WELCH AND DICKEY PRIDE LOOP HIKE
LGBTQ Hike DATE: 06/25/2022 - 06/25/2022
Trip/Event Location: Waterville Valley, NH
Max # People: 12
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Our Pride Hike offers excellent views from summit ledges with a fun social mixer to follow back at our house with swimming in the Mad River and a BBQ!
The Welch-Dickey Loop is one of the most...
Trailhead and parking area are on Orris Road in Thornton, NH. Take Exit 28 off of Rt. 93, drive 5.5 miles down Rt. 49 towards Waterville Valley and take a left on Upper Mad River Road [it’s after Smarts Brook trailhead]. After 0.7 miles, turn right onto Orris Road. The parking area is 0.6 miles down, on the right. We’ll be driving a blue Toyota Tacoma truck.
Hot and humid day for 10 gay hikers with rainbow flags. Who could ask for more? This is a big bang for your buck peak! While it can be hard to choose which hikes to do on any given day, one of our absolute favorite trails in the White Mountains is the Welch & Dickey Loop trail, which summits two mountains in just 4.4 miles. The Welch & Dickey Loop is a moderate to challenging hike. It’s a great step-up trail for hikers wanting to gain more experience with rock scrambling and summit hiking. Welch Mountain is 2,605 feet high with Dickey at 2,734 feet. Over two miles of hiking over open ledges with spectacular views make it one of the most enjoyable hikes in the White Mountains.
It’s important to celebrate pride in the extreme places and the mundane. Every person who celebrates is another example of who queer people are and what we can do. It’s a chance to remind the world, and ourselves, that our potential is limitless and is in no way inhibited by our sexuality or gender identity.
We arrived at the trailhead and paying $5 for the WMNH parking pass delayed our start to 11AM. At the trailhead, WMNF volunteers reminded everyone to bring plenty of water and beware of the rock slabs that can be slippery for hiking boots with poor traction. We easily meandered reaching the first open ledge with gorgeous views of Mad River valley.
We then saw the ledgy climb ahead up our first summit, Dickey Mountain. The climb got steeper up the rock slabs however we were rewarded with impressive views the higher we climbed. One member began to struggle resulting with our overall progress slowing down the remainder of the day. That said, we ended up with lots of time to hike, stops to take in the views and opportunities to get to know each other more!
We then arrived at the Dickey Mountain summit, which had really incredible 360 degree views of the area below, as well as a direct line of sight to our next destination, the summit of Welch Mountain. Getting to the top of Welch Mountain was just as magical as Dickey. Again, we got gorgeous views of the valleys and highways below, with large boulder areas to sit on and relax for a bit before descending back down the rest of the loop.
We had no lost or misplaced souls on our trek. In fact, with our rainbow flags flapping in the breeze, our souls were filled with pride and appreciated the words of support from the hikers we met during the day! We don’t have to just go to the gay pride events to celebrate Pride. We can be open and out anywhere, and that means hiking up mountains with rainbow flags flapping in the breeze and meeting our gay brothers/sisters and allies.
We befriended a couple of women who were very supportive of our efforts and decided to join us for our descent! In fact we had a number of hikers showing their support throughout the day! While making our descent, we stumbled upon a viewpoint on the Dickey Ledges that was easily our favorite of the entire hike. It just goes to show that sometimes, the best parts of a hike are not the destinations!
After the hike, a few members returned back to our house to hang out on our deck for some drinks and appetizers followed by a delicious dinner cooked up by Jon! After dinner, we sat on the deck enjoying the gorgeous alpenglow on the summit of Sandwich Mountain. Another nice event with a great group and cast of characters! Happy Pride everyone!
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- This was a great hike. Everyone was very friendly! The steep ledges were lots of fun and John shared how GO maintains trails and the difference between ridges and spines. Very cool stuff! I enjoyed the pace, with lots of time to hike and plenty of stops to take in the views and talk amongst the group, including Heather and Christina, our honorary fruit flies. :-) Thanks for leading us John, and I hope Mike is able to join us next time. - GpD
GpD Jun 26, 2022 at 8:51 PM
Comment: This was a great hike. Everyone was very friendly! The steep ledges were lots of fun and John shared how GO maintains trails and the difference between ridges and spines. Very cool stuff! I enjoyed the pace, with lots of time to hike and plenty of stops to take in the views and talk amongst the group, including Heather and Christina, our honorary fruit flies. :-) Thanks for leading us John, and I hope Mike is able to join us next time.