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Thread: Traveler Loop BSP 9/10

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2003
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    Gorham NH
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    Traveler Loop BSP 9/10

    My other goal for this years BSP quick trip was the Travelers Loop. I had done it as a solo about a year after it was initially opened and managed to hit it with just about perfect weather for a second time. Unlike my prior hike that was done at the same time of year, the trail is now getting popular with several groups making the CCW hike. The ranger is pretty careful to recommend the CCW direction and also indicate that the hike is more strenuous than many in the park. He also recommends extra water. Although the highest summit is lower than the better known 4Ks in the park, the overall elevation gain is significant as 4 distinct summits and a couple of subsidiary summits along the way with intervening cols add in additional vertical that has to be lost and gained. The hike also has a lot of sun exposure due to long stretches of exposed hiking above the vegetation. The blueberries were quite prolific this time especially in the center of the hike. For those who want a good view of the East Branch country and the new national monument, its hard to beat.

    Some observations of the trip. The trail bed starts out solid but as the day progresses it gets decidedly looser. For those who dislike loose talus this may not be their cup of tea. The last mile or so is particularly tedious after a long day. The suns orientation also means the last 2 miles from North Traveler means you are walking into the sun. I went through just over 4 liters of water and a few electrolyte tabs and wouldn't have minded a bit more. There really is no water source along the route.

    We started at 7:15 and were done by 4:15. The ranger suggests 10 to 12 hours. I am decidedly pokey especially on hot days so I suspect that his suggestion is conservative. Due to the views of the region, it would be quite easy to spend a lot of extra time on the various summits and the blueberries could easily add on some time.

    I do have to make a plug for the South Branch Pond area of the park and the NE corner of the park in general. For those who haven't visited the upper end of the park, they should consider their BSP experience less than complete. There is no equal to South Branch Pond in the south of the park, and for those with a family of mixed interests and ability its probably the best fit. Kidney and Daicey have some similar qualities but due to their popularity and higher cost its rare that someone can get in. Unlike the southern campgrounds that appear to have been laid out at random it looks like South Branch is laid out better. The lean tos at the lake can be bit close together but the other lean tos interspersed with tent sites tend to larger and better spaced then the south. The dock and swimming area is quite a bit more inviting then many of the campgrounds plus there are canoes for rent and many hikes of less length and elevation yet still ending up above the trees. I expect this region will get the biggest impact from the new National Monument due to proximity and availability of campsites.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 09-11-2016 at 07:35 PM.

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