Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Pierce, Mt. Jackson, NH
Trails: Crawford Path, Webster Cliff Trail, Webster-Jackson Trail, Bugle Cliff Spur, Elephant Head Spur
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: I am both cheap and lazy so rather than pay $5 to park in the USFS lot, I park alongside the road right at the start of the trail. Look for steps. Nothing illegal about this, most people just don’t do or know about it. It’s 0.2mi to Crawford Connector jct so is 0.2mi shorter one-way to go this way. Things didn’t seem busy at all in the notch at 9:15am when I arrived but man was it packed at 1:30pm when I finished.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Leaves - Significant/Slippery 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All easy rock hops.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: I don’t believe Crawford Path is blazed but it’s well travelled and very easy to follow. No blowdowns that I recall. Webster Cliff Trail is blazed in white as it coincides with the AT and has some cairns along the short section of it above treeline around Pierce and Jackson. Easy to follow. Webster-Jackson Trail is blazed in blue and easy to follow. All trails are eroded with Webster-Jackson being the worse so, followed by Crawford Path I’d say. Some bog bridges need replaced. In particular, on the Jackson side of the first alpine meadow along the ridge (if heading north, coming from Jackson) as the mud has swallowed old bog bridges up. Also, some of the bridges on Elephant Head Spur are in bad shape although some of them are not terribly needed.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: I saw a few, all well behaved.  
Bugs: I felt itchy as if bugs were biting me, particularly on the summit of Jackson but I didn’t actually see any. Some folk visiting from Oregon that I pointed toward Mt Willard at the end of my day did ask me what the small black bugs that bite into your skin were though...what she described sounded like black flies to me...I know it was unseasonably warm yesterday but I can’t believe the black flies would come back!?🙄 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: I’ve been a bad boy lately and have been loosing things left and right on the trail. Yesterday, I believe it was a blue New Hampshire Federal Credit Union water bottle that fell out of my pack. At least most of the things I lose are things I ended up finding and packing out in the first place lol 🤣  
Comments: My 12th and 13th grid peaks for the month out of 24 needed. Gridded out Jackson. Need Pierce once more in December. An absolutely gorgeous day. Would’ve been perfect for a presi! Not too busy on the trails but I couldn’t believe how many cars and people were in the notch mid-day when I returned. Mid 70s when I finished around 1:30pm and 55F when I started at 9:20am. Very sunny and minimal breeze.

I was surprised to see how wet things still were along Crawford Path given that we’ve had oretty dry weather the past several days. The trail is eroded and mostly down to rock so not terrible with the mud but lots of wet rock and mini-slab. Minimal water running down it and the trail in a few spots. Reached Pierce at 10:37am and only one couple was up there and couldn’t believe that they were the first ones up and had the place to themselves for awhile. A nice walk over to Jackson, mostly downhill in this direction. More wet stuff and rock. At least the mud situation hasn’t gotten any worse around the alpine meadow but it’s still bad. I stepped off to the left where there’s a herd path (unfortunately trampled vegetation) to avoid the stepping off the bog bridge and into terribly deep mud. Some of the bog bridges coming of the SW shoulder of Pierce to the hut are studded for traction...don’t see that often in the Whites! A handful or two of people walking the ridge between the peaks.

Only one or two groups on Jackson when I reached the summit. Going in this direction, it’s all downhill, flat, or only slight uphills, until you have to go steeply (including some scrambling) up the cone to the summit of Jackson along the ridge. Headed down, I ran into several groups going up and corn. One said that he’d stayed at the hut the night before and that it would soon be closing. He was only one of five staying there!

The leaves are accumulating on trail. At times, they cover up mud pits which can be tricky, for example on the Elephant Head Spur right before the bog bridges. To my surprise, there was no one at Bugle Cliff, and only two climbers preparing to go down Elephant Head. It had been awhile since I’d been to the latter.

Name: Liam Cooney 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-10-14 
Link: http:// 
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