Mt Crescent in Randolph’s Crescent Range
The north outlook on Mt Crescent has one of the best views I’ve seen in the White Mountains in a long time. Located in the Randolph Community Forest, Mt Crescent and Mt Randolph are two 3000 footers in the Crescent Range just north of Rt 2 and the Northern Presidentials in New Hampshire.
Crescent’s north outlook faces the Kilkenny Range which you can see in its entirety, including Mt Pliny, Starr King, Waumbek, South Weeks, Middle Weeks, North Weeks, Cabot, the Bulge and the Horn. The day I was there, I could also see the Rodger’s Ledge, the Percy Peaks, and the ski runs on Sugarloaf Mountain, all the way into Maine!
Crescent’s south outlook, provides a clear view of the Northern Presidentials including the depths of King Ravine. On a clear day, you can see the entire ravine including the floor, and the tiny Crag Camp cabin nestled on the ravine’s eastern shoulder. Both outlooks are reachable from the unmarked summit – just follow the signs.
When I hiked Crescent, I also hiked over nearby Mt Randolph another peak on the New Hampshire 3,000 footer list. I climbed both peaks via the moderately challenging Crescent Ridge Trail, which becomes much less demanding after one summits Mt Crescent. Passing through tiny Carlton Notch before climbing a false summit and then Mt Randolph, the trail passes through open glades of fern and hobble bush, prime moose habitat, that are crisscrossed by numerous game trails. Water is available from a small stream in Carlton Notch, but must be filtered or purified.
Descending Mt Randolph, which has occluded views (trees in the way), hikers pass by magnificent Lookout Ledge which provides views of Pine Mountain, the Northern Presidentials, Mount Moriah, and the Carter Range. Return by the Pasture Path, which runs through the Randolph Community Forest and abuts the magnificant old homes of this unusual mountain community.
The total distance of this hike is 7 miles with 2,000 feet of elevation gain. There is parking for two cars on Randolph Hill Road at the base of the Mt Crescent Trail.
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