I can cross one thing off of my goals list for the year – I hiked Mt. Moosilauke, my second 4,000 footer! Hiking Mt. Moosilauke was not easy, but it was amazing!
Hiking Mt. Moosilauke
This mountain has been on SL’s hiking bucket list for a while and hiking at least one 4,000 footer is one of my fitness goals for the year. We were hoping to go the weekend before last but had to deal with house issues. The weather ended up looking great for hiking on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend so we planned the hike for then.
On hike day, we got up around 6:30 am and got ourselves ready for the 2 hour drive up to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Parking for the trailhead we choose was easy to find (which isn’t always the case) and there was plenty of parking available when we arrived.
Did this sign give me pause before we started. YUP! I was very nervous and not sure what we were getting into but we were there and this was our mountain to tackle for the day.
Beaver Brook Trail
We chose to hike the Beaver Brook Trail, sited as one of the most difficult trails on the mountain. The Beaver Brook Trail did not disappoint and yes, it was very difficult and certainly not for the inexperience or those fearful of heights.
This trail starts out steep…like steep steep. Luckily, my legs were fresh and path is alongside beautiful cascades. We stopped to take a few photos along the cascades because they were truly breathtakingly beautiful.
The water was so clear in this photo of SL that you can barely see it! I also really enjoyed the sound of the water crashing over the rocks for this part of the hike. It was a nice contrast to the almost overwhelming quiet that I “hear” on most hikes.
The beauty of the cascades ended about halfway into our hike up Mt. Moosilauke end the hike transformed into a normal wooded hike. It also became much less steep which was a nice reprieve for my legs. I was even tempted to take it to a jog a one point, but I held back!
Halfway! Me legs were feeling the burn at this point and I was really hoping that the second half would be far less strenuous than the first half. We assumed it would take us about 3 hours to climb to the summit and we were just about on goal at the halfway point.
There is something so calming about being in the woods, surrounded by trees. Isn’t there? The rest of the hike up looked a lot like the picture above. Rocky, but slightly inclined trails and lots of yummy smelling pine trees.
When my legs were about to tell me to go eff off, we came across this sign. We were so close and ready to dive face first into the sandwiches I packed. Less than a half mile to go!
As we hiked above the tree line, we started to see some pretty incredible views.
One side of the mountain was foggy while the other side was sunny but a bit hazy.
There were far more people at the summit than we expected. I guess the trails that were easier were far more popular than the one we chose. Go big or go home right?
After lunch we started our decent. As expected, the first half was easy and we were making great time. Then the steep incline we started the hike with we had to decline. My legs were on FIRE. My quads, hamstrings and calves were all screaming at me to give up and just die on the side of that mountain.
I think I had to take more breaks going down than I had to going up. But finally I started to hear cars and motorcycles whizzing by so I knew we were close to the road. Usually, it takes SL and I about 2/3rds of the time to descend as it did to ascend but not the case while hiking Mt. Moosilauke. It took almost the exact same amount of time to get back down to the base.
Hiking Mt. Moosilauke by the Numbers
- 4,802 feet (New Hampshire’s 10th tallest mountain)
- 7.6 miles, roundtrip
- 5 hours, 57 minutes roundtrip
- 2:45 ascending
- :30 minute lunch and taking in the views
- 2:42 minute descending
- 2,306 calories burned (according to my Polar watch/HR monitor)
- 1 big box of Sour Patch Kids consumed. This was great trail magic for us!
Related: Hiking Old Speck
Our first hike of the year and SL and I knocked it out of the park with a 4,000 footer. I was really proud of us for conquering this mountain!
P.S. I am so excited that it’s already hump day! Enjoy your Wednesday!