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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Orange Mountain
Alexandria, NH, Orange, NH

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

Route: Holt Trail, Holt-Clark Cutoff, Vistamont Trail, Skyland Trail, (Orange Mountain), Skyland Trail, Vistamont Trail, Holt-Clark Cutoff, Holt Trail

While I had planned to hike somewhere in the Whites, a sore back persuaded me to head west and do something a bit more gentle.

Starting from the AMC Cardigan Lodge, the Holt Trail was an easy walk up to the Croo Bridge near Grand Junction. After a short walk on the Holt-Clark Trail, I was soon on the Vistamont Trail. Other than a short, somewhat steep drop to a brook crossing, the trail was never overly steep.

Reaching the first of the ledges, I saw a critter walking down toward me. Sure enough, a porcupine was apparently finishing a day of hiking. With some constant shooing, I was able to get him to ascend and eventually move out of my way a few minutes later.

The ledge walks were progressively more impressive - views of Southern New Hampshire, then Caridgan proper, then the Whites.

After a short walk on the Skyland Trail, I reached the summit of Orange Mountain. From there, I followed a herd path to a nice southerly viewpoint. Not harassed at all by bugs, I was able to take in the views for awhile.

While I was tempted to continue to some other peaks, I opted to take it easy on my back and head back down.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Orange Mountain
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Moderate
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Monday, June 7, 2010
Hike Commenced: 4:27 PM
Parking Elevation: 1,392'
Destination: Orange Mountain
Ascent Commenced: 4:27 PM
Summit Reached: 5:37 PM
Time Elapsed: 01:10
Trailhead Elevation: 1,392'
Summit Elevation: 2,684'
Distance: 2.8 miles
Vertical Gain: 1,442'
Hike Ended: 6:56 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 02:29
Hike Vertical Gain: 1,592'

The Holt Trail trailhead
The Holt Trail trailhead

A porcupine hiking on the Vistamont Trail
A porcupine hiking on the Vistamont Trail

Ragged Mountain and Mt. Kearsarge as seen from near the summit of Orange Mountain - Click to enlarge
Ragged Mountain and Mt. Kearsarge as seen from near the summit of Orange Mountain

Directions to trailhead: From Bristol, take Route 3A North briefly, then take a left onto Bristol Hill Road. Eventually bear left onto Plummer Hill Road, then take a left onto Thissell Road, then take a right onto Town Pond Road. Town Pond Road eventually joins Mt. Cardigan Road. Mt. Cardigan Road becomes Shem Valley Road at a sharp turn - go straight on it. Parking is located across from the AMC facility. One can also find the AMC Lodge with more ease from Alexandria by following the AMC Lodge signs.

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