|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Washington, NH|
||Great Gulf Trail, Gulfside, Trinity Heights Trail, Tuckerman Ravine Trail, Lion Head Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Monday, July 8, 2019|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||$5/day fee to park. I was the 4th or 5th car in the lot Monday morning shortly before 7. Another car of two showed up shortly thereafter. Similar situation when I arrived back around 7pm. I don’t think his lot often if ever fills up :) |
||Dry Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||If there’s any hikes you want to do now that you’ve been avoiding due to high water cancel all your plans and do them tomorrow! Water is the lowest it seems to have been in a long time! All the crossings on Great Gulf Trail today felt totally safe and it was pretty easy to avoid getting wet too. Mostly your average rock hop. The hardest time not to get wet was when the trail turns left right up a little stream that you pretty much had to walk through. Waterproof boots will help here. There’s sections of trail with LOTS of standing water but there’s herd paths around them; just look. Please do not attempt the GG trail in high water! |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||I was impressed with the shape of Great Gulf until just past Spaulding Lake. Until that point I found the trail easy to follow and the blowdowns weren’t too numerous. Beyond Spaulding Lake there’s a big cluster of small blowdowns that you pretty much are forced to go around (there’s a beaten path) but step on some cool looking plants in the process (this is below treeline and the Alpine next zone though). All the blowdowns on GG seemed to be small but very difficult to maneuver around. I was just tall enough to awkwardly straddle a few but otherwise you’d be crawling very low quite frequently in that section past Spaulding Lake. While there seemed to be a fair amount of blaze and cairns along the headwall I was constantly going to far to the left and getting off trail. I’d get back on trail and do the same thing. Repeat. Other people were well off the trail as well but it is blazed in yellow! No blaze noted below treeline as it’s in the GG Wilderness. |
||Plenty of water but I doubt most dogs could handle the headwall (nor could many humans!) |
||I don’t recall any mosquitos yesterday; just black flies. Mostly at higher elevations. The wind was mild enough as to not keep them away. I recommend bug spray. |
|Lost and Found:
||My first time ascending Washington via the Great Gulf Trail. What a challenging and rewarding hike! Water levels are the lowest they’ve seemed to be for quite some time and will appear to remain that way at least through Wednesday (possibly later) so take advantage of it if there’s any hikes you’ve got to do with large water crossings! |
GG below treeline was in pretty good shape. I’m sure there were blowdowns but nothing absurd. Lots of large water crossings but they were more or less your standard rock hop today. No blazes in the GG wilderness but I didn’t have any issue following the trail. There was mud but less than I would have thought. There is sometimes a foot plus of water where I believe the original trail was but there’s herd paths around all that; just look as sometimes they aren’t glaringly obvious. This is mostly higher up near Spaulding Lake. One in particular was right near the Sphinx Trail jct. The only sketchy part of this section of trail was around the cascades. The cascades are very nice but there’s one part where I ascended a COMPLETELY wet slab of steep rock and there wasn’t anything to stop my falling to my death onto the cascades if I should fall. There was another much drier slab right after this but someone had put some debris in the way to hopefully break a fall here. Please use caution!
Spaulding Lake is beautiful! Continue on after you first come to the waters edge; there’s a better view shortly thereafernand I ate lunch in the wrong spot :/ Beyond here there are lots of small but real nasty blowdowns and some overgrown trail. The only time I had difficulty following it though was when it turns left to go right up a stream! There’s a beaten path on the other side of the stream so I’m sure this is a common mistake but the path peeters out very quickly. The first section of the headwall I found quite challenging. Lots of waterfalls and water to be careful of and lots of trickle scrambles. I’m genuinely unsure how a shorter person might do this. After wet section comes the rock slide. I found this part much easier although I kept getting off trail. There’s blaze and some cairns but somehow I kept ending up too far to the left.
All other trails were in fine and normal shape :)
||Liam Cooney |
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.