The Elephant on the Side of Road, Jackson, 9.20.12

I’ve made several trips to Jackson via the Webster-Jackson Trail, and every time I pass by the Elephant Head spur trail, I think about going down that trail, but have never made time to do so.  On this time I decided to visit Elephant Head and that I would visit it on the way up to Jackson.  If I saved it for the way down, I’d be likely just to skip it and head straight for the car, like I’d done in the past.

The Elephant Head at the top of Crawford Notch.

This little side trail, .1 mile in on the Webster-Jackson trail is only .2 miles long, but it is one of those neat little trails in the Whites that brings you to special place in a short amount of time with minimal effort.

Spur trail to Elephant Head, off of the Webster-Jackson Trail.

The trail has easy to moderate grades, and is easy to follow, has some bog bridges and a few short sets of rocks steps.  These things, along with the short length, make it perfect for little Junior Explorers as long as there was plenty of supervision on the ledges.  On the ledges at Elephant’s Head itself, the views at the head of the notch are really nice.  I was able to see my car parked below, the train tracks and Crawford Depot, Saco Lake and beyond.  In the other direction, I had a nice view down Crawford Notch and to the Willey Range, across the 302.   On this morning, this was a peaceful little spot, and I can understand why someone left a memorial plaque up here for a loved one near the trees behind the ledges.

View down Crawford Notch, to the left.

View to the right from the top of Elephant Head. I could easily see my car parked down below, plus the Crawford Depot and Saco Lake.

Memorial plaque near the ledges of Elephant Head.

The rest of the trip to Jackson, was pretty uneventful being the usual jumble of rocks, roots, and of course extra water from this week’s rain storms.  That of course, did not stop me from enjoying the  lovely crisp day and the views out to a landscape ready to explode with fall color.  It was a great morning, once again being reminded of all the blessings I have, and finally visiting the elephant on the side of the road.

Jackson’s summit in the bright, crisp, morning sunshine.


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