Hiking Guide

 New Hampshire
 New York
 Rhode Island

 View All

 NE 4,000 Footers
 NE 100 Highest
 NH 4,000 Footers
 NH 100 Highest
 NH 52 With A View
 NH Belknap Range
 NH Ossipee 10


Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Wildcat D
Pinkham's Grant, NH, Bean's Grant, NH

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

Looking up the old gondola lift line

Route: The Chutes, Alley Cat, Middle Catapult, Lift Lion, Wildcat Ridge Trail, (Wildcat D), Wildcat Ridge Trail, Upper Wildcat, Upper Catapult, Upper Lynx, Cat Track, Starr Line, Alley Cat, Lower Catapult

With another potentially brief break in the otherwise bad weather, I decided to head up to Pinkham Notch to get in a quick 2,000 vertical hike.

Arriving at Wildcat, the sky above the mountain was blue, but the sky above Mt. Washington was a dark grey - all the more reason to hike quickly. Wanting a direct ascent, I decided to try my luck with the old gondola line. From the parking lot, it looked like the weed growth wasn't too bad yet.

The first part of the line was a bit rough and wet - steep, too. Soon, a snowmaking trail merges with it, which resulted in much smoother sailing for a bit (and shorter grass/weeds). Seeing that the next segment of the gondola line looked rough and wet, I decided to follow the snowmaking trail for a bit, then jumping back onto the gondola line for the final ascent up the ski area. Beyond there, I dropped my pack and headed up to the summit. Seeing the clouds above Washginton were getting darker, I quickly headed back down (just as the gondola closed), and decided to head down the top part of a snowmaking trail, so that I could make better time. Back down to the junction with the old gondola line, I weaved over to another snowmaking trail (Lynx), then back to the current gondola line. Looking downhill, it didn't look that bad. Or so I thought.

The trail was rather rough - lots of rocks, water, tall weeds, etc. I cut over to the old gondola line (the part I had bypassed on the way up) a few times to see if it was any better, and it wasn't. After what seemed to be forever, I finally made it down to the junction where an upper mountain chairlift used to start. From here, I decided to follow snowmaking trails back to the summit, making things a bit easier.

As I walked to the parking lot, blue sky started to appear over Mt. Washington. In fact, the sky continued to clear as I drove home. Though I was a bit disappointed that I had missed out on better views (had I waited), I was nonetheless glad that I had made it down without dealing with rain or thunder.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Wildcat D
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Hike Commenced: 4:03 PM
Parking Elevation: 1,960'
Destination: Wildcat D
Ascent Commenced: 4:05 PM
Summit Reached: 5:02 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:57
Trailhead Elevation: 1,950'
Summit Elevation: 4,062'
Vertical Gain: 2,017'
Hike Ended: 6:09 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 02:06
Hike Vertical Gain: 2,132'

Looking up at the old gondola terminal and lift line

Ladyslippers on the old gondola line

Looking at Kearsarge North Mountain from near the Wildcat D summit

Directions to trailhead: Take Route 16 North from Jackson to the Wildcat Ski Area entrance. The old gondola terminal is located between the current gondola terminal and the upper lodge.

Back to Wildcat D Profile

Copyright 2002-2021, All Rights Reserved.