Monday, August 6, 2001
Trails: Edmands Path, Crawford Path, Mt. Monroe Loop
Distance: 10 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Conditions: Dry, Sunny & Hot; Calm winds
Special Required Equipment: Sunglasses, sunscreen, and of course, plenty of water.
Trip Report: David and I left Sugarloaf II campground in the Zealand Recreation Area at 7:20 AM. It looked to be a clear and warm summer day. Our original plan was to take a short up and back hike up Mount Jefferson via the Caps Ridge Trail. We made our way up Base Road towards the Mount Washington Cog Base Area to where Jefferson Notch Road and Mount Clinton Road intersects Base Road. At the intersection we noticed a road crew grading the entrance to Jefferson Notch Road. One of the workers indicated that the road wouldn’t be open for another 20 minutes. We decided to head up Mount Clinton Road to Edmands Path instead. We had talked about summiting Eisenhower the next day anyway, so we decided to do it this day.
Edmunds Path was my first White Mountain hike at the age of 13. My brother David and I base camped in the Mount Pleasant Brook Ravine off Edmands Path and hiked all the way to Washington and back during a day hike the second day. The trailhead looked a bit different with a nice graded parking area. We were the first car in the lot and started our way up Edmands Path at 7:45.
The first mile and half went pretty quick and I realized I should slow the pace a bit as I felt unusually tired for how far we had hiked. Edmands Path continues steadily up and the first view of Jefferson is achieved at a little over the two mile mark. After a short distance another view of Jefferson, as well as Clay and Washington is reached. As we approached treeline we came across an Alpine Zone and Stop sign. We soon broke out of the trees and merged with the Crawford Path at the 2.9 mile mark. It was about 9:40 and we took a short break to take in the views and decide where to go next. It was surly going to be a beautiful day with fine views. We decided to skip summiting Eisenhower and to continue towards Franklin.
Franklin is not much of a summit. it’s more like a 5001′ bump in the ridge. It affords great views though and makes for relatively easy hiking. We decided to push on towards Monroe and at some point decided to hike until 11:00 and then turnaround. We quickly found ourselves approaching Lakes of the Clouds Hut. We reached the hut at about 11:10.
After a short break at the hut to get more (cold) water, we decided to head back over Monroe via the Mount Monroe Loop. We quickly reached the summitand decided to break again and take in the views of Washington and the Northern and Southern Peaks.
We descended Monroe and headed back on the Crawford Path. We made excellent time back to Edmands Path, but had to slow our pace down Edmands as our knees were starting to feel this 10 mile hike. We reached the trailhead at 2:15 PM.