Flume through Lafayette

Pemi Bike Path: 1.5 miles
Basin Bushwhack / Liberty Spring: 0.7 miles
Flume Slide:  3.3 miles
Franconia Ridge: 5.0 miles
Greenleaf Trail: 1.1 miles
Old Bridle Path: 2.9 miles
Total Miles: 14.5 miles
4,700 feet elevation gain

Trip Report:
- It's peak foliage season in the White Mountains which makes hiking below treeline a beautiful and fun experience.  Alton (dressed in her foliage colors) and I decided to head to Franconia Notch and do a Franconia Ridge Loop hike; Flume through Lafayette.
- The weather had been crummy all week but we caught a break as the rain stopped, clouds broke up, and the fog lifted as we started our hike from Lafayette Place Campground.
- Our first mile and a half or so was heading south along the Pemi Bike Path, it was a nice easy walk along the paved path that was blanketed at times with yellow, orange, and red leaves.
- Once we passed the Basin parking lot we soon jumped off the trail into the woods and headed up the 'Basin Bushwhck' to intercept the Liberty Spring Trail where it takes a sharp right.  We then hiked up the muddy Liberty Spring Trail for a few minutes before hooking onto the Flume Slide Trail.
- The Flume Slide Trail during foliage is a great trail, usually the 2.3 mile walk to the foot of the slide is lacking visually but with all the vivid colors everywhere it was a beautiful hike to the beginning of the slide.
- The Flume slide is pretty steep and on this day it was very tricky and more difficult than usual with the wetness and leaves everywhere.  There were a couple of spots where we usually have no issues but today had to be extremely careful so we would not slip. We were both up for the challenge and hiked strait up the slide getting pretty dirty and wet along the way from crawling and inching up a few spots and had a blast!
-  Once gaining the Franconia Ridge we were greeted with fantastic hiking weather; sun and light wind.  We were both surprised how hazy it was but the views were were still great.  There was a group of four on the summit who were on the final day of a four day Pemi Loop, after three days of hiking in miserable conditions they finally had a perfect day for a finish.  They must have thought we were crazy as Alton did her usual "First time on Carrigain" line.
- After relaxing on Flume we headed to our next stop of the day, Mount Liberty.  The hike down to the Liberty/Flume col is not too difficult and we made it to Liberty's summit in no time.  There were over a dozen people on the summit, one sun bathing in the middle of the trail but were able to find a rock away from everybody and enjoy the views strait down into Franconia Notch and across to the Kinsman Ridge.
- We didn't run into anyone on the Franconia Ridge Trail between the Liberty Spring Trail junction and Little Haystack. The wind picked up as we reached Little Haystack so we sat behind one of the big rocks and had lunch taking in the view of Mount Lincoln and the Gargoyles.
- After a well deserved lunch break we hiked one of the best stretches of the White Mountains; Little Haystack over Lincoln, Truman (N. Lincoln), and up to Lafayette.  Views into the Pemigewasset Wilderness were perfect and below what I refer to as the 'Pine Line' the colors of the changing leaves were out of this world.
- It was the usual zoo of hikers on the ridge, we saw quite a few trail runners, and more importantly quite a few happy tail wagging dogs!
- The hike down from Mount Lafayette to the Greenleaf Hut was great as always and the hut was not yet swarming with over-nighters and was a nice relaxing pit stop along the way.
- From the hut down to Lafayette Place we enjoyed the last few outlooks along the Old Bridle Path and shaved a few minutes of hiking off by taking an old abandoned path that crosses above the parking lot.
- Back at the car we changed into clean clothes before heading south taking in all the foliage along I-93 as the sun set making for a perfect ending to a kick ass hike!
 
