Monday, August 17, 2015

Mt. Franklin Ridge Walk via Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, and Crawford and Edmands Paths, 8/16/15

Mt. Franklin (5,003') via Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, Crawford Path, "Franklin Loop," and Edmands Path, August 16, 2015

Mileage: 8.4 (traverse)

Elevation gain: 2,843' (3,246 elevation loss on the descent)

Trailhead: This is a traverse that ends at the Edmands Path trailhead  - requiring a car spot. A car is dropped off at Edmands Path trailhead parking lot, located on Mt. Clinton Road, in Bretton Woods, 2.3 miles from Route 302 (near AMC Highland Center).  

The hike starts at the Ammonoosuc Ravine trailhead: From the Edmands Path trailhead turn right onto Clinton Road and travel 2+ miles until you get to the intersection of the Base Road. Turn right and trailhead parking is on your right  - WMNF pass required (you can also park at the lower parking area by the Cog Railway station).

Mt. Franklin is a peak on the Trailwrights list (a list I'm not working on but you may be!).  

Hiked with Rich, Joe and Sandy. Sandy was volunteering at Lakes of the Clouds hut on this very busy weekend and Rich, Joe and I headed up the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail to meet her when her shift was done.

Ammonoosuc Ravine trailhead parking.

If you parked in the Cog Railway lot, it intersects the Ammo trail farther down.

Emerald pool.
The trail was very crowded and occasionally we had to wait to pick our way up the steep rocks.

Things get steep after the pool.

Lakes of the Clouds up ahead.
We entered a very busy hut, found a table and had lunch. Sandy ended her shift and joined us.
After lunch we checked out the lakes. A group brought a canoe down from the summit and were paddling around the small lake; others were laying around hanging out in the sun.
Checked out the dungeon - where hikers can find shelter in winter.
I've been curious about the "dungeon" where hikers can seek shelter year-round.  The door is outside, located below the dining room of LOC.

Thru-hikers stay in the dungeon during the summer.
Though it smells oily, it isn't a bad spot.  Sandy told us the work-for-stay AT thru-hikers stay there.

It was hot and sunny and after reapplying sunscreen we jumped on Crawford Path heading toward Edmands Path (about a 2 mile hike on the ridge).

We skirt around the Mt. Monroe summit.
For the most part the path is flat and forgiving, with the occasional rock hop or up and down.  We got to the little summit cone of Mt. Franklin  - a bump, really - and took the ten minutes to run up it and get a photo.  This "run" up to the top is just a 65' ascent from the col! 

Raced up to the summit of Mt. Franklin to take a photo at the cairn.
Heading down that glorious ridge!

Relatively flat for the most part.

The views are spectacular, very clear and surreal.  Soon we saw the "cut" on the right side of Mt. Eisenhower - the Edmands Path.  The path was wet and a little slippery but we were down and at the Moat in no time.
The Edmands Path is in the distance (horizontal slash on the right).

Jumped on Edmands Path and down to our car.

In the past when hiking to the summit of Mt. Eisenhower, I've wondered just what a ridge hike to Mt. Monroe would be like (if I'd turned left at the Mt. Eisenhower loop sign rather than turning right to Eisenhower). 

Now we know; definitely a lovely ridge walk!