they are inevitably steep and a long walk out.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 01-21-2022 at 12:00.

  14. #34
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-23-2019
    Location
    Harpers ferry wv.
    Age
    58
    Posts
    1,763

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pslates View Post
    Thanks for all the info. It is all totally new to me. I have not flown for about twenty years and never been to the area. I looked to drive but about 12 hours from my home which I would do in two days and that would be extremely boring and complicated following the route for me. Unfortunately plan to come by myself which is another reason to at least spend the night around others on a very popular route. I got a lot of info from section Hiker website.

    regarding Covid I have been vexed three times and to my knowledge never had it and no one knows what it may be like in the future but I have debated waiting a year because of that and allowing even more planning.

    I even debate doing a guided small group 3 day trip of the same route but so far see one and two day. I walk and bike over a thousand miles each year on solo drives and trips but will most likely slow going up the mountains and am not a racer and like a slow but continuous pace
    I've been wanting to go up there and hike before I get to old!
    If you're interested in some company on this adventure.
    But I would want to drive and take a week or 2. Let me know if you're interested.

  15. #35
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-23-2019
    Location
    Harpers ferry wv.
    Age
    58
    Posts
    1,763

    Default

    And I feel the same way it's a very intimidating kinda confusing place to traverse/hike.

  16. #36

    Default

    For a trip like that, add in a run over to Baxter State Park, the Whites will get you in shape. BSP is the whites on steroids

    Its about a 6 hour drive from the whites.

  17. #37
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-09-2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    24
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    I appreciate all the info and am sorry if I got off the subject. I also learned of an REI group hike in the area and the route they do but do not have the dates yet because of them looking to reserve huts for the groups and I ultimately prefer the common phrase hike my own hike but am fine with chatting when I meet someone or in the evening or even meeting someone or a small group to hike with and one problem since I have never been to the area is deciding what I want to see. In the process I learned of the Franconia Ridge day trip which sounds great also and I wonder if I should squeeze this in with even possibly a rest day between the two areas or just concentrate on the presidentials at least if I want to to the entire section.

    I might feel bad about myself for not doing the entire presidentials. I am looking to go at least the third week of June or anytime in the summer and the last I looked yesterday the flights in June from my area to Manchester had two seats left and I have decided to rent a car instead of the bus to the area. To do the franconia loop I wondered about staying at the Layfette campground at least the night before to get an early start which is always my favorite to beat the crowds. Then the next night I would prefer to stay somewhere else because Franconia seems like a great location but not my favorite form of campsite and I would probably prefer to car camp there but have not chosen a car to rent yet.

    If I decided to the Franconia and take a break the next day I thought of heading over to spend the next night at Shapleigh Bunkhouse and getting a shuttle the next morning to the presidentals possibly starting on the Ammonoosuc trail and LOC hut and possibly doing washington the same day or first thing the next morning giving me two chances and then Mizpah spring hut the next night. Back to Crawford the next day and stay once again at Shapleigh Bunkhouse and leave the next morning.

    If it would be common for most people to be able to do both Franconia and the entire presidentials with possibly a break day then I would love that or possibly having another day hike for just the norther section.

    Staying at Pinkham the night before starting the entire presidentials does sound like the best location for the time the bus gets to the trail. I believe I saw the bus does that route a good bit earlier than from Crawford but not sure yet the best place to leave the car to easily hike back to it which would be my preferred. I believe I read I would have to pay for a 2 person room at Pinkham for just myself to stay.

    Thanks for the great info and help

  18. #38
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-09-2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    24
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    I also wonder about doing the presidentials by doing the AT south from joe dodge lodge to simply avoid one bus ride and finishing at highlands center area. Would the hike up to Madison from the north be more interesting and worth the bus ride.

    I am in the mood to at least book my flight very soon then plan my exact route and stays currently looking to arrive Sat and leave Thursday with possibly at least one break day to be careful.

  19. #39
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-15-2011
    Location
    Lowell, MA
    Posts
    1,298

    Default

    IMO, the Northern Presidentials, are the most spectacular section in the Whites. Also the most strenuous. If I were traveling in with limited time, I would prioritize that, and I would definitely hit the summits.

  20. #40
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-14-2020
    Location
    Evanston IL
    Age
    59
    Posts
    390
    Images
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pslates View Post
    I also wonder about doing the presidentials by doing the AT south from joe dodge lodge to simply avoid one bus ride and finishing at highlands center area. Would the hike up to Madison from the north be more interesting and worth the bus ride..
    I found the hike from Pinkham to Madison very rewarding even in some chilly July rain.

    I’d start Pinkham, Madison Hut, LOC, Highland Ctr (arrange ride ahead of time, no signal in Crawford Notch) then back on trail to Zealand Hut, soak my feet in the falls there. I liked Zealand Hut the best, but was happiest to arrive at Madison. Your experience will vary and be weather dependent.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •