Mt. Whiteface and Passaconaway


This one night backpack offered some amazing ridgeline backpacking. Camp Rich is a quality campsite and I enjoyed one of the best views in the White Mountains from the lookout atop Passaconaway.

Day 1 - 6.7 miles - 5 hours, 48 minutes

The Fercroft parking lot and start to the hike which was along a road and through some private property before entering the WMNF.

The climb up Blueberry Ledge Trail and Blueberry cutoff. It was a steep but managdable climb.

The first peek out west

A bit more climbing through the woods

Great view from the first open ledge. I stopped here for a long snack and needed rest. There are plenty more views and places to enjoy them.

After this first viewing location the most technical part of the trail follows. I had to pack away my poles in order to use my hands to grab hold of rocks to pull myself up. Right afterward I was treated to views both east and west on Blueberry Ledge. Immediately below to the east the Bowl Research Natural Area sits in front of the peaks of the eastern Sandwich Range. To the north I could spot the Mount Washington through the notch separating Whiteface and Passaconaway.

After all those views, the actual summit of Whiteface is tucked in the trees and marked by a small cairn.

The trail gets much less exciting for a bit. I has wrongly been expecting views north which my book describing this hike said would be there. I had wrongly passed up many a places to rest and enjoy the views along Blueberry Ridge and was restless for a vista and snack as the wooded ridge I now hiked on taunted me with small peeks through the trees. A half mile after the summit there wass slightly obstructed view east of Passaconaway, Paugus, and Chocorua, but I could only see it while standing.

Probably three quarters of a mile after the summit of Whiteface I did reach a great south facing vista which looked straight down into The Bowl with Paugus and Chocorua just visible. I took an elongated rest here in the notch between the two four thousand footers and looked stright down at the bowl

I hiked for about another mile through some flat terrain with a small climb after passing Dicey's Mill Trail and the East Summit Loop on my right.

I reached Camp Rich after passing a small spring. The entrance isn't obvious, but once I was there I could pick from a handful of flat spots to set up camp. It was a lovely place to spend the evening, the only downside was that absolutely nothing burned.

Day 2 - 6.9 miles - 6 hours, 17 minutes

A short but steep half mile plus hike brought me to the wooded summit of Passaconaway in the morning. An obstructed view to the east and the Tripyramids was at a bend in the trail just before the summit.

I left my pack at the summit and descended about a third of a mile to a fantastic view point that looks over the valley north of the Sandwich Range and out toward the Pemigewassett Mountains and the Presidential Range. Mount Washington lay stright ahead with it's peak just hidden behind some pesky clouds.

Another vista lies just after the spur and faces northeast (not pictured) but does not offer nearly the views that the vista at the end of the spur trail does. I then descended the East Summit Loop and then down Square Ledge Trail. I knew Square Ledge offered views but had a hard time locating exactly how to attain them, eventually I found an opening to sit and enjoy a snack. I'm writing this months afterward so I apologize for not remembering how I got there.