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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Mt. Cube
Orford, NH

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

Route: Mt. Cube Trail, (Mt. Cube), Mt. Cube Trail, North Peak Side Trail, (Mt. Cube North Peak), North Peak Side Trail, Mt. Cube Trail

Finally it was time for Mt. Cube. This hike had been in my queue for a year or so - and multiple times I had literally come within minutes of getting ready to drive to it, only to change my mind and do something else. Not wanting this to loom over me any longer, I got out of work an hour early and headed up.

At first, I thought there was an issue with the trailhead, as I saw a No Trespassing sign near the parking area. Fortunately, this wasn't the trail, but rather a logging road near it.

The first portion of the Mt. Cube Trail was rather gradual with good footing. After crossing a dirt road, the trail became slightly more rough, but still very gradual. In fact, the trail didn't get steep until after two brook crossings - and even then, it wasn't too bad as there were switchbacks.

Upon reaching the col, I took a left and headed to the summit. I was amazed as how broad the views were and how neat the ledges were. Unfortunately, the late day sun made the views slightly hazy, but still decent.

Back on the trail, I decided to check out the North Peak. While I almost decided to skip it, I was very glad I didn't - the views were tremendous! Though slightly lower than the south peak, the north peak provided great views to the north, east, and southeast. I couldn't resist sitting on the ledge for awhile, taking in the dramatic view of Mt. Moosilauke.

On the way down, I suddenly saw a large object in front of me. Faster than I could grab my camera, a huge bull moose took off into the woods. I tried pursuing him, but he was already pretty deep into the undergrowth. Heading further down the trail, I almost successfully cut him off, but he took off deeper into the woods before I could get close enough for a photo. A neat way to end a hike!

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Cube
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Moderate
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Hike Commenced: 3:24 PM
Parking Elevation: 900'
Destination: Mt. Cube
Ascent Commenced: 3:24 PM
Summit Reached: 4:49 PM
Time Elapsed: 01:15
Trailhead Elevation: 900'
Summit Elevation: 2,909'
Distance: 3.3 miles
Vertical Gain: 2,149'
Hike Ended: 6:48 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 03:24
Hike Vertical Gain: 2,409'

The Mt. Cube Trail trailhead
The Mt. Cube Trail trailhead

Looking south at Cardigan, Kearsarge, and Smarts Mountain from the Mt. Cube summit - Click to enlarge
Looking south at Cardigan, Kearsarge, and Smarts Mountain from the Mt. Cube summit

Looking at Mt. Moosilauke from the north peak of Mt. Cube - Click to enlarge
Looking at Mt. Moosilauke from the north peak of Mt. Cube

Topographic map of Mt. Cube - Click to enlarge

Directions to trailhead: Take Route 25A West from Wentworth. Shortly after passing a camp and some ponds on the left, and immediately after crossing a small bridge, a small dirt parking area will be on the left. The Mt. Cube Trail trailhead is here as well.

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