Member Trip report
Squam Range Traverse
Trip Report/Photos from Robert.L
Sometimes the weather is just so spectacular that you have no option other than to indulge and indeed that is what I did. It’s not always easy to trek north for a big day hike, just a touch harder for two consecutive days but... life is for living. I connected with a hiker bud and we settled on the Squam Range Traverse – a hike I led a few years back in the pouring rain along the Crawford ridgepole trail. We spotted cars, one at the Cotton Mountain trail head, the other at the intersection of Diamond Ledge Road and Sandwich Notch Road. Sandwich Notch Road was still blocked by a modest snow bank which I could have driven through, but I opted otherwise.
We parked and hiked the short distance to the trail head. I didn’t take many pictures – very few in fact – I wanted today to be just a day outside with a hiking mate. The trail started out dry. The ascent to the ridge is relatively short and modestly steep for a short stretch. We pop over a tricky ledge and then the journey begins. Soon after the ledge the snow became evident and was part of the landscape. Like Saturday’s hike – it was frozen solid so it made for brilliant micro-spike hiking.
The highest peak along this range is Mt. Squam at 2,223’. This ridge is not to be underestimated though, overall you score over 3,000’ of elevation gain as you traverse between the summits and you tackle nearly 14 miles of landscape – simply amazing.
Mt. Squam offers the most 360 degree panoramic views and as you hike westward the views become exclusive to the Squam Lake as the trees are really growing in when looking north and east.
As we hiked evidence of moose and bear activity was ever present. We saw some really sweet bear prints – clear as day – along the trail. The section of trail between Sandwich Notch Road and Mt. Percival is not as frequently hiked so I’m guessing natures residents are very much at peace.
We took a long lunch basking in the sunshine and a long break on Mt. Morgan doing the same – the day was just meant to be soaked up. We started hiking sometime between 9:30 and 10:00am and finished at 7pm on the dot. It was a stunning day with good company and we put in a little trail maintenance along the way too – giving back – it’s truly an important part of hiking. I think the next time I do this hike I’ll flip it.
Cheers mates – see you on the trails!!
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