I have to be honest here. I did this hike several months ago, when the weather still allowed it. The landscapes in New Hampshire have been covered with a thick blanket of snow for many weeks now, which is great for winter sports, but makes hiking impossible.
Mount Moosilauke is located in the southwestern part of New Hampshire’s White Mountains about 17km from the small towns of Lincoln and Woodstock. It reaches 1,464 feet high, which makes it the tenth-highest peak in the White Mountains. The mountain has been climbed for more than 300 years and is known as the ‘gentle giant’ among locals.
Mt Moosilauke Hike, New Hampshire
Mount Moosilauke is owned by Dartmouth College, a major university in New England that also maintains the trails and operates the Ravine Lodge on the eastern flank.
I hiked up on the Gorge Brook Trail that starts at said Ravine Lodge. The trail essentially followed the Gorge Brook for the first 2 kilometers or so. After it turned away from the stream, the trail became steeper and the hike more strenuous. The closer I got to the summit, the shorter the distance between switchbacks. An absolute highlight on the climb was a spectacular view of Jobilduk Ravine.
As the switchbacks eventually turned into slightly flatter terrain, the trees became sparser and smaller until they disappeared altogether – the so-called tree line. From the East Summit there was a fine view of the actual summit, a short distance away.
When I arrived the , however, an hour and forty-five minutes after leaving the Ravine Lodge, all views were obscured by a thick mist that refused to clear.
I quickly ate my pre-packed sandwich and headed down on the Carriage Road. That trail was in excellent condition – as was the Gorge Brook Trail, by the way – wide and not too steep. The first couple hundred meters of that trail down are part of the famous Appalachian Trail. After about an hour I hit the intersection with the Snapper Ski Trail that led back to the lodge.
The total distance of this great loop that combines three trails was about 12 kilometers. It took me three and a half hour to complete it, including a few stops at lookouts and at the summit.