|Waiting for a hike.|
|Crawford Notch, from the Highland Center.|
The Center is steeped in mountain culture, from the lodge-style accommodations, to the sweeping views of Crawford Notch, to the many framed photographs of White Mountain vistas, summits and trails. The lodge staff, like everyone you meet in the mountains, are knowledgeable and friendly. The Center itself can serve as basecamp for any number of White Mountain adventures, with a fully-stocked retail area, including all the hiking essentials, an LL Bean gear room for guests, family-style meals, comfortable sleeping rooms and many nooks to tuck away with a good book or trail map, as you plan your next adventure.There is also a very nice meeting and conference center, which I would recommend to anyone planning a multi-day meeting, special event, retreat, or similar.
|A stream crossing on the Webster-Jackson Trail.|
This loop over Mt. Washington would have been only our second time at the top of this beautiful and majestic beast. However, the continual roll of thunder from 9pm the night before well into the morning, plus a forecast including significant threat of thunderstorms throughout the day, suggested to us we seek an alternate destination. I don't mess around with lightning and exposure - there just aren't many places to seek safe cover on the exposed ridgelines of the Presidentials. Always play it safe, and live to hike another day is my feeling!
|Summit, looking north.|
|Summit of Mt. Jackson.|
We then headed over to Mizpah Hut for lunch. The hike north from the summit included some scrambles down wet rock, but overall I found the granite to be easier to grip my shoes to. Once we had gained the summit of Jackson, and then descended just a few hundred feet, the trail rolled along the same contour, give or take a few hundred feet, for a few miles over to and past the hut.This section of the walk included many beautiful bog bridges.
|Mizpah Hut in the fog.|
|Alpine nature, with the Hut in the background.|
Overall, this was an excellent hike - one of my favorites, and a loop I will do again for sure, hopefully with better vistas next time! In total, the hike was about 8 miles and included a significant climb up to Jackson, but the descent down on the Crawford path was mellow, and probably the easiest and best option for my knees! We're looking forward to an opportunity (read: a few days off from work in a row, together) to link more of these summits and huts with some of those White Mountain ridgelines!
|A sign at Crawford Path's intersection with US-302 explains the history of this old trail.|