Back ----> To The Bonds!

Date of Hike: 3/31/12

Lincoln Woods / Wilderness Trail: 4.7 miles
Bondcliff / West Bond Spur Trail: 12.2 miles
Lincoln Woods / wilderness Trail: 4.7 miles
Total Miles: 22.6 (4,700 Elevation Gain)
Click here for trail descriptions

Trip Report:
- It's springtime in the White Mountains which usually means hellish conditions with melting soft snow, monorails, postholing, mud, tricky water crossings, etc., but after the 'winter that never was' conditions are pretty tame in the higher elevations.
- Saturday was a perfect day for one of my favorite hikes, an Out n' back of the Bonds.  Temperatures would be in the 30's the whole day with no wind with high cloud cover in the morning breaking away to blue skies in the afternoon. Conditions were late April like with ground snow cover to a dying monorail above 3,500 feet.
- The hike along the Lincoln Woods / Wilderness Trail went quickly, I didn't see another person but saw boot prints in the patches of snow that were remaining.  Once on the Bondcliff Trail I passed by a guy and a girl heading to Bondcliff for the day. 
- The trail before the first two crossings was a mostly bare ground, once past the second crossing the snow was consistent but only couple of inches of beaten down old snow.  I put on my microspikes just before the short 0.2 mile steep stretch before the last water crossing were I stopped to take a break and filtered some water.
- From here until treeline the snow depth increased and there were mini ankle-busting postholes and a rotting monorail.  I'm happy that I'm lucky enough to never roll my ankles because if I was prone to that it would have been difficult not to.
- Once above treeline I was rewarded with amazing views and no wind and I was in for another great hike above treeline. I took a long break on Bondcliff making sure to take a bunch of pictures.  I saw there was a hiker heading up to Mount Bond but no one else.
- After about fifteen minutes I continued on and made my way up to Mount Bond where I finally ran into the hiker who was spending the weekend camping out and hiking in the Pemigewasset Wilderness.
- From here over to West Bond the snow depth increased again and the monorail became much trickier to navigate with deeper old frozen postholes. What made it really tricky was the fresh snow that had fallen was hiding most of the postholes making for a real interesting hike. I had to balance myself on the monorail and avoid the ankle-busters, it actually was fun since I was the first hiker on this stretch and each step I never knew if I would slip off the side of the monorail, step into an old posthole, or solid packed snow.
- The views from West Bond were phenomenal, I took another break and took a lot of pictures.  While I was on West Bond I saw a group of three hikers coming over from Guyot.  I would run into them on the West Bond Spur Trail as I headed back towards Mount Bond.
- On my hike back out the cloud cover was breaking up and bright blue skies came in.  It was pretty awesome to see as I was approaching the summit of Bond.
- I had lunch on Mount Bond before heading down to Bondcliff where I took one last break before the 9 + miles walk back to the car.  Usually the hike back down the Bondcliff Trail and out through the Lincoln Woods / Wilderness Trail is a suffer-fest but today it went by fast and was fun.
- on the way out I ran into the guy and girl who spent the day on Bondcliff and then I ran into a bunch of people over the last two miles who were enjoying a nice stroll on the old railroad.
- Back at the car I changed into clean clothes and jump started a car for two other hikers whose car battery died before heading back to RI.
- It was an incredible day in the White Mountains and felt great to be back hiking after a few weeks away!

 Bondcliff, Mount Bond in the background
 Guyot and the Twin Range
 Bondcliff from Mount Bond
Twin Range from Bondcliff Trail
 Bondcliff Trail
 Presidential Range
 West Bond with Mount Lincoln and Lafayette behind it
Bondcliff and West Bond 
Owl's Head with the Franconia Ridge Behind it
Wilderness Trail in the morning and afternoon


  1. Looks like winter is back! Hard to imagine after all the warm weather the last couple of weeks. Beautiful pictures Chris!

  2. Chris, I can't come up with words that are truly adequate to express my admiration for your 22+ mile adventure to the Bonds. And your photos . . . well, they are simply superb (and that's an understatement!).

    Also, you are a kind-hearted soul to take the time, after such a long day, to jump start the car for the hikers whose battery had died! A good deed, indeed!


  3. That early in the day, rime-iced shot of Bondcliff is simply amazing! After the skies cleared up, I think everyone in the Whites on Saturday had some great views.

  4. Thanks John, glad you enjoyed the photo's, I give all the credit to the pics to my camera, it takes a licking and keeps on shooting!

    Glad everyone had a great day up in the mountains hiking, Saturday was a perfect day!

  5. I have to do these now. Great report and your photos look amazing. I plan on using this article to convince some friends its worth the mileage!

    1. Hi Erick, the milage seems like a lot but the first/last 5 miles is flat, a lot of hikers with a car spot do a Zealand-Bonds traverse so they don't have to turn around half way through and you get to check out the Zealand Falls and Hut along the way.

      Have a fun hike and wait for good weather, it's one of my favorite places in the Whites.