A Snowy Slice of Heaven . . . Mount Waumbek

Date of Hike: 12/30/17

Road Walk & Starr King Trail: 7.5 miles (2,878 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Trip Report:
- An arctic blast of weather has held steady in the White Mountains over the past week, with no real end in sight.  Temperatures have been hovering around zero, and other than a short reprieve this upcoming Wednesday and Thursday, single digits will be the norm for the foreseeable future.  With weather like this, staying below treeline and continuously moving makes for the most comfortable hiking.
- On Saturday morning I headed to Jefferson to hike Mount Waumbek.  In the winter the summer lot is not plowed so parking is right off Route 2 across the street, ample parking and only adds five minutes to both ends of the hike.  When I arrived it was -1 degrees out, but there was not a hint of wind and within minutes I was comfortably warm, and within a mile I took my puffy jacket off and was hiking in a base layer long sleeve with my thick long sleeve over it, staying warm for the whole hike to the summit.
- The Starr King Trail has easy grades up to Starr King and over to Waumbek, traveling through a hardwood forest for the first mile and a half before transitioning into soft woods for the remainder of the hike past both summits.  With the cold temps and the good amount of snow up high, the trail wandered through a snow blanketed pines, making for a beautiful hike in the woods.
- Along the ascent I passed five hikers, three wearing snowshoes and two wearing light traction, I myself wore light traction, the trail was packed solid so it was even bare-bootable.
- When I reached Mount Waumbek's summit I changed layers and made my way over to the outlook just past the high point.  This outlook has a great view of the Presidential Range, so I took a few pics with my apple phone and then used Whitney's camera to get a few zoom-in photos, one of Adams and Madison and one of Jefferson and Washington.
- The descent went quickly, I saw the five hikers who I passed earlier between Waumbek and Starr King, and then saw five other hikers just before entering the hardwood section again.  As I made my way past the summer trailhead, which isn't plowed, I saw a truck and car parked at the entrance to the lot, which is frowned upon and might not actually be allowed, hopefully neither car was towed!
- When I got back to my car at 11:45AM the temperature was a balmy 1 degree, but I layered up perfectly so I was nice and toasty, and very happy to get in a morning hike through a winter wonderland. :)

Old stone foundation of a springhouse from yesteryear 

 Hiking up to Starr King

Old fireplace from a torn down shelter at Starr Kin's summit 

View over to the Presidential Range from Starr King

Hiking along the ridge between Starr King and Waumbek

Winter wonderland!

Mount Waumbek outlook

Zoom-in of Presidential Range

Zoom-in of King Ravine, Durand Ridge, with Mount Madison, JQ Adams, and Mount Adams rising high above

Zoom in of Mount Jefferson, Clay, and Washington

U.F.O. !!

Hiking back over to Waumbek

Beautiful snow filled scenery today on Starr King Trail

Starr King Trail winter lot, plenty of room and an easy five minute walk to the summer trailhead


  1. Chris, fabulous shots, thanks for sharing! You certainly picked the right day. Was Starr King trail broken out beyond the Waumbek viewpoint?
    -- Alex D. from PA

    1. Glad you liked the pictures, Alex, thank you. Starr King past the Waumbek viewpoint hasn't seen foot traffic in over a month, just a forest filled with snow heading in that direction!!