Here I will share my travels throughout the majestic White Mountains of NH and also delve into some of the area's rich history and forgotten places. I do this in hopes of getting others excited about exploring these wonderful places.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mt. Carrigain - 6/2/09

Mt. Carrigain is one of the most revered of all White Mountain viewpoints. From atop the observation tower at it’s summit, 43 of the other 47 4000 footers can be picked out, according to guidebook author/hiker extraordinaire Steve Smith. This is the most seen from any peak (tied with Mt. Washington). It's also a great landmark, it's triple-humped mass is easy to pick out from countless other places. The first time I climbed this particular peak I was accompanied by my friend Samantha, and we - against better judgment - chose a rainy day to tackle it. We enjoyed the hike, but were deprived of any views at all. This had to be set straight.

Mt. Carrigain (seen from Webster Cliffs)

Sam agreed to come along for a return trip, this time on a much better day. She brought her friend Kevin along and the three of us made our way to the trailhead for the Signal Ridge Trail on Sawyer River Road in Bartlett. Once on the trail, the first 2 mile are a nice easy warm-up. This fairly flat section has a few brook crossings (which may be varying degrees of difficult in higher water) and passes by a small, but scenic, beaver pond.

Along the Signal Ridge Trail

Once the trail starts to climb, it never lets up. While not being overly steep, it’s uphill all the way until you emerge on Signal Ridge. We trudged upward and onward. Once we hit the ridge, it was as if new life was breathed into me. The views from Signal Ridge alone rival most in the Whites, with Carrigain Notch right at your finger tips. The summit tower is directly ahead, a short climb still awaits.

View of the summit from Signal Ridge

We made the short hike up past the site of former cabin and up to the summit clearing. Ascending to the stairs to the observation platform an endless view in all directions smacks you right in the face. Your eyes don’t know which way to look first. Most of the peaks one typically looks for can be seen from here. The Franconia Ridge is easily picked, as is my personal favorite peak to identify - Bondcliff, and it’s brothers, and of course Mt. Washington and the Presidentials are spotted as well as other popular spots like Mt. Chocorua and so on and so on. A camera has never seemed so inadequate.

Northerly view from sumit

I’m really glad we made the trip back out here on a great day. The view is most certainly worthy of all it’s praise, and while I still can’t call any one view my absolute favorite, this one has to be at the top of the list.

Southeasterly view from summit

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