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Thread: Clearings South Of Rocky Branch Trail

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Clearings South Of Rocky Branch Trail

    I was scrolling around on CalTopo this past weekend looking for some Winter camping "shake down" spots to spend a night out that have some mountain views but are still reasonably close to a trail head and my car. I noticed on the satellite view that there are several large clearings South of the Rocky Branch Trail where it zig zags along the river during the initial climb, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 mile in. The woods are fairly open in there so it wouldn't be a bad bushwhack to travel out to the clearings. It would only be a total hike distance of maybe 1.5-1.75 miles.

    Has anyone ever checked out these open areas? Not sure how old the satellite images used on CalTopo are (or could be - I assume there is a process for regularly updating) and if maybe those clearings have grown in. Camping on the edge of one of these clearings would provide some mountain views and a nice angle for the sunrise at this time of year. Any info on this area, or some comparable ideas, would be appreciated. Thanks.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

  2. #2
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    I assume you're talking about RBT north trail-head? I've been in there a few times. If I understand walk you are talking about, the clearings you see are old clear-cuts. As most old clear-cuts, they are thick with under-growth. Often raspberry or something else thorny. Not great for camping unless it's flattened by several feet of snow.



    The day I took the above picture, I ran into something pretty odd. I can across a guy with a ful-blown camp including complete, working, wood-stove. I was going to take a picture but was not sure how he'd feel about that. Was very friendly and said feel free to use the spot. He said he found the stove higher up and dragged it down lower where he was. The odd thing is I remembered specifically there were no other cars in the lot when I started out that day. He was wearing a postal workers jacket. Just saying. If you want to try and find that, PM me. Best I can do is give you the general coordinates of where it was. It was 2013 so who knows if it's still there.

    At any rate, the woods below engine hill are wide open. Much better for camping than those clearings.


  3. #3
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    That's funny you replied because I almost messaged you directly. Figured you'd been there and probably have photos too. Is there anywhere in the Whites you haven't been? LOL. Thanks for the info. Yes, I did mean the North trail head and I am looking to camp there in Winter so counting on several feet of snow on everything. My thought was to camp on the edge of one of these clearings so I got the views but still had a little protection from the elements. Those woods are definitely pretty open which is why I figured it would make for an easy bushwhack off the main trail.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

  4. #4
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post

    The odd thing is I remembered specifically there were no other cars in the lot when I started out that day. He was wearing a postal workers jacket. Just saying. If you want to try and find that, PM me. Best I can do is give you the general coordinates of where it was. It was 2013 so who knows if it's still there.
    Looking on CalTopo there are several dirt roads below these clearings which appear to lead to the road that starts at actual parking lot. One of the larger clearings you can actually see a road in the satellite imagery so I assume he ventured up there from one of these routes. That is pretty odd. Have to keep an ear out for banjo music when I'm up there.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

  5. #5
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Actually, all my explorations of the woods and Engine Hill itself, have started off the RBT.

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