|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Isolation, NH|
||Rocky Branch Trail, Isolation Trail, bushwhack, Davis Path, Isolation Spur|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, May 13, 2023|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Plenty of space at the trailhead. No bathrooms. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes |
||Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Crossing on ISO Express was high in the morning, but doable. I walked through the crossings on Isolation Trail in the afternoon, husband managed to stay mainly dry by looking up/down trail for hoppable crossings. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||A few random blowdowns on Davis Path and Isolation Trail. There’s a large blowdown patch on Isolation Trail that we climbed over. |
||Saw one large one today (Bernadoodle?) who was carried through the larger crossings. Seemed to be handling the deep, soft snow fine when we met on Davis Path. |
||None…wind helped. |
|Lost and Found:
||First time up Isolation via Rocky Branch in non-winter. Up to the Engine Hill bushwhack was drier than I expected. We didn’t try Engine Hill as I know it’s basically a bog. After the entrance to Engine Hill, Rocky Branch descends a bit and it’s essentially a stream bed. Easily rock hopped, though. More areas of wet once on Isolation Trail. We took the ISO Express which I had hoped would be dry. The crossing was high, but I was able to rock hop in the morning. Last “step” was a four foot leap…I wasn’t sure how that would go if we came back this way and I’d have to leap to the rock instead of the stream bank. ISO Express had some boggy areas, but we avoided most of them by taking a slightly higher track. Snow started very close to the intersection with Davis Path and it was mainly deep and unsupported. We postholed a bit here.|
Once on Davis Path, there was a monorail that was fairly stable up to the summit. Bareboots all the way to the summit spur and then spikes on. Summit is clear of snow. Spikes back on to descend the summit. We debated going back down ISO Express, but wanted to experience Isolation Trail in its full glory. Ugh! We should have gone down ISO Express…hindsight is 20/20. Davis Path after the ISO Express did not have a monorail, but did have a thick blanket of collapsing snow. A moose and one other hiker had done a lot of postholing here. It wasn’t great, but was considerably firmer than the disaster that is the top of Isolation Trail.
Isolation Trail is mainly a stream. Don’t bother keeping your feet dry. They’re wet from the Davis Path, anyway. The snow on Isolation Trail is still rather deep (a few feet), very soft, with water flowing underneath it. You will punch through into the water repeatedly. It was exciting to see just open trail with water streaming down it because you didn’t have to worry about the snow collapsing. A few largish water crossings that I just walked through. Poles are an absolute must for this hike.
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.