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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Mt. Hale
Bethlehem, NH, Franconia, NH

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

Route: Herd path, Haystack Road, North Twin Trail, herd path, Firewarden's Trail, (Mt. Hale), Firewarden's Trail, herd path, North Twin Trail, Haystack Road, herd path

With poor road conditions and mediocre weather, we decided to head up to Mt. Hale for the first full day of winter.

Starting at the end of Little River Road, we snowshoed across the snowmobile bridge, then took an immediate left onto the herd path to the North Twin Trail trailhead.

Once on the North Twin Trail, we made decent progress up to the herd path (at otherwise the first water crossing), following it over a smaller brook crossing and then to the unmarked Firewarden's Trail trailhead.

Previously dealing with 3-4" of new snow on old ski tracks, we had proper light trail breaking on the Firewarden's Trail as we worked our way up the switchbacks. Powder depths ranged from 4-12" on top of a frozen granular base.

Eventually reaching the summit, there were no views to be had, due in part to the light snow flurries.

For the descent, we followed our tracks back out, making much better time on packed trail.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Difficult
Destination: Mt. Hale
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Difficult
Views: Minimal (due to weather)
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Hike Commenced: 9:05 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,620'
Destination: Mt. Hale
Ascent Commenced: 9:37 AM
Summit Reached: 12:40 PM
Time Elapsed: 03:03
Trailhead Elevation: 1,800'
Summit Elevation: 4,054'
Vertical Gain: 2,324'
Hike Ended: 2:50 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 05:15
Hike Vertical Gain: 2,604'

The North Twin Trail trailhead at the end of Haystack Road
The North Twin Trail trailhead at the end of Haystack Road

A lack of views from the Mt. Hale summit - Click to enlarge
A lack of views from the Mt. Hale summit

Topographic map of Mt. Hale - Click to enlarge

Directions to trailhead: In winter, from Route 302, take Route 3 South into Twin Mountain. Take a left onto Little River Road. As of winter 2009-2010, the end of the road had room for limited parking (no parking signs removed - 7 Dwarfs Motel offers alternative fee parking in winter), and the snowmobile bridge across the Little River had been rebuilt and reopened. After crossing this bridge, take an immediate sharp left turn onto a skier path, which then leads to Haystack Road, near the North Twin Trail trailhead.

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