Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Tom, Mt. Field, Mt. Willey, NH
Trails: Avalon Trail, A-Z Trail, Mt. Tom Spur, Willey Range Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, May 6, 2024
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at the Crawford Depot lot in front of the picnic tables. This large lot is dirt surfaced. It is usually plowed in winter as it is the main open lot for the Avalon Trail head. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: See comments below. Water levels are very elevated, but negotiable with care. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: If they can cross fast moving water, these are great trails for dogs. 
Bugs: Yep. They are awake in lower elevations. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Route:
Avalon > A-Z trail > Mt Tom Spur > Willey Range trail to Willey summit and back to > Avalon trail.

Avalon: Well blazed in yellow for all season travel. Snow free trail until 2700 feet when the monorail appears. The first water crossing was suprisingly simple using a small tree that has fallen across the stream. This was good as the stream was raging near the cascades. The point of crossing looked to have two deep pools that may be an issue if one falls in. The second crossing (the one that goes over lovely ledges) was achieved on a large boulder and some smaller rocks that were protruding above the chaotic water. The fast moving water was intense and intimidating, but doable. Once above 2700 feet, I donned spikes as the monorail is incredibly narrow. Sure, snowshoes would keep postholes down, but good luck balancing in snowshoes on that thin beam! Personally, snowshoes were not worth it. But that's me. Plus, the monorail alternates with some open sections of trail including large rocks. I'm not willing to tear up my expensive shoes just to tackle short sections of snowshoe-worthy trail.

Avalon trail from the junction with Willey Range to the junction with A-Z: the initial 0.75 miles could be snowshoed. There is extensive monorail, stable. But there is also a lot of water running under the snow. I imagine in the next few days the snow will be undermined enough to slide off the mountainside... Once down close to Avalon mountain's summit spur the trail drastically changes in nature. The stable monorail is gone, the ledges are snow free. There are many areas of open trail interspersed with snowy areas. Past Avalon summit spur, the majority of rock ledges and boudlers are free from enough snow that bare boots are possible. I opted to take off/put on my spikes numerous times as I could not risk falling. Due to the afternoon warm temps, the snow was visibly melting so it is likely this information is useless.

A-Z: well blazed in yellow all the way to the Tom Spur junction. After leaving the jct with Avalon, a large section of open trail deceives the hiker into thinking there will be lots of open trail. I'm no fool (most days)! I left on spikes as, sure enough, the monorail makes a grand re-entrance. The two water crossings on this trail were tricky, not because of the flow, but because the monorail was still a solid 1.5 feet above the running water. This necessitated dropping myself down to an available rock, taking the few steps to cross the water, then humping myself back up the same height of monorail stubbornly clinging to the opposite bank. Some crawling was involved... After the water points the trail maintains a fairly consistient monorail where it is not being undermined by runoff. There is a lot of runoff. In areas there is plenty of water running on trail exposing large rocks. Ice flows minimal, to the point I kind of regretted not ascending Avalon and descending A-Z. Rain started up on this trail making unstable pieces of monorail very unstable. Snow is still about a foot deep along this segment of trail.

Mt Tom Spur: not blazed, simple to follow. There is a precisely equal mix of monorail and open trail. They are just in short segments making spike removal pointless. Only two ice flows noted and they were in easy to negotiate spots. Summit carin free from snow as is much of the exposed areas of the summit. I celebrated gridding this peak with local grey jays.

Willey Range Trail: I know there is an overlap of A-Z after Tom Spur, I just don't think of it as such. This trail is well blazed in blue only between Field and Willey summits. From Tom to Field, the trail is a nice, stable monorail until the open blow down areas. Then there are lakes, I mean puddles, between snow patches. Snow was getting very soft in the quickly warming temps requiring keen focus to balance on the often thin monorail.

Field's summit carin is free from snow as is the first part of Willey Range trail descending off the summit cone. Then unstable monorail, open trail, a plethora of running water take the hiker down. The monorail starts back up once in the "spruce wash" areas, but man it is narrow. More pyramid shaped in the tightest corridors. It was an absolute chore walking along the ridge in these areas. No footwear is appropriate, all will slide off the thin walkway. Making my way beyond the thin corridor areas, a wider monorail is present, but remains narrow. Approaching Willey summit found snow free trail, including the summit itself.

End state: these trails are in their frustrating phase before all the snow melts. Multiple footwear changes will increase travel time. My feet were soaked the entire time because of all the running water on trail, even though I did not ford any water crossing.

Finally gridded these three peaks!! 458/576. Getting there...  
Name: Remington34 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2024-05-06 
Link: https:// 
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