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White Mountain National Forest, NH

Jul 12 - Jul 18, 2015 -- $1150 ★★

New Hampshire's White Mountains are a rugged and beautiful wilderness with enormous granite peaks that rise far above tree line, offering sweeping hundred-mile vistas on clear days. The Whites are also a land of primeval trees, tumbling waterfalls, and charismatic wildlife such as moose, bears, deer, and fox. We plan to hike some of the premiere trails the White Mountains have to offer.

This trip is a Day Hiking Only trip with one day of Kayaking (or canoeing if you prefer -- experience not necessary). It differs from our traditional backpacking excursions because instead of backpacking, we spend every night base camping at a front country campground.

We'll embark upon 4 hikes, one per day for 4 days, separated by a day of kayaking. Unlike backpacking, we drive to a trailhead every morning and carry only day packs containing a minimum of equipment. Most days we hike 5-10 miles, rain or shine.

This trip is ideal for those who want to jump start their fitness regimen or for those individuals who would find backpacking too strenuous. Some participants have summitted the first mountain in their life on this trip. However, no matter what your condtioning level, you will find the week challenging and enjoyable. Because we're carrying significantly less gear than we would on a backpacking trip, expect body composition change to be more moderate. One other note: We will be staying in a campground that has fire pits, picnic tables, running water, and coin operated showers.

We will be hiking to some of the premier mountain destinations in the White Mountains tempered by a flat day of hiking and a day of kayaking. The hikes themselves will include Welch & Dickey Mountains, Sabbaday Falls, Mt. Chocorua, Lincoln Woods, Franconia Falls, and the tallest peak in NH, Mt. Washington (6288'), one of the most challenging and amazing hikes you'll ever undertake.

We'll also spend a day of kayaking on the Androscoggin River with kayaks from Great Glen Trails.


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. While daytime temperatures in the lowlands may be in the 80s, there may be snow on the upper reaches of Mt. Washington. However, expect temperatures in the 60s during the day, but in the 50s at elevation. Historical July weather averages in the 70s during the day and 50s at elevation. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures as high as 90 and as low as 30.

Trip Leaders

Deb Lusk
Donna Farber


$1150 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room in Cranmore Mountain Lodge with another trip participant. You will be responsible for getting to and from New Hampshire as well as personal equipment and any restaurant meals.

If you plan to fly, fly in to Manchester, NH (MHT) we will pick you up and drop you off at the airport (over 2 hours away from the lodge).

Covered expenses include 2 nights lodging at Cranmore Mountain Lodge (made to order country breakfast included), 4 nights at Dry River Campground, ground transportation, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, kayaking, permits, National Forest usage fees, insurance, and awesome guides.

Important Notes

Note: All hikes subject to change depending upon weather, hiker safety, group preferences or participant capabilities.

The White Mountains are a 2.5 hour drive from the airport in Manchester, NH (MHT). We'll shuttle you to and from the airport to North Conway, NH at the beginning and end of the trip or you can drive and park safely all week.

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Drive to North Conway, NH or fly into Manchester, NH (MHT). We will shuttle you from the airport to the Hotel. You may prefer to fly into Boston, (BOS) but call far in advance to see if we can arrange ground transportation. If you drive, there is plenty of secure parking all week.

Check into Cranmore Mountain Lodge, 859 Kearsarge Road, North Conway, NH 03860-1194, (800) 356-3596, (603) 356-2044

Cranmore is a full service facility that provides amenities such as a full country breakfast, wireless internet, a swimming pool, and a hot tub.

Equipment shakedown

Buy last minute and forgotten items at EMS, Main St. North Conway, 603-356-5433, or LL Bean Factory Store, Rt 16, 603-356-2100, or International Mountain Equipment, 2733 Main St., 603-356-7013

Trail mix distribution

"Before" measurements taken

Opening dinner suggestion: Flatbread Company (Dinner not included in trip cost).

Monday, July 13, 2015

"Before" measurements taken

Breakfast at Cranmore Lodge

Drive to Sabbaday Brook Trail

Hike 0.5 miles up and back to Sabbaday waterfall.

Drive 1 hour to the Welch-Dickey Trail

Hike the 4.8 mile loop to Welch Mt. and Dickey Mt.

Drive to Sabbaday Brook Trail

Mileage today: 5.3. Total trip mileage: 5.3 miles.

Head to Dry River Campground, US Route 302 and set up camp, sites TBD.

Dinner at camp

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Drive the Kancamagus Highway to Lincoln Woods

Hike 2.6 miles to Black Pond Trail

Hike 0.8 miles to Black Pond

Hike 1.1 miles to Franconia Falls, swimming and diving available

Hike 2.9 miles to Lincoln Woods Parking Lot

Total today, 7.4 Miles. Cumulative 12.7 miles

Drive back to campground

Dinner at camp

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Drive to Champney Falls Trailhead

Hike 3.9 miles to the summit of Mt. Chocorua, elevation 3475'

Hike 1.3 miles to the summit of Middle Sister

Hike 3.7 miles back down to the trailhead

Total today, 8.9 Miles. Cumulative 21.6 miles

Drive back to campground

Dinner at camp

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Kayak the Androscoggin River with Great Glen Outfitters. Expect Class II & III rapids, however if participants are novices, we can scale this back to Class I & II where no experience is necessary.

Optional: Drive to Glen Ellis Falls

Optional: Hike 0.4 miles round trip to the waterfalls

Total today, 0.4 Miles. Cumulative 22.0 miles

Dinner at camp

Pack up gear in anticipation of checking out in the morning

Friday, July 17, 2015

Wake up at 5:30AM and have breakfast

Check out of campground at 6AM and stop at the Irving 24 Hour Convenience Store on 302

Drive to Pinkham Notch

Hike 4.1 strenuous miles up Tuckerman's Ravine to the summit of Mt. Washington, 6288'. If Tuckerman's is still impassable due to snow, we'll hike up the Lion's Head, Boott Spur or Huntington Ravine. Summit temperatures can drop below freezing any day of the year.

Please note: Mt. Washington is an extraordinarily strenuous hike. Many previous participants have successfully summitted the mountain, but if you are unsure of your ability to do so, there is a turnaround point halfway that you will certainly be able to reach.

Take our shuttle vehicle back to the parking lot

Total today, 4.1 Miles. Cumulative 26.1 miles

Drive back to Cranmore Lodge and check in

"After" measurements taken

Go out to dinner at Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery (Dinner not included in trip cost)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Full country breakfast at Cranmore Lodge

Check out of lodge

Airport Drop

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