Webster Slide Mountain (2184′) is located near Mount Moosilauke on the west side of the White Mountains. The site of an impressive cliff, the trail up the slide is maintained by the Dartmouth Outdoor Club and branches off the Appalachian Trail between Mount Mist and NH 25 near Glencliff, NH. The Webster Slide Trail leaves that Wachipauka Pond Trail (Appalachian Trail) 2.6 miles from NH 25 and climbs 500 feet in 0.7 miles up a steep and eroded trail to an excellent viewpoint, high above Wachipauka Pond.
The climb up Webster Slide Mountain is not too bad and the views are definitely worth it. The hard part of this hike is the first 1.4 miles from NH 25 which climbs about 1000′ feet up a series of switchbacks. You’ll definitely break a sweat on this section, but the hike gets easier as you cross through open forest to the base of Webster Slide Mountain.
I last hiked this section of the Appalachian Trail in 2009 when I was section hiking the New Hampshire Appalachian Trail and I didn’t remember anything except passing Wachipauka Pond at the base of Webster Slide Mountain. While it is difficult to see Webster Slide’s cliff face from the pond, I’m surprised that it didn’t leave a bigger impression on me. It really is a very distinctive landmark.
The Webster Slide Trail forks off the Wachipauka Trail heading uphill at 2.6 miles, while an unmarked spur trail called the Wachipauka Pond Spur Trail heads downhill to the pond and several well established campsites. Both trails are well-marked with fresh blue blazes, in stark contrast the this section of the Appalachian Trail which is very sparsely blazed with white reassurance markers. If you’re an AT thru-hiker, you really will want a map or Guthook’s Guide App to stay on the trail in this section.
There is a great viewpoint on the top of Webster Slide Mountain which must be an excellent destination for star-gazing and meteor showers. Is there any other reason to climb this peak than to look at this view? What other reason do you need?
Total Distance: 7.0 miles with 2100′ of elevation gain.