Spring & Summer on Mount Lafayette & Lincoln. . . In February

Date of Hike: 2/21/18

Old Bridle Path: 2.9 miles  /  Greenleaf Trail: 1.1 miles  /  Franconia Ridge Trail: 2.0 miles  /  Greenleaf Trail: 1.1 miles  /  Old Bridle Path: 2.9 miles
Total Miles: 10.0 (4,527 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- It was "Wacky Wednesday" in the White Mountains!  With weather above treeline on Franconia Ridge approaching sixty degrees I decided to head up for an anomaly of a hike for February.
- Conditions below treeline resembled April, soft snow and rapid melt.  Conditions above treeline were almost summer like, except for a few patches of wind drifted snow in scrub sections the Greenleaf Trail and Franconia Ridge trails were down to dirt and rock.
- It was an odd hike to say the least, luckily the wind was whipping around 30MPH, if it hadn't been I would have sweated five pounds off as it was very warm.  I was actually kicking myself for not bringing sunscreen of all things!
- Views were phenomenal, as is the case when the summits are in the clear.  As I strolled along the ridge high clouds floated by quickly which were fun to watch.  When I reached the summit of Mount Lincoln I decided to double back instead of heading to Little Haystack and down, it was too nice out not to spend more time above treeline.
- As much as I liked the easy one clothing layer hike, I'm hoping for some more snow soon to enjoy a few more winter wonderland hikes before the annual April snow rot begins.

View of the "Agonies" from the Old Bridle Path outlook

Snow was melting fast and the ice was turning to slush

Eagle Lake and Mount Lafayette

Passing by Greenleaf Hut and hiking up Greenleaf Trail

View from treeline on the Greenleaf Trail

The hot sun quickly melting the little ice and snow left on the trails above treeline

Looking at Mount Lincoln from Mount Lafayette

Owl's Head

Mount Lincoln as seen from Lafayette (left) and Truman (right)

Mount Lincoln (left), Mount Lafayette (right)

Mount Lincoln

Cannon Mountain

Little Haystack, Liberty and Flume mountains

Kinsman Ridge, Kinsmans and Cannon mountains

Mount Lafayette as seen from Mount Lincoln

Pemi Wilderness; Galehead, Twins, Guyot

Hiking back down the Greenleaf Trail with Cannon Mountains and the Kinsmans in view

Cannon Mountains Ski Area


  1. Hello Chris- Awesome photos and report - as always. Thank you! It is amazing how quickly the snow just disappeared throughout the area. I saw you just this past weekend on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. Yes, I was the idiot with the skis - and the whole family with skis/snowboard, in fact! We had been in Fryeburg just the weekend prior for a XC Ski race and the Presidentials were beautiful! Resplendent in their bright white snow cover! So that and the Avalanche Center posting that the Sherburne Trail was "snow covered and skiable", we brought all our snow toys up into the Ravine on Friday. At least that was the plan. We made it to HoJo's (where you and Sarge caught up with us) and realized the skiing was going to be survival, at best, so left the gear there and at least got a good view from the Little Headwall. And yep, it was survival skiing down and the snowboard eventually became a sled... but the kids were awesome and made the absolute best of horrific conditions. Everyone got back to the parking lot intact, thankfully, and with the huge smiles and exhilaration that comes from knowing you just flirted with grievous bodily harm and got away with it. Not the adventure we had hoped to have, but an adventure nonetheless. Cheers!

    1. Hi Stephen, it was nice to run into you on Tucks. Glad you guys got out of there unscathed, conditions went from spectacular to sub par pretty quickly in the bowl. Hopefully there will be a few springs storms to make conditions better again. Glad your kids had a fun time despite the conditions! :)