Day 95: The Presidentials and Mt Washington

Friday June 14, 19.6mi/31.5km

Mizpah Hut (1853.0) to Pinkham Notch/Hwy 16 (1872.6) (NH)

We woke up at 6am, since we were sleeping in the dining room, and it was needed for breakfast. The weather looked perfect, and we headed out at 6:30am up the hill.

There were building materials along the trail, it looked like dimensional lumber. And… rocks?

The views were amazing all morning. Sometimes the clouds would shift, and we would be in a temporary fog. Cool!

And not surprisingly, there was still a little snow on the mountainside.

Mt Monroe looms above:

We stopped in for a second breakfast at Lake of the Clouds hut. As expected, they had put out the leftover food for free!

After chatting with the croo, we were back on our way up Mt Washington. It’s a developed mountain summit, with lots of towers, buildings, roads, and even a railroad.

The view looking back down to the south, over the southern presidential range :

The summit was a busy place, as usual. We even met three other NOBO AT thru-hikers hikers! They do exist!

It was cold and windy up at the summit at 6288ft/1917m, so we didn’t stay long. On the way down, we had perfect timing and got to watch the cog railway come up the hill.

All afternoon there were amazing things to look at. Like the view down into the Great Gulf wilderness:

Or these tiny white alpine flowers that only seem to grow up in high elevations:

Further north along the ridge, we crossed a short snowfield. It felt just like hiking the CDT!

The last mountain in the presidential range is Mt Madison, it’s a very pointy mountain.

The view back over the presidential range was so colorful…

And the view ahead, down the mountain was so steep:

The trail descended back into the trees, but I got a couple of last scenery photos just before.

The last few miles were in the Great Gulf wilderness, and I saw no other people or signs of civilization. So different from Mt Washington!

I arrived to Pinkham Notch visitors center at 5:30pm, and Bob’s friends picked us up and took us to their house in Conway. After a nice dinner at a Thai restaurant, we relaxed for the evening with some nice treats – ice cream, whiskey, and homemade cookies!

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