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About


Mt. Avalon, Mt. Field, Mt. Willey, Mt. Tom
Carroll, NH, Bethlehem, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Windblown snow disguises the Avalon Trail near Mt. Avalon
Windblown snow disguises the Avalon Trail near Mt. Avalon

Route: Avalon Trail, (spur trail to summit), (Mt. Avalon), (spur trail from summit), Avalon Trail, Willey Range Trail, (Mt. Field), Willey Range Trail, (Mt. Willey), Willey Range Trail, (Mt. Field), Willey Range Trail, A-Z Trail, Mt. Tom Spur Trail, (Mt. Tom), Mt. Tom Spur Trail, A-Z Trail, Avalon Trail

My original plan was to get up wicked early and watch the sunrise from Mt. Avalon. I did the first part, but after hearing the heavy winds outside, I decided to wait a bit and ascend in the light.

Arriving at the small parking lot next to the train station, I put on my snowshoes and was on my way. The first water crossing, which can be the hardest in my experience, was completely covered in snow. The second one wasn't covered completely, but there was enough snow that I could keep on my snowshoes.

Soon, I was at the Avalon Trail and A-Z Trail junction. The A-Z Trail looked well packed, whereas the the Avalon Trail looked like it hadn't seen anyone thus far this morning. Nonetheless, I wanted to get the bulk of the vertical done early, so I continued on the Avalon Trail.

As the trail became steeper, the footing became much more difficult, as the snow was very smoothly packed down from butt sliders. As the trail flattened out, it disappeared in a few places, due to the recent powder and wind. Thank you, snowshoes!

Soon enough, I was at the Avalon spur intersection. As I arrived at the top of Mt. Avalon, I could only see Crawford Notch. After snapping a few photos, I noticed the clouds were lifting. Soon enough, I could see the top of Webster Cliff and some of the mountains to the southeast. I considered waiting around for the clouds to lift higher, but I wanted to git r done.

Back on the Avalon Trail, I continued up to Mt. Field. As I arrived at the Willey Range Trail, I could see I was up in the clouds. Once again, there would be no view on Mt. Field. Yet.

My next stop was Mt. Willey. The Willey Range Trail drops somewhat steeply off Mt. Field, before getting a bit rolly (at one point, the snowshoe prints split, so with the up and downs, I began to worry I was going the wrong way).

Soon, I was seeing a bit of blue sky poking through the clouds. As I climbed, I began to recognize the topography and trees - sure enough, I rounded the corner and was at the summit of Mt. Willey. The views from both outlooks (the on-trail view toward Carrigain and the short spur trail looked down toward Route 302) were superb - the day wasn't wasted!

Determined to see something from Mt. Field, I took a few photos and was quickly on my way back.

Arriving back on Mt. Field, I followed the very short spur trail to a nice view point - and indeed saw a view from Mt. Field! The Presidentials were still in the clouds, but a lot of the surrounding area was becoming visible.

Back on the Willey Range Trail, I looked out at Mt. Tom and saw that it was in the clear. This was enough to convince me to head over.

The Willey Range Trail isn't overly steep from Mt. Field to the A-Z Trail. The Mt. Tom Spur Trail, however, does steepen up a bit toward the top. Since I had been going relatively non-stop (save for a few brief photo and snack breaks), the scrambles and short steeps were enough to tell me I was starting to get fatigued!

Arriving at the summit blowdown field, I saw a sweeping view from Mt. Field to the Twins. The summit was completely socked in during my previous two ascents, so this was quite a treat.

After looking at the views, I followed some tracks to the east - and saw another awesome view (this one of the southern Presidentials and Mt. Field). Not a bad summit when you can actually something!

The descent down the A-Z Trail was a little bit messy, as the trail was a hodgepodge of butt slides and post holes. I was also surprised that it was somewhat busy - a combination of day trip traffic as well as overnighters heading to Zealand.


Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Avalon
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Field
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Minimal due to weather
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Willey
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Field
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Tom
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Sunday, December 30, 2007
Hike Commenced: 7:38 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,900'
Destination: Mt. Avalon
Ascent Commenced: 7:40 AM
Summit Reached: 8:43 AM
Time Elapsed: 01:03
Trailhead Elevation: 1,900'
Summit Elevation: 3,442'
Distance: 1.8 miles
Vertical Gain: 1,567'
Destination: Mt. Field
Ascent Commenced: 8:51 AM
Summit Reached: 9:35 AM
Time Elapsed: 00:44
Trailhead Elevation: 3,442'
Summit Elevation: 4,340'
Distance: .9 mile
Vertical Gain: 995'
Destination: Mt. Willey
Ascent Commenced: 9:35 AM
Summit Reached: 10:19 AM
Time Elapsed: 00:44
Trailhead Elevation: 4,340'
Summit Elevation: 4,285'
Distance: 1.4 miles
Vertical Gain: 465'
Destination: Mt. Field
Ascent Commenced: 10:23 AM
Summit Reached: 11:05 AM
Time Elapsed: 00:42
Trailhead Elevation: 4,285'
Summit Elevation: 4,340'
Distance: 1.4 miles
Vertical Gain: 520'
Destination: Mt. Tom
Ascent Commenced: 11:10 AM
Summit Reached: 11:50 AM
Time Elapsed: 00:40
Trailhead Elevation: 4,340'
Summit Elevation: 4,051'
Distance: 1.5 miles
Vertical Gain: 411'
Hike Ended: 1:12 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 05:24
Hike Distance: 9.9 miles
Hike Vertical Gain: 4,128'


The Avalon Trail trailhead next to the train station
The Avalon Trail trailhead next to the train station

Looking under rising clouds toward Webster Cliff and Route 302 from Mt. Avalon - Click to enlarge
Looking under rising clouds toward Webster Cliff and Route 302 from Mt. Avalon

The Avalon Trail to Mt. Field
The Avalon Trail to Mt. Field

Looking toward the Mt. Washington Hotel from the Mt. Field view point - Click to enlarge
Looking toward the Mt. Washington Hotel from the Mt. Field view point

The Willey Range Trail near the Mt. Willey summit
The Willey Range Trail near the Mt. Willey summit

Looking at Mt. Webster from the Mt. Willey eastern view point - Click to enlarge
Looking at Mt. Webster from the Mt. Willey eastern view point

Looking down the Mt. Tom Spur Trail
Looking down the Mt. Tom Spur Trail

Looking some of the Pemi 4,000 footers from the Mt. Tom summit - Click to enlarge
Looking some of the Pemi 4,000 footers from the Mt. Tom summit

Topographic map of Mt. Avalon, Mt. Field, Mt. Willey, Mt. Tom - Click to enlarge


Directions to trailhead: Take Route 302 west from Bartlett, NH. In the winter, at least, there is parking next to the railroad station. Trailhead is across the tracks.

Back to Mt. Avalon Profile
Back to Mt. Field Profile
Back to Mt. Willey Profile
Back to Mt. Tom Profile




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