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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Mt. Tom, Mt. Field, Mt. Avalon
Carroll, NH, Bethlehem, NH

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

Avalon Trail to Mt. Tom

Route: Avalon Trail, A-Z Trail, Mt. Tom Spur, (Mt. Tom summit), Mt. Tom Spur, A-Z Trail, Willey Range Trail, (Mt. Field summit), Willey Range Trail, Avalon Trail, Avalon Spur Trail, (Mt. Avalon summit), Avalon Spur Trail, Avalon Trail

Since the weekend forecast wasn't looking that great, I decided to leave work ten minutes early and head up to Crawford Notch for a somewhat significant hike. The plan was to head up to Mt. Tom, then consider heading to Field and possibly Avalon if time and conditions permitted.

Arriving at the parking area on 302, there weren't too many other vehicles present. Not wanting to chance dealing with any bugs, I immediately set off on my way.

Surprisingly, the Avalon Trail to the A-Z junction was dry and in good shape. The water crossings, especially the first one, were rather easy.

A little while after passing the junction, I reached my first patch of snow. Surrounding a brook crossing, there was a good foot or so of it over a few dozen feet of trail. Fortunately, it was pretty well packed.

Finally reaching the Mt. Tom Spur trail, it was fairly smooth sailing, with the exception of a longer patch of snow (still not a big problem) that was 2-3 feet deep.

Despite the increasingly cloudy skies, the views were excellent - after having back to back socked in days, my last two Mt. Tom hikes have resulted in good views. I especially liked the northern viewpoint and would have considered hanging out there if I didn't have Field in my sights.

Though the Willey Range Trail was a bit wet and had a few patches of snow, it was fairly smooth sailing up to Mt. Field. I found the viewpoint to be not as strong as it had been during my last visit (in the winter, when I had the benefit of a few feet of snowpack to lift me over some of the smaller tree growth). Perhaps a chainsaw will find its way up there soon.

Since the clock was ticking and I didn't want to be on the road too late, I grabbed my pack and headed down the Avalon Trail. Bad choice. The upper half of the trail was covered in 2-4 feet of snow, with a side order of running and standing water, with a little mud as a special bonus. Had I known this prior to descending, I probably would have gone back down the Willey Range Trail. Nonetheless, I survived and made it to Avalon to enjoy a still-decent view, despite the cloudy skies.

From Avalon, the trail was clear and mostly dry. Having been on this section of trail a lot, I decided to put on my MP3 player and listen to The Killer's Sam's Town album for the first time in awhile. All in all, it was nice to pack this in as an after work hike.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Tom
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Field
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Moderate
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Avalon
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Friday, May 30, 2008
Hike Commenced: 3:58 PM
Parking Elevation: 1,900'
Destination: Mt. Tom
Ascent Commenced: 4:03 PM
Summit Reached: 5:17 PM
Time Elapsed: 01:14
Trailhead Elevation: 1,900'
Summit Elevation: 4,051'
Distance: 2.9 miles
Vertical Gain: 2,291'
Destination: Mt. Field
Ascent Commenced: 5:22 PM
Summit Reached: 6:03 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:41
Trailhead Elevation: 4,047'
Summit Elevation: 4,340'
Distance: 1.5 miles
Vertical Gain: 690'
Destination: Mt. Avalon
Ascent Commenced: 6:04 PM
Summit Reached: 6:47 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:43
Trailhead Elevation: 4,047'
Summit Elevation: 4,340'
Distance: .9 miles
Vertical Gain: 157'
Hike Ended: 7:52 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 03:54
Hike Distance: 7.2 miles
Hike Vertical Gain: 3,091'

Avalon Trail trailhead near the rail station

A trout lily on the A-Z Trail

Looking at Mt. Washington from near the summit of Mt. Tom

Looking up the Willey Range Trail on the way to Mt. Field

The view from near the Mt. Field summit, the grounds of the Mt. Washington Hotel to the left.

Looking up the Avalon Trail on the way down Mt. Field to Mt. Avalon

Looking at Mt. Washington from Mt. Avalon

Directions to trailhead: Take Route 302 west from Bartlett, NH. There is a parking area on the left side of the road at the top of the pass. Continue down the road on foot to the rail station - the Avalon Trail trailhead is across the tracks.

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Back to Mt. Avalon Profile

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