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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Mt. Shaw, Black Snoot
Moultonborough, NH, Tuftonboro, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up the Black Snout Trail on the way to the Mt. Shaw summit
Looking up the Black Snout Trail on the way to the Mt. Shaw summit

Route: Mt. Shaw Trail, Black Snout Trail, (Mt. Shaw), Black Snout Trail, Black Snout Spur Trail, (Black Snout), Black Snout Spur Trail, Black Snout Trail, Mt. Shaw Trail

With a cold day forecasted, I decided to try to do something a bit on the mild side. My plans were to either head up to the Doubleheads or over to Mt. Cardigan. While deciding between the two, I suddenly thought of doing Mt. Shaw. Close by, great views, not heavily travelled.

After driving by the lot while trying to assess the parking situation, I put my truck into 4 wheel drive and made my own parking space in the 4 or so inches of crud snow. After suiting up, I headed out in the 18 or so degree weather.

The lower part of the trail was pretty well broken out with not too much snow - about 4-6" of crusty granular junk. Soon thereafter, most of the tracks split off to the right, leaving only a few sets of tracks heading up the Mt. Shaw Trail.

As I climbed, the snow depth increased. By the time I hit the sustained steep portion, there wasn't nearly as much of a crust left on the snow. Arriving on the Black Snout Trail, it was mostly packed powder.

After reaching the Black Snout Spur junction, I had to break trail for a bit through 6-8" deep powder. Heading toward the summit, I was surprised to see that the upper portion of the trail was groomed by snowcat, presumably for snowmobilers (no tracks from them, though).

The summit was very cold and windy. Despite that, the views were tremendous - the Sandwich Range in plain view, the Presidentials in a cloud, some of the Evans Notch mountains, and the Sebago area peaks. After upgrading from just a long sleeved shirt to three layers and having a piece of cold pizza, I headed back down the Black Snout Trail, this time taking the Black Snout Spur. After only a few dozen feet, this trail was also unbroken (the previous hiker had bushwacked to the summit). After breaking out the trail, I was greeted with cloudy, but still very strong views of the lakes. I also noticed that the mouthpiece of my Camelbak was frozen. Giving a variation of the whole Les Stroud thing a try, I pulled out a bottle, filled it with some snow, and stuck it inside my vest. I also stuck the mouthpiece cover of my Camelbak in my glove. After about 10 minutes, the bottle was still filled with snow, but the Camelback mouthpiece was thawed out. I considered continuing the bottle experiment, but I didn't feel like lugging it around close to my body. Obviously, if I were in some sort of dehydration danger, I would have simply drank out of my Camelbak blader (or, drank out of a separate bottle of water I usually carry in very cold weather).

Toward the end of the hike, I couldn't help but check out the waterfalls on the brook - one of the highlights of the hike is this neat area.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Moderate
Destination: Mt. Shaw
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Difficult
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Black Snoot
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Easy
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Sunday, January 20, 2008
Hike Commenced: 9:43 AM
Parking Elevation: 670'
Destination: Mt. Shaw
Ascent Commenced: 9:43 AM
Summit Reached: 11:31 AM
Time Elapsed: 01:48
Trailhead Elevation: 675'
Summit Elevation: 2,990'
Distance: 3.6 miles
Vertical Gain: 2,395'
Destination: Black Snoot
Ascent Commenced: 11:42 AM
Summit Reached: 12:11 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:29
Trailhead Elevation: 2,990'
Summit Elevation: 2,803'
Distance: 1 mile
Vertical Gain: 98'
Hike Ended: 1:40 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 03:57
Hike Vertical Gain: 2,593'

Mt. Shaw Trail trailhead just off Route 171
Mt. Shaw Trail trailhead just off Route 171

Looking at the Sandwich Range from the Mt. Shaw summit - Click to enlarge
Looking at the Sandwich Range from the Mt. Shaw summit

Looking down the Black Snout Spur Trail
Looking down the Black Snout Spur Trail

Looking at Lake Winnipesaukee from the Black Snoot summit - Click to enlarge
Looking at Lake Winnipesaukee from the Black Snoot summit

Topographic map of Mt. Shaw, Black Snoot - Click to enlarge

Directions to trailhead: Take 171 southeast from Route 25, past Castle in the Clouds. Shortly after crossing the Tuftonboro town line, there is a bridge/brook crossing. Immediately after this, there is an informal parking lot on the left (maybe 4 cars). The unmarked trail starts at the back of this lot.

Back to Mt. Shaw Profile
Back to Black Snoot Profile

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