Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Isolation (attempt), NH
Trails: Rocky Branch Trail, Isolation Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 26, 2013
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes:  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Standing/Running Water on Trail 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: The first crossing right before the Isolation Trail junction was brutal. It involves either wading, submersed boots, or a very long jump or two to wet rocks. Water was unsurprisingly running fast and hard. All other crossings were relatively easy with a careful eye for a way across. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: We are the new adopters of Isolation trail. There is a short but disorienting and intense blowdown patch on Isolation trail near the junction with Davis Path. We plan to clear the trail in early June. It's passable with care. Took out 4 blow downs otherwise.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Plenty of water!! Make sure your four legged partner is a good swimmer because the river runs fast at the crossings. There is lots of moose activity along the whole trail, but concentrated near the Engine Hill height-of-land 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: We are the new adopters of the Isolation Trail and we wanted to check out the carnage now that the snow has melted. We found that things were in pretty good shape except for the blowdown patch we have been reading about since (at least) Sandy located on Isolation Trail right before the junction with the Davis Path. It's disorienting and intense, but passable with lots of care. We are going to come back in a couple weekends with proper tools to clear the way.

We spent Saturday and Sunday night in the Rocky Branch Shelter #2 despite the forecast for nasty weather. And nasty it was, with plenty of hail, snow and sleet both days. The shelter was in rough shape, with lots of holes in the roof and shingles missing. The corners (one having a tarp tied down over the roof) were dry and cozy, but the middle section of the shelter was wet and the floor was rotting out. I believe this shelter is going to be torn down and not rebuilt when it is deemed unsafe, and I don't think it has much time left.

We did not have good luck with the crossing right by the shelter and junction with the Isolation Trail. On the way in, we opted to take off our boots and wade across, which was ridiculously scary with heavy packs, very fast moving water, and temps so cold it was snowing. On the way out, we found one place to cross we could keep out boots on for down by the shelter involving a couple steps across a log. Crystal fell on the slippery log and went down into the water. It was bad and it could have been much much worse. Be careful on that crossing, and hopefully when it gets warmer and water levels go down it will be safer. We found all of the other crossings to be relatively easy and uneventful.  
Name: Brian, Crystal & Kya 
E-Mail: schuster at hsph dot harvard dot edu 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2013-05-27 
Link: https:// 
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