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Thread: Exploring the Wild River Wilderness

  1. #1
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    Exploring the Wild River Wilderness

    How it began.

    He: (sitting on the side of Mt. Jefferson on Monday checking in with his better half. Yes I have become one of those people) Hi. Iím doing fine. At the junction of the Cornice and Castle trails.

    She: (at work) Iím looking at the map. What do you think of this loop?

    He: Shouldnít you be working?

    She: I should be but Iím looking at the map. We go up East Branch trail to Wild River trail to Rainbow trail to Carter Dome. Go down Black Angel trail, cross by Spider Bridge, up Black Angel to Basin Rim trail to Mt. Meader and then down Mt. Meader trail. It's about 21 miles. Water levels are low. What do you think? The weather looks good and Iíve already asked for Wednesday off tentatively.

    He: Letís do it.

    And just like that we have hiking plans for Wednesday.

    A few pictures of our day.

    The East Branch trail can be wet and muddy.


    In fact it is wet and muddy. More moose prints than people.


    A nice patch of Twinflowers.


    Welcome to the Wilderness. A blowdown to greet you as you cross over.


    Lots of water crossings during the course of the day. Pick a low water day.


    The Perkins Notch shelter. It will most likely be removed this year. It was slated for destruction last fall but is still standing.


    One last blowdown as we leave the Wilderness.


    The Rainbow trail could use a little brushing in spots.


    The birch glades on the Rainbow trail rival those on the Fire Warden's trail on Mt. Hale.


    Nice views from the top of Rainbow Ridge. One of the best views in the Whites.


    The summit of Rainbow Ridge (in the foreground) from the trail closer to Carter Dome.


    Mt. Hight and the other Carters from the summit of Carter Dome.


    To be continued..........
    J&J

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    We dropped down the Black Angel trail. There were way too many blowdowns in the first 1/2 mile. It's steep uphill and steep downhill on both sides of the blowdowns so we had to go over, under and between the blowdowns. It was a workout. Bring a small saw if you go. We regretted not having ours.


    Along the Black Angel trail.


    The big Wild River crossing. In high water this is very difficult to cross. Today in low water, very easy to cross.


    The site of the old Blue Brook shelter which was torn out a couple of years ago.


    Our last major climb of the day, up to Mt. Meader.


    Pale Corydalis on our approach to Mt. Meader.


    Great views of South Baldface dropping down the Mt. Meader trail.


    The hike came in at 21.2 miles including a little foray across the cutoff from Blue Brook shelter area to the Basin trail and back. We did not see another person all day. Mid-week hiking and trails less traveled will do that.
    J&J

  3. #3
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Me likes the way she thinks :-)
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    Senior Member Jimmy Legs and Little D's Avatar
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    Great way to plan for a great hike!

    Donna

  5. #5
    Senior Member cooperhill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J&J View Post
    We dropped down the Black Angel trail. There were way too many blowdowns in the first 1/2 mile. It's steep uphill and steep downhill on both sides of the blowdowns so we had to go over, under and between the blowdowns. It was a workout. Bring a small saw if you go.
    ...or an axe.

    I think the Black Angel trail is actively adopted (at least it was last year) so hopefully it will be cleared soon.

    Great pictures. Thanks for sharing.
    Chris

    USFS Trails Volunteer / Adopter: Piper Trail, West Side Trail (Mt. Chocorua), Mt. Potash Trail; Saco Ranger District volunteer axe instructor; Chatham Trails Association (CTA), Trailwrights

    "If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend four sharpening my ax" Abraham Lincoln

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    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Awesome!

    I'm guessing it was somewhere in the vicinity of a 12Ī hour day of hiking??

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    Senior Member bigmoose's Avatar
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    That East Branch Trail is best left to the frogs and salamanders. You can avoid it by taking a dry, well-built old road that parallels it up the ridge a tad.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cooperhill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigmoose View Post
    That East Branch Trail is best left to the frogs and salamanders. You can avoid it by taking a dry, well-built old road that parallels it up the ridge a tad.
    And it's on a list of trails proposed to be decommissioned.

    http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558...LT2_033396.pdf
    Chris

    USFS Trails Volunteer / Adopter: Piper Trail, West Side Trail (Mt. Chocorua), Mt. Potash Trail; Saco Ranger District volunteer axe instructor; Chatham Trails Association (CTA), Trailwrights

    "If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend four sharpening my ax" Abraham Lincoln

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1HappyHiker View Post
    Awesome!

    I'm guessing it was somewhere in the vicinity of a 12Ī hour day of hiking??
    John- It was just about 12 hours total including our two shelter stops, food stops, view stops and slow hiking in the blowdowns on the Black Angel trail.
    J&J

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigmoose View Post
    That East Branch Trail is best left to the frogs and salamanders. You can avoid it by taking a dry, well-built old road that parallels it up the ridge a tad.
    JT- Where's the fun in that though??? And we didn't see any frogs or salamanders either.
    J&J

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooperhill View Post
    And it's on a list of trails proposed to be decommissioned.

    http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558...LT2_033396.pdf
    Coop- There are three parts to the East Branch trail: what I will call the southern, middle and northern sections. The Forest is looking to close only the southern and middle sections. Both of those sections can be avoided by taking the East Branch Rd off Slippery Brook Rd to the northern section of the East Branch trail which accesses the Wild River trail.

    I hiked the two lower sections a couple of weeks ago. The southern section is an old logging road that has not had any maintenance done on it for years but is still relatively easy to follow. The middle section- forget about it. It starts off nicely enough but then turns to crap in a hurry. Very difficult to follow. Mud wallows probably waist high. Floating mats of tree branches which look sturdy enough to hold one until one steps on it and realizes there's nothing holding it in place, it's merely floating on the water. At many points there is no trail bed to follow. Many water crossings with no bridges. When the last river crossing is made, the trail turns nice again. Overall it is probably the toughest "trail" I've ever followed in the Whites. Yet at the same time oddly satisfying that I was able to maintain some sort of semblance of trail finding. The middle section of the East Branch trail, even though it is not in a Wilderness area, is probably wilder than any trail in any of our Wildernesses in the Whites.
    J&J

  12. #12
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Those big blowdowns near the top were there a year ago when I hiked Black Angel--one has pulled some large slab over with it and is particularly difficult to get around --- it's going to take multiple people to clear that area and some of it may be dicey work, IMHO .
    ~Wag more, bark less ~
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  13. #13
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    The Map Adventures map splits the trail into 3 sections as well. They actually show the middle 1.2 miles, from the road crossing to the parking area at the end of East Branch Road, with a dotted line and the notation "Trail obscured, use road."
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

  14. #14
    Senior Member PETCH's Avatar
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    Wow, killer hike and great pics. kudos.

    Petch
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  15. #15
    Senior Member NeoAkela's Avatar
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    Nice! I love the Wild River wilderness.
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