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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Peak Above The Nubble
Bethlehem, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Forest Road 304A
Forest Road 304A

Route: Snowmobile trail, Haystack Road, Forest Road 304A, various logging roads, bushwhack, herd path, (Peak Above The Nubble)

Another shoulder season "winter" hike. Started by bumping into a bunch of familiar faces (Hale-bound). Crossed the snowmobile bridge and headed straight. In hindsight, we should have beared left onto a newly cut snowmobile trail. We followed the old one, which is now a driveway that eventually sort of dead ends. Knowing we were close to Haystack Road, we bushwhacked straight to the road, emerging a few dozen feet from our objective, Forest Road 304A (the three boulder entrance).

We beared right at the large gravel slide and continued on the road for awhile, then hopped into the woods.

Sort of approaching from the northeast, we had generally decent grades (not too much in way of cliffbands) and generally open woods. Eventually reaching the false peak (cleared viewpoint now?!?), we soon ran into some very fresh tracks (since it was snowing and windy, the tracks must have only been minutes old) of someone who perhaps came up from the northwest, hit the false peak, then descended, without actually going across the ridge to the highpoint.

We hopped onto the herd path and followed it across the ridge to the summit. The canister was iced shut unfortunately, and there were no views from the directional vista due to the snow flurries.

From Haystack Road to this point, we encountered no more than an inch of powder, with only tiny, isolated patches of old granular maybe 2-3 inches deep. We also encountered minimal ice via this ascent, aside from occasional small blue ice patches on the herd path. No snowshoes needed until there's perhaps half a foot more of snowpack (being that this is on the lee side, that could happen with a few minor snow events). Our traction went along for a free ride.

For the descent, we got sucked into the bootleg trail for awhile, which was quite icy. We veered away from it in places, but got sucked back in when going through cliff bands that have no alternatives. We barebooted the descent with care and bushwhacked away from it quite a few times, but an ascent on the bootleg path would require full ice equipment. Not worth it right now.

Once back in the hardwoods and then down to the forest road, it was smooth sailing. A trace to an inch of snow fell while we were on the mountain.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Difficult
Destination: Peak Above The Nubble
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Difficult
Views: Minimal (due to weather)
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Thursday, December 26, 2013
Time to Trailhead: 00:12
Parking Elevation: 1,620'
Destination: Peak Above The Nubble
Time Elapsed: 01:51
Trailhead Elevation: 1,770'
Summit Elevation: 3,813'
Vertical Gain: 2,103'
Hike Time Elapsed: 04:12
Hike Vertical Gain: 2,313'

The start of Forest Road 304A on Haystack Road
The start of Forest Road 304A on Haystack Road

A view of the Presidentials, Mt. Hale, and the Willey Range blocked by fog from the Peak Above The Nubble - Click to enlarge
A view of the Presidentials, Mt. Hale, and the Willey Range blocked by fog from the Peak Above The Nubble

Directions to trailhead: In winter, from Route 302, take Route 3 South into Twin Mountain. Take a left onto Little River Road. As of winter 2013-2014, the end of the road had room for limited parking (no parking signs removed - 7 Dwarfs Motel offers alternative fee parking in winter), and the snowmobile bridge across the Little River had been rebuilt and reopened. After crossing this bridge, head uphill slightly, then bear left onto the snowmobile corridor. Eventually reaching Haystack Road, bear right (to head northbound very briefly), then take a left on Forest Road 304A.

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