Great Gulf, White Mountains, New Hampshire

By AlpineZone News |
Aug 05 2001 - 04:36 PM

Friday – Sunday, August 3-5, 2001

Trip Report: Just had a super hike in the Great Gulf on the north side of Mount Washington, in New Hampshire. Hiked in on the Great Gulf Trail and set up camp about a 1/4 mile beyond the junction with the Six Husbands Trail. I continued up the Great Gulf to the Sphinx Trail, then over Mount Clay which I had never done in all the times I’ve been through there. Used the summit of Washington as a refueling stop, I bought my lunch instead of carrying it and downed 2 liters of water that didn’t need treating. After lunch climbed down the Tuckerman Trail to the Alpine Garden Trail. This last trail is a wonderful quiet spot to just scroll along. There is little rise in it and if June is the best time to see the flowers it must be truly wonderful. I saw a lot of them in bloom and I’m still trying to figure out what they all were. It ends at the Auto Road with a super view of the Northern Presidentials. Descended into the Great Gulf on the Wamsutta Trail; the second part of this trail is steep with a couple of very steep places where I had no place to hold and had to just slide down them.

Day two: Down the Great Gulf to the Six Husbands (of Weetammo) Trail. This would be a great trail for older kids (10+) there are a lot places to explore. This is another STEEP trail, there are two double sets of ladders (first, second) and a lot of climbing up and over rocks. Lot of great view to the East, into the Great Gulf headwall, and Mount Washington. It gets easier after making the “Knee”, I continued up Mount Jefferson. Then turned towards Washington over Mount Clay again this time without a lot of the clouds of the day before.

The upper Gulfside Trail was a madhouse as it was Saturday and the hordes were upon it. Kid throwing rocks over the Great Gulf headwall, walking on the Alpine Vegetation and walking up the Cog railway. Refueled on the top again. Started down the Nelson Craig Trail, this is a long rocky Trail and I’m not sure which is the better route for it up or down but I’m leaning towards up. It wasn’t much fun to go down. Reaching the Auto Road via the Old Jackson Rd, I hiked up the road 2 miles to the top of the Chandler Brook Trail. The upper part of this trail is very steep getting down to the brook. There are a lot of great falls on this brook, I took pictures at all the crossings but there were many more falls but I wasn’t in the mood to pound the brush to look at them.

I got back to camp about 6 PM to find one or more of those long tailed, red RATS had gotten into my hanging food bag and made off with most of my food, 2 power bars were completely missing. I guess they’ve learn that they last longer if you don’t open them. They also ate a package of pepperoni, my four candy bars for the next day and my lunch the next day. They did leave my Freeze dried meal for supper and and can of sardines, which became my breakfast the next day along with the crackers in the I carried that day. I walked out the Great Gulf Trail Sunday instead of climbing Madison Gulf Trail and down the Boy Scout Trail. It was a great hike. I hiked 8 of the 10 trails I was trying to hike so I’ll put this hike in the win column, and go back after the Madison Gulf Trail on a day hike.

View all the images from this hike.

Submitted by Kevin French
Warner, NH
Tue, 14 Aug 2001

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