Mt. Passaconaway, #37, 5.29.11

With another free day yesterday, I chose to hike Mt. Passaconaway.  I was supposed to have a hiking partner, but since my son was still recovering from a cold, he opted to stay home.   He’s looking forward to a special hiking trip at the end of the week and decided to rest up for that instead.

I chose to hike up Dicey’s Mill Trail as this will probably be the route we’ll hike when my son eventually hikes this peak and I was curious as to what we’d have to deal with.  As I arrived at the Ferncroft parking lot, the weather looked a lot like the weather that we had experienced on the hike to Whiteface with the summits in the clouds.  I thought at least my son wouldn’t be disappointed for missing views.  I started out from the car at 7:45a, and it was actually quite warm and the sun came out just as I was beginning the hike, making it actually a bit humid.  I was going to get views after all.

The first 2.3 miles to the stream crossing near Dicey’s Mill are gentle and pretty easy.

The only stream crossing on the trail.

After easily crossing the stream, the trail starts to climb moderately and steadily to the junction with the Rollins Trail.  There is nothing really steep about this section, it just continues to go upward.  Thankfully, the temperatures dropped as I hiked up and the breeze started up.

There were quite a few sets of rock steps in the middle section.

The next section is nice as there are some switchbacks before the final climb to the top.  The last .2 miles are like the last .2 miles to many summits – very rocky, with larger rocks and a little bit of scrambling in places.  The summit itself is a high spot in the trees, which you get to by a side path marked by a sign.

Sign at the spur path to the summit.

The summit of Passaconaway.

The summit itself is not terribly exciting, but the views from the ledge right before summit sign are pretty good.  I arrived at the summit at 10:00a, then took a nice 30 minute break to enjoy the view, eat and relax.  Although the day was hazy, I could see the nearer summits easily and even make out some of the farther ranges.

Nearby, the Tripyramids, where I hiked last week.

View to the northwest, towards the Franconias and Pemi Wilderness. I could even see and hear the Kanc below.

Zoomed photo of the Franconia Range, the Lincoln slide visible.

I headed back down to the car, only seeing three people the whole day and a little wildlife.

On the descent, I saw a little snake.

I was on my way home before 12:30p, having a great hike with much better views than anticipated.  Only 11 more to go.

The last view of the day was one of the best ones!


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