Member Trip report
Trip Report/Photos from Kettric
Arrived at the parking area with 12 cars already packing the spaces, I joined the overflow parking along the road at 9am. Took a few minutes to get oriented and on trail before I realized my transponder was dead from my last trek and forgot to charge it. Learned the hard way my Inreach Mini needs more juice than my battery bank can pump out. Decided I had decent cell coverage and appropriate gear, so I hit the trail at 9:05am.
Sandwich Mountain Trail out of the gate had pretty easy grades, aside from the sharp drop to the river crossing. Mostly forest floor with not too many roots and rocks to trip up on. Very manageable with deep knee bends and some audible grunting. 1.2 miles in, the trail took a sharp increase in grade for about 0.3 miles until you rounded on to the ridge where it remained consistent through to the forested Noon Peak, but still had a few peak-a-views and an open ledge area for some expansive views of the valley to wet the appetite. Breezed past the peak in more easy to follow forest floor and ledge walking through to the junction with Jennings Peak Spure.
Jennings Peak was oddly packed with a dozen or so people, the first people I had seen this day. Including one particular hiker in an orange shirt, I hoped to bump into again. A quick 0.25 mile spur out to Jennings Peak and back was worth it for the quick views. Returned back to Sandwich Mountain Trail to continue up to the dome in more breezy, bug free, forested trail.
Another 0.6 miles of easy grades to connect over to the next batch of elevation, which turned out to be less challenging than I had been led to believe. Following the green tunnel another 0.4 miles to the summit with 30% inclines in places, with twists and turns, what looked like a swamp 0.25 miles from the summit, and ultimately uneventful. Traffic at this point started to pick up with a 4 sets of couples descending as I was approaching the summit.
Summit view was worth the climb and got a chance to eat lunch with just one other person (that decided to Bogart the optimal picture vantage point as her lunch seat. Thankfully I’m tall enough to not be deterred, and made a nuisance of myself for 30 seconds to grab some pics that did the view justice.
Packed up and took in the view a few more minutes before descending into what is best described as a traffic jam. Ran into less than 20 people on the ascent, all most all of which were at Jennings Peak, and probably 80 people on the way back down just on the trail. Total trip took 5:09:16 with 20 minutes for lunch and breaks. 8.16 miles and 2958’ of elevation gain for a leisure trail meander. A great trek, I’d recommend it as 3 season GO event. I will probably try this hike again this winter to see how it holds up.
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I view Sandwich Dome from my house everyday! Hike it at least once a year...hiked up in winter many times. For a quieter approach with less people...try Algonquin Trail...my favorite...if you don't mind a few challenging rock scrambles.