Zealand - Twins Traverse

Date of Hike: 12/7/12
Zeland Trail: 2.5 miles
Twinway: 3.1 miles
Zeland Spur: 0.2 miles
Twinway: 3.3 miles
North Twin Spur: 1.3 miles
North Twin Trail: 4.3 miles 
Total Miles 14.7
3,900 feet elevation gain
Trip Report:
- With the lack of snowfall so far this month the roads have stayed open later than usual. On Friday Alton and I met Ryan, Kristina, and Jack at the North Twin Trailhead where we spotted a car before heading over to the Zealand Trailhead.
- Zealand Trail is a really easy two and a half mile walk through the woods with some open views as the trail skirts along the Zealand Pond. 
- Along the way we passed by the new foot bridge that had been installed at the beaver ponds.  The new bridge is longer than the former one which used to get flooded at one end after rain storms and then almost permanently stayed that way after Hurricane Irene.
- When we reached the hut we took a break and enjoyed the views into Zealand Notch all the way to Carrigain Notch.  There were a few people in the hut packing up before heading out for the day.  From here until the lower end of the North Twin Trail we wouldn't see any other hikers.
- From the hut to the Zeacliff outlook on the Twinway Jack the puppy lead the way, running up ahead and then running back to us.  The trail started to get a little icy and there was and inch or two of snow in places so we all decided to put on light traction to keep up with Jack.
- At the Zeacliff outlook we took another break.  Zeacliff Outlook has some of the best views in the White Mountains, it sits right above the Zealand Notch and has a fantastic view of the old railroad grade, Whitewall Mountain, the Willey Range, and the Southern Presidential Range.
- From Zeacliff we made our way over to Zealand Mountain's wooded summit, it one of the least exciting ones but does have a cool summit sign.
- From here part two of the hike began as we headed into the Zealand / Guyot Col before popping out on the windy exposed summit of 'North' Guyot.  It was very chilly so we kept moving but the views of Bond and West Bond to the left of us, the Twin Range to the right of us, and Owl's Head and the Franconia Ridge in front of us were some of the best ever with the snow covering the ridges.
- In a few minutes we were back in the woods protected from the wind as we made the trek through the Twin Range on our way to South Twin's summit.
- We made pretty good time over to South Twin, which is one of my favorite summit in the White Mountains.  I was thrilled to have views from the summit as my previous two 'winter' type hikes to South Twin were in the clouds.
- It was very windy on South Twin so we took a few pictures before hurrying back into the woods where we took a nice little break in the North Twin / South Twin Col.
- The hike over to North Twin from South Twin is one of the easier between summit hikes, it's just under a mile and a half and never gets steep.  At the North twin outlook we noticed that South twin and all the higher peaks were now in the clouds.  We couldn't have timed our hike any better!
- Now it was time for the long descent back to the car on the North Twin Trail.  It's pretty steep towards the top but there was just enough snow to make the hike went quicker than expected.
- The highlight of the hike out was the third water crossing of the Little River.  Jack had to be tossed from Kristina to Ryan and Alton was afraid to rock hop so she jumped on a downed tree and crawled across!!
- We decided to bypass the second and first water crossings and stay on the well defined herd path that gets more use than the regular North Twin Trail.  We passed by the secret passage for the abandoned Mount Hale Trail (Fire Warden's Trail) then hooked back onto the regular trail and made our way back to the car by 2:30.
- The Zealand - Twins hike is a great hike, and we couldn't have timed it any better enjoying all the views along the way.  If you don't have a car spot you can still do a variation of this by making a really kick ass loop hike of Hale-Zealand-Twins, with use of the Fire Wardens and Lend-A-Hand Trails.
 Zealand Trailhead
 Zealand Trail
 Pine Grove along the Zealand Trail
 Zealand Trail
 Zealand Meadows
 Picturesque Zealand Trail
 Beaver ponds along the Zealand Trail
 New footbridge!
 Zealand Beaver Pond
 Zealand Beaver Pond
 Zealand Trail brook crossing
 Zealand Pond
 Zealand and Carrigain Notch
 View from Zealand Falls Hut
 Zealand Falls Hut
 Iced over Whitewall Brook
 Ryan and Kristina looking for the safest place to cross
 Whitewall Brook
 The Twinway
 Approaching Zeacliff on the Twinway
 Whitewall Mountain
 Presidential Range as seen from Zeacliff
 Carrigain Notch
Carrigain Notch 
 Zealand Notch and Whitewall Mountain
 Ladder steps on the Twinway, in the past there's usually a rung missing!
 Mount Hale
 Approaching Zealand Mountain on the Twinway
 The Twinway
 Zealand Spur Junction
 Zealand Mountain Summit
Approaching the northeast summit of Mount Guyot on the Twinway
 Mount Guyot summit flats
 Along the Twinway
 Mount Guyot and West Bond
 Owl's Head and the Franconia Ridge
 Twin Range
 Mount Guyot
 Pemigewasset Wilderness
 Mount Lincoln and Lafayette
 Twinway below the northeast summit of Mount Guyot
 Mount Garfield above the shoulder of Southwest Twin
 The Twin Range
 Bog bridges on the Twinway
 Hiking through the Twin Range
 Zealand Mountain from just below South Twin
 Guyot and the Bonds
 Southwest Twin
 Jack approaching South Twin's summit
 Mount Garfield, Lafayette, and Lincoln
 North Twin
 Leaving South Twin on the North Twin Spur Trail
 Jack leading the way to North Twin 
 Jack navigates a tricky ice section just below North Twin's summit
 Jack patiently waiting for everyone to get up over the short scramble
 Alton putting her microspikes to good use
 Galehead Mountain as seen from North Twin
 Jack on North Twin
 North Twin Trail
 Zealand Moutain
 South Twin
 The Sugarloafs
 Mount Hale
 Jack on the North Twin Trail
 North Twin Trail
 Third crossing of the Little River
 Crossing the Little River
 Alton crawls and humps her way across the Little River!
This tree (the Geri tree) leads to a secret passage!! 
North Twin Trail 

 North Twin Trailhead


  1. Great trip report and photos as always! I'm hoping a couple of the roads are still open as the Winter season opens :)

    1. Thanks Scott, it would be so great if some of the roads stayed open until New Years!

  2. Cris,
    Loved the pictures, some are petty comical. Do they make micro-spikes for dogs, it looks like jack could have used them.
    It's nice seeing areas I've been in but in a differant season. I was planning on hiking Cabot that day but was leary of the forecast so went on the day before. Looks like I could have stuck with my original scedule. PS thanks for the advice on doing Cabot before the York Town Rd got too bad. -- Marvin

    1. Hey Marvin, way to bag Cabot, the Bulge, and the Horn, Glad you had a great hike and don't have to deal with that road when it's snowy! Jack could have definitely used puppy microspikes for a few spots but at the end of the day he still has more energy than all of us combined!

      Happy Hiking!