|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Imp Face, North Carter, Middle Carter, South Carter, Mt. Hight, Carter Dome, NH|
||Imp Trail, North Carter Trail, Carter-Moriah Trail, Nineteen Mile Brook Trail, Route 16|
|Date of Hike:
||Wednesday, June 16, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||First car at North Imp. Only one other upon return. Room for 8-12 if parked properly.
I did not see any at South Imp. 19 mile brook was about 1/3 full in afternoon.
All of these trailheads are on NH16 north of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||19 Mile Brook - significant crossings bridged (some with deteriorating planks), minor crossings step over or rock hop on mostly dry rocks
Carter-Moriah - no significant crossings, minor crossings step over or rock hop
Imp Trail - most crossings step over or rock hop on dry rocks. Some sections of upper trail (after lookout) have water running over large slabs, so care is needed in choosing footsteps |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Most of these trails are in wilderness area, so blazes are few and many are faded. 19MB has most blazes and many have been recently freshened. Carter-Moriah have very visible blazes, but few. Other trails have few that are visible with many badly faded. Imp Trail leaving outlook was not marked and takes a steep downard turn to the right, with a very clear footpath to the left (going to actual summit?). Recommend some kind of marking at this key turn (perhaps on the exposed rock or double blaze a nearby tree). In many cases, footpath was fairly obvious, so I was not searching for blazes. When I had doubts, sometimes blazes were visible down trail and other times none in sight. Not unusual for wilderness trails in the Whites in my limited experience.
Most trails had some blowdowns that had not been cleared. (Again typical for wildnerness trails.) All were more or less easily navigated. Several are in areas that would require quite a carry of cutting equipment by maintainer or considerable effort with an axe. A couple are located near some challenging footing (e.g. wet rocks) or with tight clearances near high exposed rocks, so care needed to avoid slipping or wacking one's noggin.
All trails showing some signs of erosion, but all also have significant rock steps to alleviate this.
Several bog planks are broken or missing, but none of these conditions impaired progress. |
||Saw only 2. Many spots with access to running water, but some dry stretches. Many rocky sections and some exposed slabs and ledges, some very steep. You be the judge if your dog can handle the conditions. I probably would not recommend the entire loop except for seasoned trail canines, but shorter options would probably be OK. |
||Didn't see any bugs until the Carter Notch lake on way out 19MB. Morning started out very cold and windy, so that probably kept them away. Only an occasional landing, but I was moving faster to finish up and made no stops other than a break at the lake. |
|Lost and Found:
||Nothing on the trail. Someone left a large empty beverage bottle right next to my driver door in the parking lot that was not there in the morning. I packed it out to recycle. ||
||Many varying conditions on all trails. The hike was too long to remember all variations and due to hike length, I was not taking any notes. However, there was nothing that should discourage anyone from attempting these trails. |
There are some difficult areas, mostly wet or steep rocks, stream bed conditions (both wet and dry) and several very steep pitches (e.g. up north side of Mt Hight). No surprises based on trail descriptions in AMC guidebooks. A few obstacles would be scrambles for some, but not for others. Some areas require careful foot placement to avoid problems, slowing the pace. Many of the rocky areas had plenty of dry, flat rocks, making navigation easier. (If I gave a complete description of all conditions on all trails, this post would be longer than the AMC trail guide descriptions.)
This hike breaks my personal record of 11.6 miles (14.3 miles not counting the 1.5 mile roadwalk from 19MB to Imp trailhead). It was also my first hike ever that included more than 5000 feet of elevation gain. I am already paying the price with cramping muscles and several areas of pain, but now have logged #24 on NH4K (halfway there!), #37 on NE67 and #48 on NEHH, so might be worth combining what was planned as two smaller loops.
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.