Wild River Wilderness / Moriah Loop Backpack:


DATE: Aug 05, 2022
END DATE: Aug 07, 2022

Hike/Event Location: Gorham NH

Trip Leader(s)

NYC/Hudson Valley, NY United States

Meeting Time: 8:30 AM

Max # People: 6

Hike Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money

Hike Difficulty Level:


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The Wild River Wilderness, in northeast New Hampshire, was designated by Congress as "Wilderness" in 2006.  Logged for many years and then burned by wildfires in 1903, the forest has reclaimed its former footprint between the Wildcat-Carter and Baldface ranges and is the second largest roadless area in New England.   The “Moriah Loop” will be a scenic, 3-day, 2-night, 24-mile hike through this, once again pristine, remote wilderness of regenerated forests, mountains, deep swimming holes, cascades and rivers.  

Day 1, we will first climb Mount Moriah (4049’), ascending 3250’ over 4.5 miles, via the Carter Moriah Trail and then will continue to Shelburne-Moriah (3735’).  From the exposed summits there are 360-degree views, including the Presidential Range, the highest peaks in the White Mountains, in the distance.  Day 2, we descend to the Wild River for a trek through the heart of the Wild River Wilderness, making some stops to swim and explore the Moriah Brook Gorge along the way.  Looping back on Day 3, we follow the seldom used Moriah Brook Trail to ascend back to ridgeline and the Carter Moriah Trail. 

Campsites will be by water sources on the Shelburne Trail, below 1800’ (Day 1) and then on the lower half of Moriah Brook Trail (Day 2). 

Total cumulative elevation gain and loss will be 5800 feet.

We will follow all White Mountain backcountry camping rules and regulations and “Leave No Trace” practices.



Friday, August 5th: Meet at Stony Brook Trailhead at 8:30 AM sharp to spot a car or alternately leave a car.  There is a 1.3-mile road walk to Carter Moriah Trailhead if we have less than 2 cars.

Sunday, August 7th: Return to cars at Stony Brook Trailhead by late afternoon.

All participants must come prepared for strenuous physical activity including, rock scrambling, navigating unmaintained, lightly blazed trails, climbing over blowdowns, bushwhacking, river crossings & boulder hopping and possibly muddy or submerged trails. 

Equipment and Provisions: Gear and provisions are required for 3 days, including seasonally appropriate, layered clothing for changeable White Mountain weather conditions.  

Backpack, 3 season backpacking sleeping bag or quilt, sleeping pad, backpacking tent, tarp tent or bivy sack, 10 + essentials for hiking, filled water bottles (3 liters), water filtration or purification, backpack stove, cookware and utensils, bear bag / rodent proof food bag, provisions for 3 days/2 nights, trail snacks, headlamp, layered clothing for expected conditions and rain gear, water shoes, personal items (suntan lotion, insect repellent, hair product).  Sharing of gear (stoves, fuel, water treatment and tents) is suggested. Keeping required gear streamlined will result in a more pleasurable trip. Please contact trip leader for questions and a detailed gear list, if required.

Water: There are no water sources for the first 9 miles until we reach the top of the Shelburne Trail.  It is recommended to tank up before departure and then carry 3 liters of water from starting point.  Water is expected to be available at each campsite and on route after the top of the Shelburne Trail.

More details to follow by early summer.  Please contact trip leader for any questions. A forecast of heavy rain or apocalypse will cancel.

Directions To Trailhead Parking Lot

This backpack starts at the Carter Moriah Trailhead and ends at the Stony Brook Trailhead (1.3-mile road walk).

Meeting Point (Car Spot / Finish): Stony Brook Trailhead (44.36304514,-71.17784814): Junction of Stony Brook Road and Route 16, 2 miles south of Gorham, NH town center.

Hike Starting Point: Carter-Moriah Trailhead (44.2256,-71.101): From Gorham, follow US Rt. 2 East for 0.5 miles to Bangor St.  Park only on left side at the end of the road, just along the edge of the private property.

Trip Leader


Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

NYC/Hudson Valley, NY

United States
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Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

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Newtonville, MA

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Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Harrisburg, PA

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Discuss This Trip/Event
Richardg Posted Jul 22, 2022 at 2:55 PM

Fixed a typo in Stony Brook Trailhead location. It’s Route 16.

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