Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mt. Crawford (3,119') via Davis Path and Crawford Spur, February 21, 2015.

Mileage: 5 miles RT

Elevation gain: 2100'

Trailhead: Route 302 - 6 miles west of Bartlett, NH - just across from the Notchland Inn.

Mt. Crawford is on the 52 with a View list (a list I'm not working on but you may be!).

We've hiked Mt. Crawford before (see previous report). It's a local favorite offering maximum views with moderate distance and elevation gain.  If you're hiking Stairs Mountain or Mt. Resolution, it's on the way so you might as well take the short spur (.3 miles) and grab Mt. Crawford too.

Today I hiked with Rich, Sandy, Joe, Becky and Mark.  We stayed up in North Conway Friday night and awoke to an outside temperature of -17°. 

But a warming trend was on its way and after a relaxing breakfast, we headed out to the trailhead.

Take the road to the left of parking to the bridge.

Continue over the bridge to this sign. Go straight.

The day was warming up and so were we as we made our way up the path, which starts out relatively flat but soon varies to include wooded side hill ascending and open slabs.  Today the path was broken out - good thing as we didn't see any blazes on trees to help us find trail against a very white landscape.

The footing is good and the trail never gets steep, just a continual uphill climb with very few flat areas. 

It wasn't long before we reached an opening in the trees.  The sun was weak (more snow predicted) and sky a pale blue but we were wowed with a sneak peek of the views to come!

Bits of mountainscape.

Soon after, we popped out onto the overlook and took in the expansive view.  The wind had picked up, shortening our stay there. We pressed on.

The overlook is a great place to stop for lunch, just not today.

Back into partial woods the trail meanders in and out of trees and open areas (snow covered rock and slab).  At one point there's a clearing up and to the left but the trail goes right, back into the tree cover, skirting the eastern slope of the summit.

There's a small cairn on this rock, go right to stay on the trail.

The views are tremendous and soon we arrived at the summit spur. There was evidence of hikers continuing on the Davis Path, probably headed for Stairs Mountain.  We went left and up the blank slope and into the trees.

Heading up the slope; the last push to the summit.

After hiking up the slope (slippery in the soft snow), we were back into trees for a bit and wound up at the cliff just below the summit.  It was icy today and we went left to avoid it. 

The view of Mt. Washington was incredible; so clear we could pick out the summit buildings. But the snow was coming and a cloud came in overtaking our view.

We were in awe of how clear we could see the peaks.
The wind was nasty but tolerable for a summit shot. 

Cold but smiling.

The summit is bare, no sign but it's obvious.

Stairs Mountain in the distance.

On the way back we blew down the trail and back to the car, managing to avoid a group of sledders.

We got back to our cars as the skies got gray and by the time we left The Moat it was snowing quite hard.  A good day out! 



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