Mt. Osceola Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 10/08/2011 - 10/08/2011
Trip/Event Location: Waterville Valley, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous
Mount Osceola is one of New Hampshire's 4000-footers. The bare summit slab provides 180-degree views north towards the mountain ranges lining the Kancamagus and outstanding peak foliage. This hike is...
[Car Pooling is strongly encouraged]
- I-93 North
- Take Exit 28 in NH towards Waterville Valley. Turn RIGHT onto Route 49 East for 10.2 miles
- Turn LEFT to the access road for the Waterville Valley Ski Area for 1.3 miles
- Turn RIGHT to Tripoli Road [dirt road] and follow for 3.2 miles where it crests at the 2,300-foot pass
- About 200 yards beyond, the Mount Osceola Trail enters the woods on the right [north], where there is parking area. I'll be wearing a Patriots Hat at the trailhead kiosk.
I was concerned with available parking space at the trailhead due to our late start. We left my house in Waterville Valley and drove to the trailhead lot for the Mt. Osceola Trail at Thornton Gap [Tripoli Road]. There were a lot of vehicles there so we had to park on the side of the road.
Except for a small area near the summit of Osceola there really wasn’t any mud to deal with. In other words, the trail was clear and generally dry for the full route.
The trail in this approach seems quite a bit rougher than coming in from the Kancamagus via Greeley Ponds Trail. Except for a few small sections of smooth trail and clear slabs the trail is loaded with rocks all of the way to the summit. To a large degree it’s one big rock-hop to the summit. Boots with plenty of support and protection from sharp edges are very helpful. We were hiking in clear conditions with some humudity that is highly unusual for this time of year. In other words, we were perspiring. Since Mt. Osceola was it for the day we had no real time pressure and took a few extra stops along the way to stay comfortable.
With no time restraints we lounged on the summit. We took off our packs, sat down, had lunch, and enjoyed the fall foliage views for almost an hour. Every once in a while it’s really nice to smell the roses. There were quite a few others lounging as well.
All rested, re-fueled and re-charged it was time to get back into the rocks on the trail to the truck. The walk down from the summit to the trailhead was unusual. What was nice on this hike due to our late start is that we were always behind the 'core' group of hikers ascending/descending. So on the ascent we did not see many hikers and the same goes for the descent. We saw the most hikers on the summit itself.
At the trailhead we found many of the cars had already left. Most of our group went back for a barbecue on the deck of my house.
Thanks everyone, for another terrific day in the mountains.
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