Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Blue Job, January 1, 2014

Blue Job (1,357') from various trails, January 1, 2014.

Mileage (broken down by trail):  
  • Yellow "short" trail (right at the kiosk): 1 mile RT
  • "Slab" trail (not on map): 1.4 miles RT
  • Orange "westerly" trail (also takes you to the second summit): 2.8 miles RT

Elevation gain:  Yellow and slab trail: 393'; Orange trail: 494'

Trailhead:  4.6 miles down First Crown Point Road, Strafford, NH.  Ample year-round parking is available; lot is maintained.  

Lesson learned:  Orange blazes mark all the trails listed above.

It was cold on New Years day and we weren't motivated to drive far so we visited a stubby little peak closer to home, to get some fresh air and to try out our winter gear.

The elevation gain may be small but trek up Blue Job a few times and you'll feel it in your legs.  We hiked up twice, making for a 3.1 mile hike with 900' gain.  This is a great year-round hike when pressed for time. 

Plenty of parking in a well maintained lot.

If you go right, you'll walk the yellow trail. We went straight, bearing left (orange trail).

This is the orange trail, the longer route.

As the map indicates, the orange trail makes a right turn as it heads up to the fire tower.  Postpone your right turn and go straight following a path and cairns to the second summit (Little Blue Job Mountain), a clearing with wonderful views.

Head toward the clearing for the second, smaller summit.

Taken from the second summit.  The fire tower is adjacent to this cell tower.

It's easy pick up the orange trail again and head toward the main summit. Just back track and look for the orange blazes (if all else fails, head toward the big cell tower).

The fire tower.  Big cell tower is out of photo to the left.

We chose to take the slab trail down, to the left of the fire tower.

When facing the sign on the fire tower, the "slab trail" is on your left. 

Back at the trailhead we checked our time and headed up again, this time on the yellow trail.

The yellow trail offers a snowy corridor before the ascent.

Back to the fire tower before you know it!

Close to home, this little peak is great for families with small children. Today we saw several groups walking their dogs.  It can get crowded in summer.