Monday, June 11, 2007

Best Day Hike in the White Mountains

A quick note from the road - covered in sweat, pollen and dirt in the Lebanon NH public library. Slept last night outside Canaan NH after a long day of brutal hill climbs, hauling my full pack on the back of my sturdy little Brompton folding bicycle.

When I go hiking, I like to get above treeline - the quicker the better. I also try to avoid crowds and expensive tram rides. With that in mind, the ideal trailhead is at a high elevation away from tourist infrastructure. In the Whites, that means the Caps Ridge Trail off the Jefferson Notch Road in the Presidential Range. The trailhead parking lot is at 3,000 feet, which means you can get up to treeline in about an hour of hiking. Push on to the top of Mt. Jefferson (5,700' or so) for views across to Mt. Washington - the truly ambitious can head along the ridge to Mt. Adams, or even continue on to Mt. Madison. There are a ton of options, from an easy 2 hour hike up to rock outcrops, to multi-day hut to hut backpacking along the Presidential range.

Get to the Jeff. Notch Road from Rt. 2 or from Bretton Woods - not too far from Interstate 93. More later - but for now the sun is shining and I've got miles to ride before I pitch my tent for the night.



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