I’ve hiked in the White Mountains so much that it hurts to be away from them for too long, and while I enjoyed my recent hiking vacation in Scotland and The Lake District, June is my favorite month to hike in the Whites. So when my wife suggested we take a short mid-week vacation in Crawford Notch, I knew she wouldn’t begrudge me a few half-day hikes near the B&B where we both like to stay.
Mt Tremont has been one of those mountains I’ve always wanted to climb but never have because it’s too short a hike for a full day outing. But I can now recommend it if you want a strenuous hike that fits into 3-4 hours with fantastic views if you summit on a clear day.
At 3371′, Mt Tremont is one of the higher peaks on the 52 with a View peak list and has a great view of Big and Little Sawyer Pond, nearby Owl’s Cliff and the entire Sandwich Mountain Range. Unfortunately, the day I hiked it the sky was overcast, with blowing drizzle and mist, making the peak one of the highest on the 52 WITHOUT a view list.
No worries though – I was happy to get out because I longed to hike in a proper forest again after all that open bog and moorland in Scotland and The Lakes. Furthermore, my lastest TGO Challenge hike seems to have dampened some of my peakbagging mania. I feel like a shift of gears is in order and plan to spend a lot more time hiking to more remote locations in the White Mountains to see what there is to see.
Mt Tremont was an appealing destination because it’s on the southern edge of a region bordered the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River, Crawford Notch, and the Kancamagus Highway that I have a hankering to explore. Containing Mt Hitchcock, the Hancocks, Signal Ridge, Mt Carrigan, and Nancy Pond, it contains a plelthora of notches, slides, bushwacks,cliffs, ledges, fire tower foundations, abandoned trails, and old logging camps.
I may have been a tad over-eager to hike Mt Tremont, because I didn’t check my map as thoroughly as I should have. If I had, I’d have known that the trail ascends 2300′ feet in about 2.5 miles. That’s close to 1000′ per mile making this a very strenuous hike, what with the profusion of wet rocks and tree roots along the way.
The Mt Tremont Trail starts out quite mellow from Rt 302 ascending through beautiful forest and across several small water crossing before running alongside a gorgeous stream for the next mile or so. It had rained quite heavily in recent days, so the stream was cranking at high volume with picturesque drops and slides and even a fairly large waterfall.
The stream is quite accessible from the trail, especially along the lower reaches, making this an excellent place to come hang out with kids in the heat of the summer if you want a quiet spot to cool off your feet or do some sheltered wading.
With the recent rain, the trail was fairly muddy and awash in water. This being black fly season, the little buggers were out and I got a couple of bites, but the cool morning weather and drizzle kept them at bay.
After 2 hours of climbing, I made it to the open ledge at the top of Mt Tremont. From here, the trail continues south down to Sawyer Pond and then over Owls Cliff. The area in between has a wild feel like some hidden valley and is definitely worth exploring on a drier day.
Despite the rain and the shrouded views, it felt good to be back in the wild place I know best. I couldn’t stay as long as I’d hope or immerse myself as deeply as I wanted, but I hope to be back here before too long for some more interesting adventures this summer.
Recommended Guidebooks and Maps:
- Appalachian Mountain Club White Mountain Guide
- AMC White Mountain National Forest Map Set
- Exploring New Hampshire Map from the Wilderness Map Company
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