Crawford Path and the Cog Railway (Mount Pierce, Eisenhower, Monroe, Washington)

Date of Hike: 4/24/10

Crawford Path: 3.1 miles
Webster Cliff Trail: .2 miles
Crawford Path: 1.2 miles
Mount Eisenhower Loop: .8 miles
Crawford Path: 1.4 miles
Mount Monroe Loop: .7 miles
Crawford Path: 1.6 miles
Cog Railway Tracks: 3.0 miles
Base Station Road: 1.0 miles
Total Miles: 13 miles (elevation gain 5,650)

Trip Report:
- With a promising forcast for Saturday I decided it would be a pretty cool idea to hike the Crawford Path all the way up to Mount Washington as well as Mount Pierce, Eisenhower, and Monroe along the way.
- Since a majority of this hike was going to be above treeline I wanted to make sure I got on the trail early to give myself plenty of time in case I had any problem locating trails or if anything went wrong I'd have plenty of time to bailout before dark.  However this meant another early ride up from RI
- Left RI at 3:15am, on trail at 6:30am, finished at 1:30pm.  Temps in 30's above treeline with 20-40 MPH wind out of the west. Sunny skies, 100 miles visibiliy!
- On drive up to Crawford Notch I was lucky enough to see two moose, one in Franconia Notch and another about a mile after I took a right onto Route 302
- Trail was in decent shape for first .5 miles and then I was surprised to see there was still alot of snow below treeline, luckily it was packed solid and made for a quick and easy hike until the tracks I had been following wandered around a few different ways just below Mount Pierce Summit
- Winter conditions are making one final stand on the higher summits and after last weeks snowfall no one had broken out the trail between Pierce and Eisenhower, the trail was tricky to follow a couple of times in spots in the scrub where the cairns where burried in the snow.  If the visibility was low and the weather was iffy I would have turned around and got off the moutain ASAP but because the weather was perfect I was able to carefully stumble back on the trail not falling into any spruce traps
- I didn't stay long on the summit of Mount Eisenhower because the wind was whipping, the views looking back to the south to Pierce and up towards Washington where kick ass as always! (Click here for video Clip)
- On the Way to Mount Monroe I made a side stop at the tiny Mount Franklin summit which had terrific views into the Oaks Gulf/Dry River Wilderness
- After Going up and over a windy Monroe and down to Lakes of the Clouds I got out of the wind and relaxed/reheated in the sun and put on all my winter gear (snow pants, crampons, mittens, etc.) for the 1.5 mile slog up to Washington.  Luckily the winds started dying down as I got higher and higher which made for a pleasent climb
- Just below the summit I finally ran into the first two people of the day who had come up Ammonoosuc Ravine trail and where headed down the Jewell Trail
- I made it to Mount Washinton summit at 11:30, there were quite a few people, mostly all skiers, only a handfull of hikers and one dog who was running around having fun
- I decided to descend along the side of the Cog Railway tracks, I had always wanted to do this to see what it was like.  It was the quickest way down I have ever hiked and was pretty easy going, the only steep part is a section above and next to "Jacobs Ladder" 
- About two dozen skiers and handfull of snow boarders coming up to go ski into the Great Gulf and all around where the snow was still deep and not chewed up
- Back at the Marshfield Station I started to walk the Base Station Road to Mount Clinton Road back to my car which is 5 miles but about twenty minutes into my walk a couple of AMC crew guys were nice enough to let me jump in the back of their truck and drive me the Highland Center at Crawford Notch across the street from my car!

Pictures: Click here for all Pics

Mount Eisenhower, Monroe, & Washington Summit
Mount Eisenhower Summit
Mount Monroe
Southern Presidential Range
Lakes of the Clouds Hut & Mount Monroe
Great Gulf Wilderness
Cog Railway down to Brenton Woods
Jacobs Ladder


  1. Hey Chris, great pics as always! We seem to run the same paths, kind of. We hiked around the Nancy Cascades Sat. then went over to Marshfield to kick around and take some pics. We were there about 1:30-2, we may have seen you. Could have given you a ride, but glad things worked out. Great trip report!

  2. Hey Dan and Meena

    Another great day to be out on the trails! That's cool you two were at Marshfield Station around the same time as me. I read on your blog about your hike at Nancy Cascades, can't wait to see the pics you took!