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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Cotton Mountain, Mt. Livermore
Holderness, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.

Looking down the Cotton Mountain Trail

Route: Cotton Mountain Trail, (Cotton Mountain), Crawford-Ridgepole Trail, Prescott Trail, (bushwack), (Mt. Livermore), Crawford-Ridgepole Trail, (Cotton Mountain), Cotton Mountain Trail

With gloomy weather cancelling any sort of significant hike, I was tempted to stay home. In order to get moving, I used the idea of finding new sunset hikes as my motivation.

The Cotton Mountain Trail parking area was plowed out and the trail signed, so it was pretty easy to get going. The first part of the trail weaves gradually through an abandoned gravel pit - kind of ugly, but whatever.

After leaving the gravel pit, the trail gets progressively steeper as it climbs to the southeastern summit of Cotton Mountain. On my way by, I was let down by the lack of views - I didn't stop to look around, however, so I missed the somewhat obvious spur trail to the ledge.

Now on the Crawford-Ridgepole Trail, I did some sliding on my snowshoes down the steeps. Soon thereafter, the trail meanders around some flats, crossing multiple small creeks and brooks.

Arriving at the Prescott Trail junction, I was a little bit confused, as the junction was signed as if it were a 4 way. It wasn't, and I went against my instinct and headed uphill on the Prescott Trail. Realizing I should have gone downhill (and around the side of Mt. Livermore), I decided to bushwack up to the summit.

The bushwack was fairly easy, as the brush wasn't too thick - that is, until I reached the top and had to navigate my way through some somewhat recently cut saplings and trees.

The views from Mt. Livermore were pretty strong, despite the gloomy weather - Red Hill and the lakes were in plain sight, as well as points to the south, such as Mt. Kearsarge.

After poking around a bit, I dropped down the Crawford-Ridgepole Trail and headed back to Cotton Mountain - this time stopping at that ledge, which looks out over Squam Lake.

All things considered, not a bad hike. My finding, however, is that there is no prospect of a good sunset view from Cotton Mountain and possibly a partial view in that direction from Mt. Livermore.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Cotton Mountain
Length: Easy
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Livermore
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Sunday, February 3, 2008
Hike Commenced: 12:54 PM
Parking Elevation: 590'
Destination: Cotton Mountain
Ascent Commenced: 12:54 PM
Summit Reached: 1:18 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:24
Trailhead Elevation: 590'
Summit Elevation: 1,200'
Vertical Gain: 615'
Destination: Mt. Livermore
Ascent Commenced: 1:18 PM
Summit Reached: 2:02 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:44
Trailhead Elevation: 1,200'
Summit Elevation: 1,500'
Vertical Gain: 715'
Hike Ended: 3:14 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 02:20
Hike Vertical Gain: 1,900'

Looking at the Cotton Mountain Trail trailhead on the side of Route 113

Looking at Squam Lake from the Cotton Mountain southeast summit ledge

Looking up the Crawford Ridgepole Trail, coming off Cotton Mountain

Looking at Red Hill from the Mt. Livermore summit

Directions to trailhead: From Route 25 in Holderness, take Route 113 East past the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. The small roadside parking lot and Cotton Mountain Trail trailhead will be on the left shortly thereafter.

Back to Cotton Mountain Profile
Back to Mt. Livermore Profile

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