Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Monroe, Mt. Franklin, Mt. Pierce, Mt. Jackson, Mt. Webster, NH
Trails: Dry River Trail, Crawford Path, Monroe Loop, herd path, Webster Cliff Trail, Saco River Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, July 20, 2020
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Many many cars at the Dry River trailhead, which was surprising. No lot, just park at the roadside. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All water crossings were reasonable, even with heavy packs. There's one tricky spot on the Dry River crossing above the shelter. Brought water shoes but did not use them. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Most of these trails are in good shape. There are a few spots coming down Webster Cliff where it is not obvious which way the trail goes -- could use a cairn or blaze here and there. In contrast, it seemed like there were hundreds of blazes in the under 2 miles of the Saco River Trail -- we've never seen so much blazing before. Dry River was the exception - lots of mud, water in the trail, and slippery footing. A fair number of blowdowns too. Brushing is pretty good though. The original parts of the trail are gorgeous, some of the best miles we've hiked in the Whites. The heart of Oakes Gulf and the headwall were incredible. But the many relocations are just not that great -- they have this "temporary trail" feel to them. Rooty, wet, little treadway as such, and not laid out in the best places for the terrain. And boy could this trail use some water bars to harden the trailbed! 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Dogs would love Dry River as long as they don't mind the mud. The ridge would be fine. Webster Cliff would be pretty tough on paws and has some steep scrambles that would be difficult for all but the most athletic pups. 
Bugs: Surprisingly, bugs were not a problem for almost the entire trip. But the area near the Saco River Trail beaver swamp was swarming with aggressive mosquitoes and deer flies. We're still scratching.. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Found and packed out a bunch of plastic bags. Came upon a pair of sunglasses at the Mt Clinton/Dry River junction that we left on the trail sign. A surprising amount of lost clothing (underwear, shirts, shorts) on the trail too. 
Comments: Took the Dry River all the way up to Lakes, and then followed the Southern Presidential ridge back to Crawford Notch. What a wonderful trip. Dry River Falls were a beautiful surprise. They were much more powerful than seemed possible given the apparent river flow. Oakes Gulf was pleasantly wild and it was a treat to see the flowers in the snowbank communities there. Had a nice time talking to the croos at Lakes and Mizpah, and lucked out with great conditions on the open ridge. Tried out various trail food combinations on this trip, with much success.
It's kind of neat how the Dry River gets tightly pinched in between the Southern Presis and the lower Montalabans (good luck keeping a trail in there), but then the valley widens out into a huge, much flatter area in the basin between the two ridges. This is very obvious up high, but it's easier to appreciate this change in valley character when you're hiking through it.  
Name: Medusa & The Castle 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2020-07-22 
Link: https:// 
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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