The Dix Trail from Round Pond in the Dix Mountain Wilderness is one of my favorite trails. I've never had good visibility when I've hiked it in winter though, and while my wife Leesa has climbed Dix, she had never been up this trail before. That was all the motivation I needed to decide it should be our plan for today.
We were on the trail at 8:30. After reaching Round Pond in .5 miles, the trail climbs about 500' before following a roughly level course all the way to the Boquet lean-to.
The lean-to was occupied as we passed by. It often is, even in the winter, especially on weekends. Once passed the lean-to, the trail climbs at a moderate grade until you cross a slide. After this point, the stretch of trail that follows is the steepest trail in the high peaks.
Fortunately, the hard packed snow was perfect for climbing and we had no difficulties, other than the steepness.
|View of Noonmark and Giant from the slide|
The temperature was in the low 30's and we were blessed to have some blue skies for the majority of the day. Leesa was dragging as we ascended the steep pitch, but she just plugged along at a slow steady pace.
The pitch eases up as the ridge trail is reached. The remainder of the hike up the ridge is quite easy compared to most final approaches.
|Pretty ice in the trees|
I couldn't believe it, but the wind died down shortly before we reached the summit and we were lucky to have a relatively calm summit visit.
The views in all directions from Dix are stunning... the Great Range, Giant & Rocky Peak, Elk Lake, East Dix, Lake Champlain, and on and on...
|The Great Range|
|Rev on the summit ridge|
|Rev looking down at us|
Of course I could have gone on snapping pictures all day, but you get the idea. Summits on days like today are awesome.
|Spotted Mountain and East Dix (Grace)|
|The Great Range again|
|Trees fighting the ice|
|Giant and Rocky Peak|
|a closer look and Giant and Rocky Peak|
We went down the same way we went up. Leesa practiced her butt sliding on the way down and I ran ahead of her in case I had to stop her. Even Rev was a little unsure of the steep pitch on the way down. Fortunately there was almost no ice to deal with and everything went smoothly on the descent. This is still one of my favorite trails!
Hike Distance: 13.4 miles
Hike Time: 7.5 hours, including stops
Total Vertical Gain: ~3500'
|Our Route (click image to enlarge)|