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About


Mt. Passaconaway, Mt. Whiteface
Albany, NH, Waterville Valley, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking down the abandoned Downes Brook Slide Trail
Looking down the abandoned Downes Brook Slide Trail

Route: Downes Brook Trail, Downes Brook Slide Trail, Walden Trail, (Mt. Passaconaway), Dicey Mill Trail, Rollins Trail, (Mt. Whiteface), Rollins Trail, Kate Sleeper Trail, Downes Brook Trail

Starting at the Downes Brook Trail trailhead (recently widened by what looked to be logging activity), I followed the trail as it worked its way up the brook. The footing was generally okay, however there were numerous water crossings that would be tough even in moderate levels.

Approaching what looked to be a brook on my left (while on the left side of the main brook), there was sort of a stonewall around it where the trail crossed. Looking up the brook, I could see slabs - this was my exit.

Heading up the left side of this tributary, I soon passed a no maintenance warning sign and shortly thereafter reached the ledge slabs. In dry conditions, the slabs were generally fine. In wet or icy conditions, this could be quite dangerous.

The old trail crossed the brook a few times, using slabs, scrambles, and the occasional herd path to ascend. Finally reaching the area in which the slide turns, I found the path continued between two tributaries, soon reaching slabs on the side of Passaconaway, then climbing steeply for a sustained stretch to the ridge.

After a short ridge walk with occasional directional views, I popped out at the lower viewpoint below Passaconaway. From here, I went to one of the near-summit vistas, then to the highpoint, then down to the Rollins Trail, which I followed over Whiteface and to the Sleeper junction.

From there, I took the Kate Sleeper Trail down to the Downes Brook Trail, then descended the latter. I lost track of how many times it crossed the brook - I can't imagine attempting this trail in high water. The footing was generally okay, except for a few rocky/rooty areas higher up.


Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Passaconaway
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Difficult
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Whiteface
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Minimal
Crowds: Moderate


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Saturday, August 13, 2011
Parking Elevation: 1,265'
Destination: Mt. Passaconaway
Time Elapsed: 02:26
Trailhead Elevation: 1,265'
Summit Elevation: 4,043'
Vertical Gain: 2,878'
Destination: Mt. Whiteface
Time Elapsed: 01:22
Trailhead Elevation: 4,043'
Summit Elevation: 4,020'
Distance: 3.1 miles
Vertical Gain: 840'
Hike Time Elapsed: 06:20
Hike Vertical Gain: 3,918'


The Downes Brook Trail trailhead
The Downes Brook Trail trailhead

Looking up the abandoned Downes Brook Slide Trail
Looking up the abandoned Downes Brook Slide Trail

Looking toward Mt. Washington from the lower Mt. Passaconaway vista - Click to enlarge
Looking toward Mt. Washington from the lower Mt. Passaconaway vista

The Rollins Trail on the way to Mt. Whiteface
The Rollins Trail on the way to Mt. Whiteface

Mt. Chocorua as seen from a viewpoint north of Mt. Whiteface on the Rollins Trail - Click to enlarge
Mt. Chocorua as seen from a viewpoint north of Mt. Whiteface on the Rollins Trail

Looking down the Downes Brook Trail
Looking down the Downes Brook Trail




Directions to trailhead: Take Route 112 West from Conway. A bit after Bear Notch Road, look for the sign for the entrance to the UNH Trail-Downes Brook Trail parking on the left. WMNF fee parking area.

Back to Mt. Passaconaway Profile
Back to Mt. Whiteface Profile




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