Last weekend, my wife and I planned to do the challenging Presidential Traverse in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. However, when we saw the Presidential Range summits covered in a layer of snow, we figured that a three-day hike maybe was not a great plan.
Although we were quite disappointed at first, we then decided to make the best of the day and to do a long day hike instead.
Hiking the Webster-Jackson Trail
The Webster-Jackson Trail winds its way through the trees and up the flank of the southern Presidential Range for 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers) toward the 3,910-foot (1,194-meter) summit of Mount Webster. Snow covered the forest floor and some sections of the trail even lead over a couple of feet of snow.
The views from Mount Webster were nothing less than spectacular, taking in the Presidential Range and Crawford Notch.
We then followed the Webster Cliff Trail for 1.3 miles (2.1 kilometers) toward the summit of Mount Jackson. Mount Jackson is 4,052 feet (1,235 meters) high and offers some jaw-dropping views too.
From the summit, we continued to the Nauman Tentsite and Mizpah Spring Hut, where we spent about half an hour eating some snacks. We wanted to check out the hut to see what it’s like, for future reference (we’ll definitely do the Presidential Traverse sometime later).
We’d been walking for some five hours at that point and decided to head back down to our car. The trail between the Mizpah Spring Hut and the parking lot in Crawford Notch is about 2.6 miles (4.2 kilometers) long.
The whole loop that we did was a little more than 8 miles (13 kilometers) long and took us a full seven hours to complete, including a few breaks to rest, eat and take in the views.
Accommodation in the White Mountains is available in towns like North Conway and Lincoln, the two towns at either end of the Kancamagus Highway. You can rent a car at Boston Airport and explore the area.