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Mt Tremont – Return to the White Mountains

Mt Tremont Trail

Mt Tremont Trail

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.

More Tree Roots on Mt Tremont

More Tree Roots on Mt Tremont

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.

Stream along the Mt Tremont Trail

Stream along the Mt Tremont Trail

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.

Easy Going near Rt 302

Easy Going near Rt 302

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.

Waterfall on the Mt Tremont Trail

Waterfall on the Mt Tremont Trail

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.

Water in the Trail from Recent Rains

Water in the Trail from Recent Rains

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.

Ledge on top of Mt Tremont

Ledge on top of Mt Tremont

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.

Mist shrounded view of the Sawyer Ponds and Owls Cliff

Mist shrouded view of the Sawyer Ponds and Owls Cliff

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.

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6 Responses to Mt Tremont – Return to the White Mountains

  1. Tom Ryan June 14, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    A wonderful opening line to this, Philip! Tremont is wonderful and primitive and tougher than we often imagine. Thanks for this.

    • Earlylite June 14, 2013 at 10:23 am #

      That’s quite a complement from a wizened old newspaper reporter like yourself! But as you well know, some of the bext hiking in the Whites is off the beaten track. I believe I will be taking a page out of your book this year and hike the less trodden trails.

      • Grandpa June 14, 2013 at 11:01 am #

        …or is it the less sodden trails?

  2. 1HappyHiker June 14, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Thank you for your report which was a particularly nice read. Your narrative and photos are terrific!

    Being the volunteer Trail Maintainer for the Mt. Tremont Trail, it is always gratifying to read reports written by hikers who have tackled this mountain.

    Just yesterday (13-June), I removed a number of large blowdowns from this trail. Hopefully, they did not present too many problems for you on your hike.


    • Earlylite June 14, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      I’m sorry I missed you John. It would have been good to finally meet. I am a big fan of your web site and was just studying your route to the Langdon shelter and the Crippies the other day. The blowdowns were easily avoided on my hike – over and under – but I thank you for your efforts as a volunteer maintainer. The Tremont Trail is in great shape and a wonderful hike.

  3. Louis Brooks June 15, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    I need to get up north some time and hike in the Whites. Maybe next summer as a break from the heat here in Fl.


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