The Osceolas, #11 and #12 for Cam, 6.22.11

My son wanted to bag two peaks in one hike, so after a quick look at the list and knowing his abilities, I suggested the Osceolas.  I had already hiked both peaks, but I hadn’t been to Osceola since 2006.  We chose to take the Mt. Osceola trail starting on Tripoli Rd., going out and back to East Osceola.

We didn’t have to get up nearly as early as some other hikes, as the trailhead is a little closer to home than others.  After arriving and immediately putting on bug repellent in the parking lot, we were on the trail a little before 8:00a.

At the trailhead, ready to go.

What I remembered from my first hike here years ago, the rocks, hadn’t changed.  My son thought the rocks were fun, but I told him he’d hate those rocks before the end of the hike.  (Yes, mom was right, too!)  We quickly came to the switchbacks and made our way upward.  The whole trail has gentle to moderate grades and is fairly short, only 3.2 miles to the summit of Osceola.  We arrived on the summit a little after 10:00a.  The bugs were out, but not as bad as I’d encountered on the summit of Carter Dome the previous week.

On the summit of Mt. Osceola.

View of Waterville Valley from the summit.

View over to East Osceola, our other peak for the day.

After a snack and pictures, we started the 1 mile hike over to East Osceola.  This portion of the trail was new for me, as I had been to Osceola once the way we came up and to East Osceola from the Kanc side via the Greeley Ponds and Mt. Osceola trails.  After some careful, steep descending we found ourselves at the chimney and on the bypass. My son did a great job, carefully going down the bypass.  After the chimney, the trail starts the climb up to the East Osceola summit.  At the summit we ate lunch and chatted with another hiker who arrived a little later and doing the same hike.

A look up the chimney.

View on the way over to East Osceola, the Franconia Range was visible today.

At the summit of East Osceola.

After a nice break, it was time to hit the trail and head back to the car.  Back at the chimney, my son decided not to climb it, but rather to take the bypass again.  I wanted to climb the chimney, but at the same time, I wasn’t going to push my son to do something he didn’t want to do.  He was confident enough to climb right up the bypass, so that was fine.  I can always go back and climb the chimney another day.  After some more hiking upward, we were back at the summit ledges of Osceola and then headed back to the car.  We counted switchbacks to make the time go faster on the way down and by the time we got to the car, we were certainly ready to be done with the rocks.

Back on the summit of Osceola, looking out toward the Tripyramids.

We had a good day with sunshine and no rain until the ride home.  My son was happy with bagging two new peaks, and it was fun for me to try a section of trail I hadn’t been on before.


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