Showing posts from May, 2016

Bald Mountain and Artist Bluff

The Bald Mountain-Artist Bluff hike is a fairly easy 1.5-mile loop that provides great views of Cannon Mountain and Mount Lafayette in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire.

I made this short hike on the afternoon of May 26, 2016 beginning at the trailhead roughly a half mile from Interstate 93. If you go clockwise, the trail quickly ascends the small mountain and you reach a fork. The trail to the left goes to the summit of Bald Mountain, and the trail to the left goes to Artist Bluff and then back to the trailhead. The climb up Bald Mountain is fairly steep and rocky in many parts, but the views from the top are the best of the entire hike.

After climbing back down Bald Mountain, I continued on the trail up towards Artist Bluff. This is the main loop part of the hike, and the trail traverses mostly forested hill tops until you reach a short spur trail that takes you to Artist Bluff. The views from Artist Bluff were not nearly as great as from Bald Mountain, but still good nonetheless.


Mount Willard

The hike to Mount Willard is a moderate 3.2-mile (round trip) hike that gains nearly 1000 feet in elevation in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire.  As far as mountain hikes go in the White Mountains, this is a relatively easy hike, but the elevation gain is still fairly decent and continuous throughout.

This trail is relatively heavily trafficked, and on a weekday in May I saw maybe 20 other people on the trail. The actual summit of Mount Willard is only around 2800 feet above sea level, much lower than many of the surrounding peaks. However, the south side of the peak is an exposed rocky cliff that drops off and overlooks the valley below.

The trail departs at the Crawford Notch Depot, and you must cross the railroad tracks to start the trail. The first part of the trail is very easy hiking, but it soon begins gaining elevation. Soon enough the trail reaches Centennial Pool, which includes a small waterfall on a mountain stream.

After Centennial Pool, the trail turns further up the mount…