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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Mt. Isolation
Jackson, NH, Sargents Purchase, NH, Cutts Grant, NH

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

Route: Rocky Branch Trail, (Engine Hill bushwhack), Isolation Trail, Davis Path, Isolation Spur, (Mt. Isolation), Isolation Spur, Davis Path, Isolation Trail, (Engine Hill bushwhack), Rocky Branch Trail

Though the Presidentials were in clouds and the winds were roaring, it looked like a nice fall day for a hike.

Starting on the Rocky Branch Trail, the fall colors were decent down low. The trail was very wet with a lot of flowing water. Reaching the first height of land, the leaves in the upper elevations had already dropped.

Shortly after the second height of land, I headed into the woods onto the so-called Engine Hill bushwhack. While the first portion was very wet (like the trail), the rest of it was smooth sailing as I worked my way over to the Isolation Trail. Thanks to the bushwhacking, I avoided the first four Rock Branch brook crossings. The fifth crossing was running high, but I was able to cross about 20 feet downstream on some larger boulders.

The Isolation Trail continued to be wet with running and pooled water, along with plenty of old blowdowns that haven't been removed after a year.

Reaching the Davis Path, I had to proceed with caution as some of the bogwalks were covered in black ice. Reaching the open summit of Isolation, the wind was a bit gusty, but nonetheless not overbearing.

After taking in the views briefly (the Presidentials were still in the clouds, but some rime was visible below the clouds), I turned around and headed back via the same route as the winds dropped and temperatures increased to more seasonable levels.

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

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Saturday, October 9, 2010
Hike Commenced: 7:41 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,260'
Destination: Mt. Isolation
Ascent Commenced: 7:41 AM
Summit Reached: 10:57 AM
Time Elapsed: 03:16
Trailhead Elevation: 1,260'
Summit Elevation: 4,004'
Vertical Gain: 3,039'
Hike Ended: 2:26 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 06:45
Hike Vertical Gain: 3,334'

The Rocky Branch Trail trailhead
The Rocky Branch Trail trailhead

The birch glad bushwhack
The birch glad bushwhack

Looking at the Southern Presidentials from Mt. Isolation - Click to enlarge
Looking at the Southern Presidentials from Mt. Isolation

Directions to trailhead: Take Route 16 North from the Route 302-16 junction in Glen. A few minutes having passing Jackson and just before 16 starts to climb to Pinkham Notch, the Rocky Branch parking lot will be on the left. The Rocky Branch Trail trailhead is at the north side of the parking lot.

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