|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Webster, Mt. Jackson, Mt. Pierce, NH|
||Road walk, Webster-Jackson Trail, Webster Cliff Trail, Crawford Path, Crawford Connector|
|Date of Hike:
||Thursday, June 10, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parked in Crawford parking area and road walked to Webster-Jackson trailhead. About 10-12 vehicles upon arrival before 6AM. Approximately the same number when returning at 3PM, but several earlier ones had left and others replaced them. Pleasant surprise as forecast was for cooler temps, but sunny skies. In passing Webster-Jackson parking, noted 4-5 cars at 6AM, and Crawford Depot was 75-80% full (both lots). |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||All water crossings are bridged or easy rock hop or step overs with one exception. That exception is the stream crossing immediately following the steep drop from the Webster Branch right after the fork. The water level is low. The difficulty results from various size boulders and rocks, requiring very careful route selection and foot placement. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||No blow downs blocking trail. Several branches, small trees blocking side herd paths that may have resulted from past blowdowns or to avoid wet, steep rocks and slabs. These seem to say "stay on the designated path", so I did.
I didn't notice many blazes, but whenever I had doubts about how to proceed, I could either see a blaze down trail or could identify the correct path with some careful study, with one exception. Some of the open ledges along the Webster Cliff trail lacked visible blazes or cairns. I did see some nearly impossible to see white blazes on rocks, but only while standing on them and some of them are half the size of a normal white blaze. Recommend some freshening of these.
There are many bog bridges (aka puncheons), especially on the Webster Cliff trail, in various stages of deterioration, including several totally broken ones. Fortunately, most of the unusable ones are in areas where there are alternate dry routes through the area, but could be problematic during or following heavy rain. |
||Some significantly steep and rocky areas on Webster-Jackson and Webster Cliff that could be difficult or challenging for some. Several streams available, but water flow on some was low. No water near summits. Hikes to the lower level viewpoints would be fine for all, but summits via W-J and WC, only for dogs who like and can negotiate steep rocks, scrambles. Also WC has two ladders on steep section following hut area toward Pierce. (Comment also applies to humans.) Crawford Path is rocky but easy to walk around most or on flat tops for others. Would be fine for most, at least up to Pierce. |
||Bugs stayed at bay until after Hut, then annoying from there all the way back to parking, but few biting. Maybe the cooler, windy early morning weather kept them away or they are just late sleepers. Or maybe it was the chocolate cake I ate at the Hut. |
|Lost and Found:
||None today ||
||I read several trail reports, including AMC guides, and all descriptions were accurate, so no surprises. I did the loop by ascending Webster-Jackson to Webster, then Webster Cliff to Jefferson, hut and Pierce, then descent via Crawford Path. |
All trails had a variety of trail conditions. Both W-J and WC have steep rocky sections or scrambles of various lengths and difficulties. Crawford path was rocky and had many more wet rocks than the others, but the grade was much easier. The longest and most difficult scrambles and near scrambles are on the Webster Cliff trail, especially near the summit. Other steep rocky sections are on WJ trail, but very few of them actually require hands (although in some spots that helped). People lacking a desire to hike that type of terrain or who lacks recent scrambling experience should look elsewhere to hike (IMO). The most difficult sections are the drop to the stream (and climb back out) on Webster Branch, the summit scrambles of Jackson and the steep climb just past the hut. All of these areas were dry today, making things easier.
Crawford had more running water on trail and had many more wet rocks (mostly on upper section past the hut cutoff). Many of the wet rocks could be avoided.
Otherwise, typical 4000 footer trail conditions.
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.