View Full Version : Gulf Hagas Loop 7/4/08 (Grand Canyon of Maine? eh, maybe not so much...)

07-06-2008, 09:20 PM
We paid the $10 per person to drive up the Katahdin Ironworks Road to the Gulf Hagas parking area. This seemed a bit pricy to drive on a dirt road, but Feets Don't Fail Me Now and I had long heard stories about the awesome Hermitage/Gulf Hagas area. In fact, FDFMN tried to convince his AT ('92) hiking partner to take the side trail, but they ended up not going. The Fourth was our day to finally go see the Gulf. The road was bumpy, but pretty well maintained for a dirt road. It was a bit like Zealand Road in the Whites... only longer.

We elected to hike the 8.5 mile route clockwise, taking in the steepish waterfall-viewing section first, leaving the easy flat trail back to the ford for the end of the hike. I would recommend hiking it this way. Some unfortunate souls did the opposite, and likely missed many of the viewing opportunities by having to scurry back to their cars before darkness fell. The entire trail was well-maintained and actually quite a bit easier than the cautionary sign at the trailhead indicated.

Screw Auger Falls (at the begining of the hike) was awesome and we enjoyed a dip in the refreshing water. The rest of the trail to the "Head of the Gulf" featured lots of side paths to the lip of the Gulf with partially obstructed views across the gorge and down to the presumably spectacular water below. These side paths led hikers up to 0.3 miles off the main trail to see varyingly impressive downlooks. Although we checked out all of the side paths, we found the best part of the day to be a toss up between the swim in Screw Auger Falls and the cold beer waiting in the trunk.