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About


Gulf Peak, Mt. Isolation, Mt. Davis, Stairs Mountain, Mt. Crawford
Pinkham's Grant, Sargent's Purchase, NH, Cutt's Grant, NH, Hadley's Purchase, NH, Hart's Location, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up the Glen Boulder Trail near Glen Boulder
Looking up the Glen Boulder Trail near Glen Boulder

Route: Glen Boulder Trail, (Gulf Peak), Glen Boulder Trail, Davis Path, Isolation Spur, (Mt. Isolation), Isolation Spur, Davis Path, spur trail, (Mt. Davis), spur trail, Davis Path, spur trail, (Stairs Mountain), spur trail, Davis Path, spur trail, (Mt. Crawford), spur trail, Davis Path

Ever since hiking to Stairs Mountain and thoroughly enjoying the Davis Path north of Mt. Crawford, I had a desire to check out the rest of it.

After meeting at the Davis Path parking area on Route 302, we headed up to the Glen Ellis parking area on Route 16. Though the Presidentials were in the clouds, Glen Boulder was in the clear - not a bad sign.

Despite the weeks of near-constant rain, the scrambles on the Glen Boulder Trail were fortunately dry. After taking a break at Glen Boulder, we continued to the summit of Gulf Peak, beyond which fog was lingering. Bitter (for summer anyway) winds forced us to put on our shells as we pushed our way into the mist. While normally the descent of the Davis Path from the Glen Boulder Trail junction is one of my favorite stretches of trail, the wind and limited visibility took away some of the appeal.

Back into the trees, I was shocked to see how wide the Davis Path was - perhaps as a result of ice storm damage, the trail was a perhaps six foot wide swath - a far cry from how I recalled it being. Upon reaching the Isolation Trail junctions, it returned to the width I recalled. After jumping over mud pits and big puddles, we finally reached the spur trail to Mt. Isolation.

While initially we had very little in way of views, the clouds lifted as we had lunch, revealing the southern-southern Presidentials, as well as the Sandwich Range and the North Conway-area peaks.

Our next stop was Mt. Davis. Back on the Davis Path, we continued to dodge mud pits as we worked our way to the next spur path. Reaching it, we were soon scrambling up the rock slabs - a bit slippery after the recent wet weather. While we were tempted to go to the true summit of Davis, the sea of thick spruce between it and the spur trail, as well as the prospect of a lot more southbound hiking remaining, convinced us to be satisfied enough with the tremendous 360 degree views offered from the 'fake' summit.

The Davis Path between Davis and Stairs seemed to go on forever - the mud pits certainly didn't help things go by quickly. There were some nice areas, however, such as small quasi-meadows and interesting cols.

The views from the top of the giant stairs of Stairs Mountain were tremendous - the best of the day thus far, thanks to the continually improving weather. After taking a leisurely break, we set off for Mt. Crawford, once again jumping over pooled water and mud pits.

The views from Mt. Crawford were probably the best of the day, as the clouds had lifted off all visible peaks (with the exception of Mt. Washington). Early evening sun provided very interesting shadows, thus only enhancing the views.

Still ahead of us was the rough descent of the Davis Path below Mt. Crawford - while not as rough as I remembered (perhaps some more trailwork had been done), it was nonetheless a bit painful at the end of the day. Reaching the suspension bridge a little bit after the sunset, the parking lot was a welcome sight for sore feet.


Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Gulf Peak (Slide Peak)
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Isolation
Length: Difficult
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Moderate
Destination: Mt. Davis
Length: Difficult
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Stairs Mountain
Length: Very Difficult
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Crawford
Length: Very Difficult
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Sunday, July 5, 2009
Hike Commenced: 8:01 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,975'
Destination: Gulf Peak (Slide Peak)
Ascent Commenced: 8:01 AM
Summit Reached: 10:38 AM
Time Elapsed: 02:37
Trailhead Elevation: 1,975'
Summit Elevation: 4,806'
Distance: 2.6 miles
Vertical Gain: 2,851'
Destination: Mt. Isolation
Ascent Commenced: 10:44 AM
Summit Reached: 1:06 PM
Time Elapsed: 02:22
Trailhead Elevation: 4,806'
Summit Elevation: 4,004
Distance: 3.4 miles
Vertical Gain: 808'
Destination: Mt. Davis
Ascent Commenced: 1:43 PM
Summit Reached: 2:33 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:50
Trailhead Elevation: 4,004'
Summit Elevation: 3,815
Distance: 1.4 miles
Vertical Gain: 365'
Destination: Stairs Mountain
Ascent Commenced: 2:48 PM
Summit Reached: 5:34 PM
Time Elapsed: 02:46
Trailhead Elevation: 3,815'
Summit Elevation: 3,463
Distance: 4.5 miles
Vertical Gain: 853'
Destination: Mt. Crawford
Ascent Commenced: 6:09 PM
Summit Reached: 7:32 PM
Time Elapsed: 01:23
Trailhead Elevation: 3,463'
Summit Elevation: 3,119'
Distance: 2.7 miles
Vertical Gain: 720'
Hike Ended: 9:14 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 13:13
Hike Vertical Gain: 5,617'


The Glen Boulder Trail trailhead at the Glen Ellis Falls parking area
The Glen Boulder Trail trailhead at the Glen Ellis Falls parking area

Looking toward Boott Spur from Gulf  Peak - Click to enlarge
Looking toward Boott Spur from Gulf Peak

Looking down the Davis Path on the way to Mt. Isolation
Looking down the Davis Path on the way to Mt. Isolation

Looking at Mt. Jackson from Mt. Isolation - Click to enlarge
Looking at Mt. Jackson from Mt. Isolation

Looking up the spur trail to the Mt. Davis viewpoint
Looking up the spur trail to the Mt. Davis viewpoint

Looking south from the Mt. Davis viewpoint - Click to enlarge
Looking south from the Mt. Davis viewpoint

The Davis Path on the way to Stairs Mountain
The Davis Path on the way to Stairs Mountain

Looking at Bemis and Carrigain from the Stairs Mountain vista - Click to enlarge
Looking at Bemis and Carrigain from the Stairs Mountain vista

The Davis Path on the way to Mt. Crawford
The Davis Path on the way to Mt. Crawford

Sheep laurel near the summit of Mt. Crawford
Sheep laurel near the summit of Mt. Crawford

Looking at Stairs Mountain and Mt. Washington from Mt. Crawford - Click to enlarge
Looking at Stairs Mountain and Mt. Washington from Mt. Crawford

Topographic map of Gulf Peak, Mt. Isolation, Mt. Davis, Stairs Mountain, Mt. Crawford - Click to enlarge


Directions to trailhead: Take Route 16 North from Jackson. The Glen Ellis Falls WMNF fee parking area will be on the left, before the height of land. The Glen Boulder Trail trailhead is located next to the restrooms. The Davis Path parking area is located west of Sawyer River Road on Route 302.

Back to Gulf Peak Profile
Back to Mt. Isolation Profile
Back to Mt. Davis Profile
Back to Stairs Mountain Profile
Back to Mt. Crawford Profile




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