Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Jefferson, NH
Trails: Castle Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 7, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: There were a decent number of cars at the trailhead when I got there, but think they were all on the rail trail as I didn't see anyone else all day.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Ice - Breakable Crust, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes, Snow/Ice - Small Patches 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Had to work to find a good spot to cross the Israel River, which is running pretty high. Not really rock-hoppable. If you're wearing boots, I'd recommend gaiters to keep the water out as your boots are definitely going in. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Could definitely use some work. There are probably 8-10 decent sized blowdowns on across the trail in places that you have to pick your way around/through. Be careful though as one of them has a birch widowmaker hanging right above it. If you pull on that as you are picking your way through it would definitely ruin your day/life. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: They are coming. Black flies were buzzing around the parking lot when I got back.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Pretty standard spring conditions, which get spicier above treeline. Lower down, the trail is in great shape, being pretty dry and with minimal mud. The snow starts around 3'100 and really becomes substantial after the junction with the Link. There are still decent amounts of snow going through the Castles. As always this time of year, be careful as it's easy to posthole between boulders. I wore my microspikes through the Castles, but didn't really need them for traction.

Once you get above the Castles and into the snowfields things are messy. Given that this trail isn't used much in winter, there's no firm base or monorail, so even in snowshoes I was postholing to my knees nearly every step. That final mile to the summit is a real slog right now.  
Name: ges 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-05-08 
Link: https:// 
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