Trip report

GetWinter Hike #2: Mt. Willard

Hiking/Walk DATE: 01/08/2011 - 01/08/2011

Trip/Event Location: Bretton Woods, NH

Trip Leader(s): Gandalf

Max # People: 15

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

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Join our GetWinter hikes designed to get you into winter hiking. This is a series of progressively harder winter hikes leading up to a 4,000 footer.

This trip's focus is to get you familiar

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

In Twin Mountain at the junction of US 3 and US 302, take US 30 east and drive 8.5 miles to AMC Highland Center.  If you are coming from North Conway, the Highland Center is 21 miles from the junction of US 302 and NH 16 in Glen. We will be driving a blue Toyota FJ Cruiser.

Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

Crawford Notch has snow!  Trail was already packed out into a white mountain side walk.  Some of us wore snowshoes while others wore MicroSpikes. 

The one stream crossing was ice bridged and after that it was an easy climb up an old carriage road.

The trail climbed fairly easily and we soon found ourselves at the short spur to Centennial Pool on the right.  I descended in order to reach the bottom. This gave me a good view of of icicles forming at its base. Overall it was snow covered. In early May I would think it would be pretty.

This was our second GetWinter hike for the season. It is perfect for winter day-hiking, and the views really are tremendous.

Mt. Willard [2,865 ft.] is located at the northern end of Crawford Notch, just below the AMC Highland Center and it has a commanding view of the surrounding peaks from its southern ledges. Mt. Webster [3,910 ft.] is located to the northeast, and you can just make out Mt. Jackson [4,052 ft.] and Mt. Pierce [4,310 ft.] to the north of it, along with the Southern Presidential Ridge. The enourmous massif of Mt. Willey [4,282 ft.] is to the southwest along with Mt. Field [4,340 ft.], just a bit northwest of it.

As usual, our timing was impeccable and we popped out of the forest onto Willard's southern ledges just as the sky cleared and the sun came out. There was virtually no wind. We hiked back and forth on the 100 yard wide ledge taking in the views and playing with our cameras. This is an incredible place to hang out in winter. As usual, this trail is crowded. The round trip distance of this hike is 3.2 miles with 920 feet of elevation gain.

On the return we took the 0.2 mile spur to Hitchcock Flume. There is no sign and it's basically a bushwhack to get to it. We only found it because we saw tracks leading away from the trail at a point where we thought the trail would begin. In spite of having to push through overgrowth and scoot under/over blowdowns, I think it was worth it.

The gorge is 10 feet wide, 375 feet long, and 60 feet deep. This time of year, ice flows run over one of the walls. There was snow inside and we were able to walk about 20 feet inside the gorge. We felt the walls closing in on both sides. If we had rope and knew basic rock climbing techniques, it would have been fun to continue.

  There are 26 photos in Album (Note: Move mouse pointer over larger pic and click on NEXT for better viewing)

What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event

  • Really excellent hike, and a wonderful dinner at Mike's place too. Thanks Mike and Jon for a perfect day. - HikerLegs

Members That Participated


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate

South Burlington, VT

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Londonderry, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

Asheville, NC

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate

ogunquit, ME

United States
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