Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Mt. Monroe, NH
Trails: Cog Rail Trail, West Side Trail, Gulfside, Jefferson Loop, Trinity Heights Connector, Crawford Path, Monroe Loop
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, May 18, 2019
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: $10 per person at the iron ranger at the Cog base to park/use the Cog trail. USFS lot open. Jefferson Notch Road and Mt. Clinton Road gated. Zealand Road open. Haystack Road gated. Gale River Road gated. Noted tickets on the cars parked along I-93. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Ice - Breakable Crust, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow - Drifts, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Postholes, Slush, Snow/Ice - Small Patches 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: None via this route. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: No foot path below treeline on this route, so no blowdowns. Drainage needed on Crawford Path where the newish scree walls are keeping the runoff on the footbed (resulting in people trampling vegetation to get around it). 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Shoulder season conditions - mixture of dry trail down low, new snow from overnight, drifts from the storm earlier in the week, residual snow fields from the winter, slush, running water, etc. Very sloppy above 5,000 feet today.

Via this route in today's weather, I did not need to use snowshoes or traction. However, if doing a hike with possible trail bailouts, snowshoes would still be a good idea, as there appears to be plenty of snow in the woods above 3,000ish-3,500ish feet (hard to get a good read on the rail trail due to the sun exposure it gets).

Cog Rail Trail was ideal for reaching the ridge, as it is largely snow free. A dusting of new snow above 4,000 feet. A few patches of residual snow high up (including the sideslope, which was soft enough to get purchase with bare boots). Some minor mud, and pooled water where the trail crosses under the tracks. Above West Side was slushy, so Gulfside or West Side seemed to be better options.

Gulfside over to Jefferson had stretches of running water, slush, etc. Some areas of overnight ice (breakable, not black ice) above 5,000 feet. A couple of short stretches of residual snow above Sphinx. Jefferson Loop had some portions with a dusting of snow, and plenty of slippery rock further up.

Above West Side Trail, Gulfside was a mess. Lots of deep slush/running/pooled water/soft wet snow from earlier in the week. Rimed rocks on Trinity Heights Connector.

Cog was running, but not the auto road, so the summit buildings are still closed up.

Crawford Path had some rimed rocks higher up. The usual sideslope snowfield not too far above the hut is still in full force. Soft enough to get purchase with bareboots today. Both lakes are still frozen over. Hut is still closed with a decent sized snow drift in front of it. Normal running water on the trail between the hut and the Monroe Loop (a few waterbars would make a world of difference and reduce the amount of vegetation being trampled). Deep drift in the brief scrub area.

Monroe Loop was mostly snow free with no residual snow and only a few hints of rime/new snow remaining this afternoon.

Heading back up Crawford, the clouds/fog started to lift a bit for the first time all day. West Side Trail was fairly good going with only a few stretches of running water/mud/residual snow patches.

Though the clouds held on longer than hoped, the wind dropped mid-morning just as forecast, providing reasonable weather. Nice to avoid monorail/water crossings/etc.  
Name: rocket21 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2019-05-18 
Bookmark and Share Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.

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