Trip report

Waterville Valley Hostel Weekend

Hiking/Walk DATE: 05/27/2016 - 05/29/2016

Trip/Event Location: Waterville Valley, NH

Trip Leader(s): Gandalf , JDNnh

Max # People: 15

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

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Jon and I are running this hiking weekend from Rock ‘N River [Mike and Jon’s house] in the White Mountain National Forest for this getaway! This is an opportunity for Newbies to get

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

We will provide directions to Rock ‘N River in a separate email to anyone who reserves a bunk.

Here are the directions to the trailhead if you will only be day hiking with us [We will meet you at 10AM]:  

We will meet at the trailhead parking lot.  To get there from I-93, get off at exit 28 (Campton/Waterville Valley) and go east on Rt. 49.  As you make the turn, and if it is a clear day, you should see the open ledges of Welch-Dickey looming ahead of you. Go east on Rt 49 towards those mountains.  After the traffic light, travel 4.5 miles and after you pass the WMNF Smarts Brook trails parking lot on the right look for the left turn to Upper Mad River Road. Cross Mad River, drive up the steep hill and at 0.7 miles turn right onto Orris Rd., where you should see a sign directing you to the Welch-Dickey trailhead.  At 0.6 miles, Orris Road makes a sharp turn to the left, and the trailhead parking will be on your right.  We will be driving a blue FJ Cruiser with NH plates. 

Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

On Friday, May 28th, GO members joined us for this weekend. Most of the participants got up to Waterville Valley, NH around 9PM where we were staying at Rock ‘N River Lodge.  Some guys went into town for dinner before arriving. This first evening was spent socializing on the deck with Tiki torches lit up. Rock ‘N River was the perfect place to get away from everyday stress and to get outside for a hiking adventure.

We certainly were ready for exercise after a breakfast of bagels, fresh fruit, and coffee provided by Jon and Mike! It was going to be a HOT day...our temperature gauge registered 90 degrees!

We left for our hike to Fisher Mountain by 10AM and started from the popular Welsh and Dickey trailhead. At the trailhead we ran into GO Board member Alex who was volunteering for the Forest Service educating hikers as they started.

To reach Fisher Mountain we took the Black Ash Swamp Trail for 1.7 miles. We marveled at the engineering feats of beavers as they built multi-staged dams. We crossed a bridge and reached the unnamed trail that leaves the end of Forest Road 23D in Thornton. It's wide and clear at first, but then narrows and becomes more like a trail. We first walked on old, over grown fire roads. Then we reached a beautiful forest with nice rock formations in it. We then reached the first open steep ledges, with views to the southwest and over to the backside of Dickey Mountain. The trail continues across open, steeply sloping, angled ledges until it reaches an enormous open slab of ledge. This would be dangerous if wet. If we slipped, we’d be sliding a looooooong way! The trail goes right up the middle of this. We followed the painted blazes on the rock. At the top, it looks like the trail goes off to the left, but actually continues straight ahead. We kept climbing over more steep, angled ledges and crossed a small but deep crevasse. We followed cairns and blazes and we then reached the summit! On the summit, we got some interesting views of Hogback Mountain, Green Mountain and Mt. Tecumseh. We found a spot for lunch with incredible views of Mt. Moosilauke, Cannon Mountain, Franconia Ridge and the Osceola’s. This is a very cool hike with spectacular views from the large open ledges. If you like Welch/Dickey but not its crowds, you'll love Fisher!

After a decent day of hiking we drove back to Rock ‘N River. It was so HOT we decided to walk down to the Mad River from the house for some sunbathing and soaking in the Mad River. It was a tricky river crossing for newbies but entirely doable. We reached our private sandy beach, took a dip in our swmming hole and sunbathed. The water was refreshing and the temperature was just like it would be in summer. This is the earliest we have ever soaked in the river!

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Jon served a home cooked dinner of marinated chicken kabobs with peppers & onions, rice, with a side summer salad of mixed greens & fruit. Later we had an ice cream dessert topped with whipped cream, fudge topping and strawberries. We then hung around the kitchen table sharing stories.

On Sunday after breakfast everyone packed their bags and said good-bye’s with promises of meeting again at future GO events.  

This was a wonderful weekend spent with a great group of guys. It was relaxing and everyone seemed to have a nice time. Thanks to everyone for making it such a special gathering. 

Trip Report by Mike
Trip Pictures taken by Mike and Jon

  There are 66 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

  • Wonderful weekend. Thanks, Mike and Jon, for turning us on to Fisher Mountain. Loved the expansive views and the absence of hikers. It was like having our own private mountain! You Rock. John - NHGuy1028

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

Boston / Cape Ann, MA

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Boston, MA

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate

Merrimack, NH

United States

NHGuy1028 May 30, 2016 at 8:01 AM

Comment: Wonderful weekend. Thanks, Mike and Jon, for turning us on to Fisher Mountain. Loved the expansive views and the absence of hikers. It was like having our own private mountain! You Rock. John

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