View Full Version : Moat Mt/Red Ridge trail...

01-09-2004, 04:29 PM
Anyone have any info on this?? Thinking about doing it as my first overnighter/weekend backpack with my new gear in mid-late april...possibly later depending on conditions. Anyone have any info on the trail and summits in terms of trail use, scenery, good camping spots. Any info is appreciated...but it would be awesome if anyone had any pics from the trail. I'll be posting this exact question for another ridge/trail system momentarily. Thanks gang.

Captain Fantastic

01-09-2004, 08:22 PM
The North Moat/Red ridge loop from Dianas bath or the run from South moat to Middle and down Red Ridge are both day hikes. The ridge melts out earlier than most of the whites, but there is a stretch of red ridge trail that holds snow later in the season (its west of Cathedral ledge) and a lot of people have a tough mile or so posthole. The camping along the ridge would be bony although there is a softwood stand between Middle and North Moat with potential. There is also great camping at the base of red ridge after the first brook crossing. Keep in mind that both Red ridge trail and the North Moat trail have several water crossing that can be nasty in the spring.

01-10-2004, 02:43 PM
I did this loop last year in early May as a day hike. Beautiful, great views. Once you get past Diana's Baths, you probably won't see many other hikers. Water was fairly high, but crossings weren't a problem. The biggest had a big tree fallen across it which could be used, if necessary.

If I think of it, I'll upload pix to Webshots on Monday when I get to work, and edit this post and add the link. My dialup connection here at home is too slow for that. :(


01-13-2004, 07:07 AM
As promised, here (http://community.webshots.com/album/110991151Utqpbu) are photos.


01-13-2004, 09:00 AM
We found high water conditions on 8/10/03. Admittedly, not necessarily typical, but in spring you can expect high runoff, especially if it rains.

You do have to ford this brook, although not at the depicted location.

01-13-2004, 09:23 AM
The geology of the Moat Range is fun too. The range is essentially the remains of a volcanic caldera. The Conway granite pluton underlies the North Conway in the valley and is exposed at White Horse Ledge. The pluton intrudes the overlying remains of the caldera.

The beds of volcanic rocks in the caldera are particularly well exposed on the South Moat Mountain Trail. If you pay attention on the way up you can see the variation in bedded volcanic rocks on the way up. You'll see lots of volcanic breccia.

One of the photos by sp1936 shows a vertical wall. This is likely a location where a triassic dike cuts the volcanic rocks.

A word of caution, the volcanic rocks are extremely slippery when wet.....I know from lots of experience


01-13-2004, 11:33 AM
I hiked North Moat on New Years Day. It's essentially flat from Diana's Baths until you get past the junction of the Attitash Trail, so a campsite shouldn't be too hard to find (if legal). There were no obvious blazes until we were up on the ledges. There's only one crossing of Lucy Brook (on the Moat Mt. Trail) to worry about, and we had no problem, but April might be a different story. We missed the trail crossing of the brook, instead following a herd path to the right along the brook bank. It took a while for the path to peter out, and we crossed and recrossed a couple of times looking for the trail, before realizing what had happened, and we had to bushwhack away from the brook a bit to find the trail again.

The brook was high at the junction with the Red Ridge trail, though. We couldn't have crossed it without scouting or getting wet.

01-13-2004, 02:57 PM
Thanks for all the replies!! Yikes, I hadn't really given any thought to the run-off in april...El-Bagr that was in August?? Wowsers...well, this will give me a good excuse to research another location. Anyone have any recommendations for what is sure to be a pair of winterized (read: out of shape) 3 season backpackers looking to get out as soon as possible with some moderate elevation gain and reasonable 2-3 day mileage?? I'd really like some VFTT...which is why I picked these regions...they weren't 4Kers but my map indicated they went above treeline, and the contours didn't look very difficult...but raging rivers are a force not to be reckoned with. Your opinions are grately appreciated. Thanks for the photos Steve!!

Captain Fantastic

01-16-2004, 01:36 PM
A group of us took the Attitash Trail two years ago and found it very hard to find. We had a group that included 3 (old) eagle scouts and 3 other people who do a lot of hiking and we just kept losing the damm thing. Finally, we just turned around and backtracked to a prior trail junction and took a different trail.

For your spring hike, I would be a little leery of the stream crossings as a couple of them can be tricky and we had to meander up and down the banks a bit before we could find a place to cross.

Without my maps or amc book I cant be certain, but I think we backtracked to the Red Ridge Trail and took that. It was a nice hike with a lot of flat spaces and gentle incline through the woods before it got steep at the Moats...

Some of the ledges on the moats can be tricky in the rain or wet weather. That being said, the views are nice and the crowds are sparse up there...