Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Monday, October 1, 2018

Mount Moosilauke via Beaver Brook Trail - Woodstock, NH - 9/14/18

Mount Moosilauke is a mountain with no equal.   It has a unique summit, unmatched for the large  open grassy summit it offers.  It is the southwestern most 4000 foot peak in NH and has a long history with Dartmouth College and the Dartmouth Outing Club.  In fact, Dartmouth just razed and built a new Moosilauke Ravine Lodge to replace the old building that had stood on the location since 1938.    The summit catches a lot of wind, so be prepared for that.

We went there on Saturday October 14th, on just the perfect weather day; sunshine, 60's and minimal wind.    We opted to take the more adventurous Beaver  Brook trail from the east.  The trailhead is the Beaver Brook parking area near Lost River on Route 112, perhaps 10 miles west of Route 3.  This is not a trail to take during wet conditions, but we knew that wasn't the case on our day.

An early warning sign...

One of the fine cascades on Beaver Brook

The concern on this trail is the steep sloping rock faces alongside Beaver Brook that are often wet and slippery.   Trail stewards have added wood steps make things a litter easier.  Just remember that the wood can also be quite slick.

Nicely placed assistance.

The early slick part of the trail is also the steepest.  The second half of the hike is quite a bit easier, another unusual thing about this mountain.  Along the lower ridge we passed a herd path leading to Mount Blue.  We decided to save this for the return.

1st view at the alpine zone! 

No matter which trail you take to the summit, the entrance to the alpine zone is nothing  short of jaw dropping.  The trees fall away and you are propelled forward towards the grassy dome; broken only by the stone lined trail and some stone wind breaks near the summit.

Looking back down the beaver brook trail with the Franconia Ridge in the back right of the picture.

Rev was after a squirrel that was using the cairn as a safe haven.

Look at the nearly perfect roundness of the ground!  I can't think of another summit that is similar.

Still watching for the squirrel.

Looking down the Gorge Trail from the summit.

We couldn't have asked for a better day on the summit.  It was almost nap worthy.

Nick on the summit.

One of the wind breaks at the summit. 

Heading back down the Beaver Brook Trail.

On the way back we took the short herd path to Mount Blue.  It was less than 0.2 miles to the summit.  No views, but a worthwhile diversion.

Nick and Rev checking out the Beaver Brook leanto.

The final descent
I've yet to ski this mountain in winter, but one of these years I'll make the trip.  I hear it's popular with skiers.  In any case, it's a mountain not to miss.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  7.4 miles
Hike Time:  6   hours, including stops
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 3350'

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