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Thread: My Favorite NH 3Ks

  1. #1
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    My Favorite NH 3Ks

    Since finishing off the 4000 footers a couple of years ago, I have been mostly hiking 3000 footers on my annual trip up north. It has certainly not been a comedown or a disappointment because you have so many interesting and distinctive 3K peaks, many of which involve hikes of equal or greater exertion than a lot of 4Ks and many of which are more beautiful or provide better views than a lot of 4Ks. Most people on VFTT are well aware of the attraction of these lower peaks and although some are already quite popular, like Chocorua, many others are less visited and under-appreciated, like Shelburne Moriah. There are a host of wonderful 3K hikes in NH but just to mention a few of my favorites;

    Best Summit Profile: Chocorua, 3500
    Especially seen up close from First or Middle Sister, that rocky cone is very impressive

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    Best Views: Crawford, 3119
    The view of Crawford Notch is unparalleled not to mention the Southern Presidential ridge from Webster to Washington.

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    Best Hike: The Baldfaces, North 3610, and South 3570
    A long stretch of time above treeline and great views of the Wild River Wilderness as well as into Maine

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    One reason why some of these 3Ks are as difficult or more difficult than a lot of 4Ks is the starting elevation at the trailhead. For instance Shelburne Moriah is only 3735 high but you start out at an elevation of just 760 feet at the trailhead. And for the Baldface loop which tops out on North Baldface at 3610, you are starting way down at 520 feet. Anyway, I'm enjoying working my way through these 3Ks interspersed with at least one big hike a year on a different route from what I used in the past (Washington via Nelson Crag Trail, Jefferson via Caps Ridge, Adams via Lowes Path, etc). I still have Smarts, Success, Tremont, the Moats, and the Royces to look forward to among the 3Ks. Happy trails to all.

    Photo credit: wide angle photo stitches by Kman
    Last edited by Grey J; 09-15-2018 at 02:54 PM. Reason: credit
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lefty E's Avatar
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    Glad you mentioned the Royces, though East Royce is in Maine as you may well know; should not be passed up when doing West Royce...Moats are awesome you will enjoy the views, as you will from all the others too!!!Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6060 1. South Moat looking towards Chocoura; 2. East Royce looking towards Baldfaces; 3. Success (outlook but summit great too) looking at N Baldcap and Presidential Mts....
    Last edited by Lefty E; 09-15-2018 at 03:54 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member blacknblue's Avatar
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    Lots of great 3Ks out there -- hidden gems amongst the giants! Cardigan was my 'home mountain' for years and still a favorite. Chocorua and the Baldfaces as already mentioned. Kearsarge North and South, the Percys (North and South), Smarts, the Horn... and that's just in New Hampshire. Certainly great options when the 4Ks are inundated by the masses.
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    Senior Member HockeyPuck's Avatar
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    The big white wall!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyPuck View Post
    The big white wall!
    Do you mean Whitewall Mt? I believe that one's a bushwhack that I shall leave for the more adventurous. But go ahead, please tell me more.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  6. #6
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey J View Post
    Do you mean Whitewall Mt? I believe that one's a bushwhack that I shall leave for the more adventurous. But go ahead, please tell me more.
    I believe it you whack up from the North/East, it's fairly gradual (instead of going up the slide). Never done it, but I'd like to.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty E View Post
    Glad you mentioned the Royces, though East Royce is in Maine as you may well know; should not be passed up when doing West Royce...Moats are awesome you will enjoy the views, as you will from all the others too!!!Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6060 1. South Moat looking towards Chocoura; 2. East Royce looking towards Baldfaces; 3. Success (outlook but summit great too) looking at N Baldcap and Presidential Mts....
    Thanks Lefty. Yes East Royce is in Maine but not to be missed. I believe the views are far superior to the slightly higher West Royce in NH. It's kind of a cool state line double feature. I'll get them next time. I'll probably split up the Moats into 2 hikes and do the North Moat loop next year too, as well as Success with a side trip to the plane crash site and yes, the Outlook too. And hopefully I'll have time for 1 or 2 more if the weather is good.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  8. #8
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacknblue View Post
    Lots of great 3Ks out there -- hidden gems amongst the giants! Cardigan was my 'home mountain' for years and still a favorite. Chocorua and the Baldfaces as already mentioned. Kearsarge North and South, the Percys (North and South), Smarts, the Horn... and that's just in New Hampshire. Certainly great options when the 4Ks are inundated by the masses.
    I forgot Cardigan. What a great little rocky peak. Loved it. I just did the Percys and they might be my runner-up for best summit profile. I have go back and do North Percy again on a clear day. The "Velcro" summit dome is unique. The Horn is a great destination on its own whether you want to climb Cabot or have already done so. Maybe I'll go back there too so I can come in from the north via Mill Brook Rd. People seem to think that's a pretty trail.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

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