Baldface Knob and a Day in Crawford Notch

Date of Hikes: 2/22 & 2/23

Baldface Circle Trail: 3.2 miles  /  Baldface Knob Trail: 0.9 miles  /  Slippery Brook Trail: 2.6 miles  /  Baldface Circle Trail: 0.9 miles : 7.6 miles (3,000 feet elevation gained)

Webster-Jackson Trail: 5.2 miles (2,600 feet elevation gained)
Mount Willard Trail: 3.0 miles (900 feet elevation gain)

Trip Report:
- On Saturday, Alton and I joined Kara and Sasha for a hike up to the Baldfaces via the Baldface Loop Trail.  I have hiked the Baldfaces once before when I was a little kid and all I remembered was my dad carrying our Golden Retriever, Scarlet, over some of the steep ledges.  I had been wanting to get back to them for a number of years since the views are some of the best the Whites have to offer.
- First thing about the hike was getting there, Route 113 to the trailhead was a mix of frost heaves, pot holes, standing water (it was warm out leading to snow melt), and the road was filled with PUDs.  The Jeep took a beating on the drive in and out, and while hitting some of the bumps we expected to see Cole bounce up and hit the roof a few times!
-  Second, we got a very late start for a winter hike.  We didn't start until 1 pm, a week after our road trip we were still trying to catch up on sleep so we slept in.
-  The trails were broken out until the cabin, then it was all on us to break trail up the steep snow covered ledges.  One thing I noticed about the hike was it was extremely boring visually until the cabin, then it becomes a lot of fun.  It becomes steep and the views are phenomenal.
- Alton lead the way over to the Baldface Knob Trail junction.  We made a group decision to head down from here via the Baldface Knob and Slippery Brook Trails back to the car.  It was getting a little later in the day and we'd be breaking trail over South and North Baldface as it got dark and then have to find the trails down into the woods from the ridge.  I wasn't comfortable on the unfamiliar trails, especially when it gets dark so I was happy we were heading back. 
- However, the next 3.3 miles were all unbroken snow.  Luckily, we only got off the trail a little bit heading to Baldface Knob.  We wandered around a little bit and found a small cairn, and Kara pointed out a big one up above us on the knob so we just headed in the general vicinity and found some more cairns.  From the top of the knob I was able to locate the trail off of it and within a hundred feet we were back in the woods and the trail corridor was very distinguishable again.  Up above treeline I had a minor panic/anxiety attack that Alton had to deal with.  Kara and Sasha were far enough behind that they had no idea I was having one.  Alton was able to calm me down enough so I didn't loose my mind and I was able to continue on and break trail and stay on the trail.  Weird thing is, when I'm by myself I have none of these issues.
- Once back in the woods we took a small break in an area where a moose had post-holed on and off the trail.  After a few minutes we were ready to head out when we realized Cole was missing.  He had gone off and followed the moose tracks.  We called his name but he didn't come.  Sasha and I headed off trail and descended into the deep snow, I followed the moose tracks and Cole's paw prints for about ten minutes until finally finding him and we then lead him back to the trail and we were good to go.
- From here it was descending through and unbroken trail of fluffy snow covered by a layer of crusty snow so it was pretty tiring at times to keep punching through and not being able to butt slide or run.  Even with the breaking trail we had a lot of fun and were able to get back to the car without using the headlamps.
- At the trailhead we changed into dry clothes and headed to North Conway for a well deserved yummy dinner and cold beer at the Muddy Moose.  I had never been there before but really liked the food and the atmosphere.  It's school vacation week so it was jammed with vacationers.  Sasha and Kara were able to score four spots at the bar so it worked out perfectly!
- After dinner Alton and I drove back south for a couple of hours of sleep before heading back up in the morning, this time to Crawford Notch.
- Our goal was to catch up and hike with Kat and Murphy the Wonderdog who started hiking about a half hour before us.  We ran into Kat as she was descending and chatted for about fifteen minutes while Cole and Murphy played and fought over a stick.  It was nice to see Kat and Murphy back out on the trails!
- The trails were a sidewalk and microspikes were all that were needed for the Jackson hike.  The views from the top were top notch, the windy was whipping so we didn't stay long.  We thought about heading over to Mount Webster but it was unbroken and after yesterday we really didn't feel like breaking trail so we zoomed down the mountain and headed across the street for a quick walk up Mount Willard, where we lucked out and had the summit ledge to ourselves.
- A great way to end two days of hiking!
 Cole's pre-hike snack!
 Baldface Trail Junction
 Cole playing in the snow!
 Heading up the Baldface Circle Trail
 Approaching the ledges on Baldface
 Cole heads up to the ledges
 Alton leads the way
 crusty snow with powder underneath
 Kara and Sasha heading up the leadges
 Approaching the sub summit of South Baldface
 Cole trying to gain some traction
 Cole heading up the trail with a winter wonderland of diamonds under his paws!
 Cole makes his way to the Baldface Knob trail junction
 Alton, just hanging out!
Goofing around near Baldface Knob (Photo's courtesy of Kara and Sasha)
 Sasha falling down while trail breaking
 Alton heads up the Webster-Jackson Trail, while Cole takes a break
 Cole walks over a snowbridge
 Cole goes for a stroll!
 At the link junction for the Webster-Jackson Trail
 Alton heading into a pencil pine grove forest
 Kat trying to get the boys to behave
 Cole growling at Murphy
 Cole on the summit ledges of Mount Jackson
 Cole waiting patiently for us
 Alton and Cole head up the ledges
 Early morning on Mount Jackson
 Mount Jackson Summit
 Mount Washington and the Presidential Range
 Southern Presidential Range
 Alton and Cole
 Ont he summit of Mount Jackson...Looks like Alton is taller than me, I must be shrinking in my old age!
 Monroe and Washington!
 Willey Range
 Washington's Summit Cone
 Alton descending the Webster-Jackson Trail
 Cole heding up Mount Willard!
 Mount Willey
 Slides of Willey
 Alton and Cole high above Crawford Notch
 Looking towards Mount Jackson and Pierce
 Alton, Cole, and Mount Webster
 Crawford Notch
 On Mount Willard
Cole makes a new friend!


  1. Hey! Not sure how I found your blog (it was a year ago now or more) but I enjoy your pics a bunch. I hike regularly too, although not in the Whites (too busy for me - only on rare, special occasions). I live in Western Maine so do a bunch of my hiking around home. I am writing because my husband and I have a dog (a rescue from TX) that looks a lot like your dog Cole. Did you buy him from a breeder? We have always wondered what our dog Phoenix was (aside from Husky). He looks a lot like your pup. If you check my blog you will find pics of him (not to be confused with my other husky mix, Dixie). If you have an idea on the breed, you can comment on my blog or back on this one. I would love to hear what Cole is. Thanks. And thanks for all the wonderful pictures and posts. I have one post not too far back (in October) of Bald Face Circle trail when my husband and I hiked in for our anniversary. I think it's titles "Married Three Years". -- Thanks! Karolyn

  2. hello, I just stumbled upon this site and I've worked w/ dogs for many years. Their dog Cole looks to me to possibly be a Shiba Inu.