Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Isolation, NH
Trails: Rocky Branch Trail, herd path, Isolation Trail, Davis Path, Isolation Spur
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 18, 2014
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes:  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: We bypassed the first four large crossings on Rocky Branch river (see below). With today's water levels, the fifth crossing might be rock hoppable if you're incredibly agile, but we didn't chance it and crossed with water shoes - knee deep and easily wadable. The numerous other crossings were all rock hoppable.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: About half a dozen significant blowdowns with two annoying crawl under ones on Isolation trail just before Davis Path. Other than the typical mud and water running down Rocky Branch trail, things are in ok shape. Temporary paper sign still on the tree for the Isolation spur, don't miss it.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Hannah had a good day - no shortage of drinking water or muddy paws. She had no problems leaping across the big river crossing, but like her human counterparts, she slipped off the monorail and postholed at times (but didn't sink very far).  
Bugs: A few but not biting yet.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Started with dry trail on Rocky Branch - conditions became much wetter after the main climb and stayed that way for the rest of the day - it's not a question of IF you'll get wet on this hike, just a matter of WHEN. The start of the Engine Hill bushwhack looked very swampy so we decided not to take it - the Rocky Branch trail from the height of land to the main river was basically a stream that passed for a trail, very wet but plenty of rocks to move on. We bypassed the first two crossings of Rocky Branch via a herd path that started at the quarter mile sign (from the Rocky Branch shelter) - it was easier to follow at some times than others, but ended on the main trail right by the second crossing. Used the well used bypass around the third and fourth crossings as well. Significant monorail started just after the fifth crossing - it was a bit easier with spikes but the monorail was very unstable and we postholed and got our boots wet multiple times - many postholes were knee deep but the deepest few were mid thigh deep. We had made the last minute decision to leave behind our snowshoes and we were glad we did - the monorail was too narrow and unstable for them. A few bog bridges on Davis Path were visible under the snow but were not to be trusted with the overlying crumbly monorail. Isolation spur was very tricky especially on the decent by spikes helped get better traction on the soft ice. Plenty of springtime trip hazards down low (small branches, hobblebush etc). The trip down was still tedious but faster than the trip up. Isolation is rarely an easy get, but today was definitely the most challenging of the seven trips I've ever made in all seasons. Saw only one other person crazy enough to get this peak today. Great day out with Hannah and Ali, and congrats to Ali for finishing her spring 48 in epic fashion!  
Name: Hikes with Hannah 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2014-05-18 
Link: https:// 
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