 Lafayette Place / Lonesome Lake Trailhead Parking
 Pemi Bike Path
 Crossing a slippery bridge along the Pemi Bike Path
 Pavement almost covered by fallen leaves
 Early morning on the Pemi Bike Path
 Pemi Bike Path
 Another small bridge along the Pemi Bike Path
 Alton stops for a photo op.
 Bike Path near the Basin Trailhead
 Foliage blanket covering the bike path
 Sun shining through the woods on the Liberty Springs Trail
 Liberty Spring Trail
 Flume Slide Junction
 Alton crossing the Flume Brook
 Flume Slide Trail
 Flume Slide Trail
 Early morning on the Flume Slide Trail
 The leaves look beautiful on the ground but they hide the mud!
 Flume Slide Trail
 Old Bog Bridge on the Flume Slide Trail
 Flume Slide Trail
Peak Foliage!
 Flume Brook
 Flume Brook
Alton crossing the Flume Brook and heading into the light! 
 Getting close to the Slide
 Foot of the Slide
 Bottom of the Flume Slide
 Bottom of the Flume Slide
Alton heading up a short pitch 
 Alton crossing some slabs carefully
Wet leaves created some tricky footing along the middle section of the slide
 Alton choosing her foot placement carefully
 Upper end of the Flume Slide
 Upper end of the Flume Slide
 Alton pulling herself up the slide
 Alton scrambling up a tricky section
 Alton navigating the Flume Slide
 Looking down the top part of the Flume Slide
 Last section of the slide
 Alton scrambling up the Flume Slide
 View from Flume Mountain
Lincoln / North Woodstock 
Flume Mountain Summit
 Franconia Ridge
 Alton makes a new friend!
 Mount Liberty
 Flume Brook Valley
 Looking south towards Lincoln
 Mount Liberty Summit Marker
 Cannon Mountain and the Franconia Ridge from Mount Liberty
 Cannon Mountain
 Flume Mountain
 Flume Mountain
 Mount Lincoln with Mount Garfield in the background
 Fall in the White Mountains
 Mount Liberty
 Franconia Ridge Trail
 Alton climbing up a rock below Little Haystack
 Owl's Head Slide
 Owl's Head
 Cannon Mountain and the Kinsman Ridge
 Mount Lincoln as seen from Little Haystack Summit
 Franconia Ridge Trail
 Hiking along the Franconia Ridge Trail
 Little Haystack with Liberty and Flume
 Kinsman Ridge (Cannon, North and South Kinsman)
 Franconia Ridge Trail
 Franconia Ridge Trail with Mount Liberty rising in the background
 Franconia Notch
 View from the Gargoyles
 Looking to the south from Mount Lincoln
Mount Lincoln Summit 
 Alton heading north on the Franconia Ridge Trail
 Lincoln Slide on the right falling away from the ridge
 Mount Garfield
 Dogs on Franconia Ridge!
 Alton enjoying the Franconia Ridge Trail
 Franconia Notch
 Franconia Ridge
 Mount Lafayette Summit
 Pemigewasset Wilderness
Franconia Brook Valley 
 Eagle Cliff and Cannon Mountain Ski Area
 Descending the Greenleaf Trail
 Cannon Mountain Ski Area
 Cannon Mountain
 Alton on the Greenleaf Trail
 Greenleaf Hut
 Mount Lincoln
 Eagle Lake and Mount Lafayette
 Mount Lincoln and Lafayette
Inside the Greenleaf Hut
 Bunk Room in the hut
 Greenleaf Hut and Mount Lafayette
 Mount Lafayette and Lincoln
 Mount Lincoln
 Agony Ridge
 Old Bridle Path
 Alton descending Old Bridle Path
 Old Bridle Path
 Alton on the abandoned path
 Lafayette Place Campground
 Ranger Station at Lafayette Place
Franconia Ridge from Lafayette Place


2 comments:

  1. Awesome pics! I was hoping to head up there to hike my favorite trail (the Old Bridal Path loop) but I think the current rain over us here in Connecticut will be up there this weekend, so it may put a damper on things..... We'll see!! Great pics!!! I've done the hike many times and will continue to do it again and again :) --Chris

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    Replies
    1. Hey Chris, Glad you liked the pictures. I agree with doing this hike many times, it's always a great one and never gets old! Looks like Saturday may be a perfect day to be up there, hope you get to enjoy it!

      -Chris

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