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Thread: Mt Davis On Montalban Ridge

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Mt Davis On Montalban Ridge

    Curious to hike out and see Mt Davis in the Montalban Range. AMC Guide states it probably has the best views in the range and some of the best in mountains. Considering the view from Isolation I'd say that is a hell of an endorsement. But like Isolation, it is a lengthy day hike getting in there. I made a failed attempt to do it via the Davis Path two summers ago but turned back about a mile shy (trail was very muddy, blowdowns, cobwebs and I wasn't in the best of shape at time so it was a generally miserable adventure).

    Would like to redo this year and was thinking of a different route. Here are my questions:

    1) Did they ever reopen the lower part of Rocky Branch Trail that leaves from Jericho Road with all the trail work done in Dry River Wilderness of late? I've read that "everything is open" but have not seen specific reference to this trail. Like the idea of going up Rocky Branch to Stairs Col Trail if that is doable and it is open.

    2) What is the camping situation close to Davis? Most of the woods I passed through certainly looked doable for a tent but I was well short of Davis so I didn't know if it was more scrub and rock close to summit. Thinking an overnight with a sunset/sunrise would be a nice way to hit this mountain.

    3) Does anyone have photos from the summit? I don't know that I've ever seen anyone make mention of this mountain. Considering the AMC Guide endorsement I'm surprised more people haven't referenced.

    I'd appreciate any information people have. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Member Sherby's Avatar
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    Mostly the same view as Isolation. We did it with Crawford, Resolution and Stairs from the 302. We have some pictures.
    Last edited by Sherby; 06-02-2015 at 06:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member wardsgirl's Avatar
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    Your described route, using Stairs Col Trail, is lovely. There are gorgeous campsites atop the Giant Stairs.

    I'd camp there, hike to Davis, picking up water at the small brook crossing on the way back to your camp.

    A fantastic weekend outing!
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  4. #4
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wardsgirl View Post
    Your described route, using Stairs Col Trail, is lovely. There are gorgeous campsites atop the Giant Stairs.

    I'd camp there, hike to Davis, picking up water at the small brook crossing on the way back to your camp.

    A fantastic weekend outing!
    A strong second on this from me as well!
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    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    3rd. We did that once, and twice more up along the ridge, but we liked the Stairs spot

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Did they ever reopen the lower part of Rocky Branch Trail that leaves from Jericho Road with all the trail work done in Dry River Wilderness of late?
    I was looking at this approach recently to get out to Stairs & Resolution, and it was still closed two weeks ago. But it looks like it might have just reopened:

    Rocky Branch Trail sustained an impressive amount of damage during Tropical Storm Irene. The trail is now open to foot traffic only from the end of Rocky Branch Road (Jericho Road) to Rocky Branch Shelter #1. Significant portions of the trail are missing or damaged between Shelter #1 and #2 and therefore continues to be closed to all access.

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/white...a/?recid=77832

  7. #7
    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Views are similar to those from Isolation (location and height are very close) but more expansive because the summit is more open. Worth the detour if you're on Isolation.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
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    If you have two cars, an alternative that I much enjoyed in a group hike 9 years ago takes in nearly all of Davis Path. We took Glen Boulder Trail up to Davis Path, took the short detour north to Boott Spur, then took Davis Path south to its end at 302 in Crawford Notch, taking the spurs to the summits of Isolation, Davis and Stairs. As I recall, that added up to about 18 miles, but don't rely on my memory for that. It was a long day and fairly strenuous, but although we were all in decent shape we weren't all athletes. The car-spot isn't short but not ridiculous.

    nartreb explains why the Davis views top those from Isolation. If you are keeping track of NE3Ks, there is reason to believe that the true summit of Davis is the trail-free (but also open-looking at its top) knob a little to the north of the knob with the spur.

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    Senior Member Scubahhh's Avatar
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    "Rocky Branch Trail sustained an impressive amount of damage during Tropical Storm Irene. The trail is now open to foot traffic only from the end of Rocky Branch Road (Jericho Road) to Rocky Branch Shelter #1..."

    Anybody know whether Rocky Branch Shelter #1 is still there? Isn't that one they're going to tear down and not replace?
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  10. #10
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
    I was looking at this approach recently to get out to Stairs & Resolution, and it was still closed two weeks ago. But it looks like it might have just reopened:

    Rocky Branch Trail sustained an impressive amount of damage during Tropical Storm Irene. The trail is now open to foot traffic only from the end of Rocky Branch Road (Jericho Road) to Rocky Branch Shelter #1. Significant portions of the trail are missing or damaged between Shelter #1 and #2 and therefore continues to be closed to all access.

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/white...a/?recid=77832
    Thanks for the update. That was my biggest concern. Has anyone driven Jericho Road and/or hiked this section of trail of late? Wondering if a small car (i.e. low ground clearance) is OK on the road.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  11. #11
    Senior Member wardsgirl's Avatar
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    Jericho Road is a well-graded dirt road. No problem at all in my Hyundai Elantra.

    The road is gated about a mile before the trailhead, but it's an easy walk.

    Rocky Branch Trail from the trailhead to Stairs Col Trail has been open for nearly a full year.

    The shelter at the intersection sees a lot of traffic from fisherman. This shelter is still there and there are no plans for its removal that I know about. (I think the shelter at the intersection of Rocky Branch and Isolation east is slated for removal.)
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  12. #12
    Senior Member KV's Avatar
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    Hiked this area this weekend. Jericho Road is NOT gated so you can drive to the gated bridge. Shelter #1 is still there - intact. There was a group already there Friday night so we just cut down to the tent sites.

    The trail between Shelter 1 and 2 is still closed. The trail up to stairs is open - a bit wet and slippery and many blowdowns - one with a bit of a detour to get around it. Also a huge portion of a pine precariously hanging by a branch caught in a birch - be warned.

    Trail between Stairs and Davis very wet and slick. Didn't make it the whole way - about 1/2 before turning back.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member wardsgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KV View Post
    Hiked this area this weekend. Jericho Road is NOT gated so you can drive to the gated bridge. Shelter #1 is still there - intact. There was a group already there Friday night so we just cut down to the tent sites.

    The trail between Shelter 1 and 2 is still closed. The trail up to stairs is open - a bit wet and slippery and many blowdowns - one with a bit of a detour to get around it. Also a huge portion of a pine precariously hanging by a branch caught in a birch - be warned.

    Trail between Stairs and Davis very wet and slick. Didn't make it the whole way - about 1/2 before turning back.
    Thanks for letting me know that the road is no longer gated.

    Also, Stairs Col Trail is looking for an adopter if anyone is interested
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  14. #14
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Davis Path is pretty good from 302 to Stairs, interestingly enough. A couple of mudholes but otherwise dry, particularly on the rock. (And wardsgirl, I know I should have been a few miles further north, soon, honest )

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    Camping on top of Giant Stairs is fantastic. From the old Resolution shelter site to Mt Isolation on the Davis Path, there are very few legal camping opportunities (Giant Stairs is a desi site, there are no others on Davis Path until you go north of Isolation.) The terrain and vegetation on this section is not conducive to getting 200 ft off the trail. I successfully hung a hammock too close to the trail a few summers ago, I don't recall seeing anywhere I could have put a tent in this section. I have heard conflicting reports as to whether it is possible to camp on/near Mt Davis itself.

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