Mts. Pierce and Eisenhower Winter Hike
4000 Footer DATE: 01/06/2024 - 01/06/2024
Trip/Event Location: Bretton Woods, NH
Trip Leader(s): dpbyrnes
Max # People: 10
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
Join us for this 9.6 mile winter hike to the summits of two prominent 4000-foot peaks in the Presidential Range...Mt. Pierce (4312') and Mt. Eisenhower (4760'). We will take the Crawford...
As you pass the exit for Lincoln, continue on I-93 N for 11.9 miles. Take exit 35 to merge onto US-3 North toward Twin Mountain. Follow US-3 N for 10.3 miles. Turn right onto US-302 and follow US-302 East for 8.4 miles where you'll drive by Bretton Woods Ski Area and the Mt. Washington Hotel. The Crawford Path parking will be on the left... just before the AMC Highlander Center...taking a left for a short distance up the Mt. Clinton Road (beyond this, the road is closed). There might will available street parking and parking at the Highlander Center. Total distance from Lincoln is 30.8 miles (about 35 minutes). Look for a white Honda CRV.
With summit reports on Thursday still saying 10-16 temps, a minus 6 -11 wind chill and gusts up to 30 mph for Mt. Pierce (4312') and Mt. Eisenhower (4760'), the weather took a abrupt shift on Friday and Saturday turned into a wonderful day for winter hiking. We didn’t get any real sun but at Pierce had beautiful views of Mt. Eisenhower which did finally cloud in a bit when we got there along with a light wind (in my opinion) at the summit of Eisenhower.
JT had to go help with storm recovery in RI and Mo had to drop out, but Tim joined last minute so there were six of us starting out at the Mt Clinton Rd parking lot/ Crawford Connector Path around 8:15. The trail was packed with light snow over mostly ice or dirt/rock all the way up to Pierce and most of us had spikes on early. Temp was totally comfortable and we made good time to the summit in about 2 – 2.5 hours. After snacking we said goodbye to Bob and Fred (who both had to do shorter hikes due to personal chores/responsibilities) and Tim who headed back down. Rob, Russ and I headed off for Eisenhower where again the trail was semi-packed in most places or at least broken. At points there was maybe a 1 – 1.5 feet of snow, which was wonderful for the descent (and I was glad we collectively made the right call not to drag our snow shoes with us on the hike). Off trail some drifts were closer to 2-3 feet of snow. The summit was cloudy but not super windy so we had a quick snack break there before starting the return.
There were a bunch of other hikers along the way the whole day, saw a few Gray Jays getting snacks and per usual some lovely eye candy (always a perk!). I especially loved that the trees on the trails were magical in many places…an assembly of various forms of snow gnomes… We got back to the parking lot around 2pm.
All told another great GO winter hike – a breathtaking winter day in the Presidentials with some gorgeous vistas!
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