Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mt. Pierce in Late Spring

View from Mt. Pierce summit.

Hiking for a view and a hut visit in the White Mountains of New Hampshire!

Last fall, my friend Jenny and I hiked up the Crawford Path to camp near Mizpah Hut in the White Mountains.  We slept outside as snow fell around our tent and experienced amazing views.  The blog post of the trip was one of my first on this website (HERE).  At the time, my friend, Anne, was cartaking at the AMC hut.  Anne is back at Mizpah - this time as the spring caretaker.  I decided to solo hike up to Mizpah to see Anne and visit the summit of Mt. Pierce.  Even in late May, much of the trail had snow/ice.  It was do-able without traction for a fit and skilled hiker.  The views on the summit of the 4,310 ft Mt. Pierce.

Here is how to recreate this adventure...
Steep ascent up Webster Cliff Trail to Pierce from Mizpah

Hiking Challenge Level: Moderately challenging - experienced.  The first section to the hut is a stead uphill climb over rocks.  The hardest part of the trail is the Webster-Cliff trail from Mizpah to the summit of Pierce which has a very steep ascent at the beginning including ladders.

- Rt 302 to Mizpah Hut (Crawford Path and Mizpah Cutoff) = 2.5 miles
- Mizpah Hut to Mt. Pierce Summit (Webster Cliff Trail) = 0.8 miles
= 3.3 one way
= 6.6 round trip
*This took me total about 4 hours with stops.

Gear:  AMC White Mountain Map #3 (Crawford Notch-Sandwich Range), Daypack with spring hiking gear (1 L of water, snack, rain gear, warm hat, warm layer, first aid kit, sunglasses, sunscreen, visor)
Summit Trail
* It was 70˚F in the Mt. Washington Valley and 38˚F on the summit.  I wore running shorts, hiking boots, t-shirt and carried a fleece, wind/rain paints, and warm hat.  All were necessary. 

Directions to Trail Head:  Drive to North Conway, New Hampshire.  Take Rt 302 West into Crawford Notch State Park.  Park at AMC Highland Center.

Trail:  I took the Crawford Path from across the road from AMC Highland Center to the Mizpah Cutoff, then summited Mt. Pierce and back down the same way, but there are multiple approaches.  Use the AMC White Mountain Map #3.

I had a great day hiking and the beautiful views of the whites.  This is one of the best and easily accessible 4,000 footers in the Whites and provides views of the Presidential Range including Mt. Washington.

Hiked this one solo.  Selfy shot.

To learn more about the Appalachian Mountain Club's Hut System visit their website: