Another nondescript summit
With the traverse on the Rollins trail over, we start up one of the trails leading to the top of Passaconaway. The trail is gentle at first, with several switchbacks (some of questionable usefulness) and then very steep and bouldery at the end (probably a remnant of an original trail). The top of Passaconaway is wooded and mostly flat-ish. A short spur trail leads to the actual summit, which, like Whiteface, is simply a stand of small conifers with no view whatsoever. Just beyond the spur trail, through, is a nice lookout to the north and east. We encounter the only group of hikers we see on the entire hike here, too!
For the route down, we choose an apparently little-used route called the Wonalancet Range trail. It traverses over a series of lower peaks and bumps back towards the Ferncroft parking area.
Hiking through the Wonalancets
The weather has been slowly deteriorating all day, and at this point, we notice the skies darken considerably and a few rumbles of thunder. At a small lookout, we see dark clouds over the summit of nearby Whiteface. Quickening our pace, we continue back to the trailhead. Fortunately we get nothing more than a few rumbles, and no rain. We arrive back at the Ferncroft parking area about 3:40pm, about 8 hours after starting out. A pretty nice hike, if a little boring towards the end.
Interactive Trackmap & Photo Points - Whiteface and Passaconaway - Click map to expand
Whiteface and Passaconaway
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain:
Total Elevation Loss:
* : +/- 75 feet
After finishing the Whtieface and Passaconaway hike, we moved north to the Dolly Copp campground on route 16 and prepared ourselves for another hike the next morning, this time of South and Middle Carter mountains. The weather forecast, though, predicted a mixed bag. What would tomorrow bring?
Tomorrow brought a turbulent cold front, with pelting rain, at 4am -- precisely the time we were scheduled to get up and hike. As a result, we were in no mood to head up to any peak, so instead we packed our things and started the drive home. And as you can see, there were some pretty interesting and threatening cloud formations! The Carters will have to wait for another time....