Looking down Crawford Notch from Mt. Avalon.
Photo by Ryan Linn
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Mount Tom & Mount Field

For Sunday’s hike, Siren and I headed to Crawford Notch and the Mt Willey Range. Siren has been living deep in the mountains of western New Hampshire, checking off 4000 Footers in the White Mountains, one snow-covered trip at a time.

Ryan Linn      Trip Report       02/24/2015
Ryan Linn
Trip Report
02/24/2015

For Sunday’s hike, Siren and I headed to Crawford Notch and the Mt Willey Range. Siren has been living deep in the mountains of western New Hampshire for the winter, before she heads west to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (which you’ll be able to read about at her blog!).

In the meantime, she’s checking off 4000 Footers in the White Mountains, one snow-covered trip at a time.

A large, dark tree is covered in snow.
It’s more snow, now, than tree…
Photo by Ryan Linn
A sign stands in front of a snowy forest.
Such smooth ground cover, it’s like walking on clouds.
Photo by Ryan Linn

Another three to six inches had fallen in the mountains overnight, giving us yet more deep powder to trudge through right out of the parking lot, and coating the trees so thickly that they often resembled strange creatures from a Tim Burton film.

I guess there had been relatively little wind around there recently, because many trees had tall snow piles balanced precariously on top of long branches. Occasionally a brush of a backpack on a low-hanging branch would send snow falling from the trees in such large dumps that our entire snowshoe track would be obliterated.

I can’t remember the last time I had such wonderful snow conditions in the White Mountains.

A yellow labrador walks down a snow-covered trail.
Foster the Mountain Dog, through the marshmallow forest.
Photo by Ryan Linn

The climb to Mount Tom, the northernmost of the three peaks of the Willey Range, is a mellow hike by local standards, but we saw no one until we neared the summit. Signs and blazes on the trees were set low to the ground, giving a good impression of the snow’s depth, but otherwise there was little sign of humanity.

Just the way I like it.

As we traversed between Mount Tom and Mount Field, the snow covering the trees became denser, like we were walking through a garden of giant marshmallows.

With the corridor of the trail mostly below our feet, the marshmallow trees squeezed into the trail much tighter than one would be used to in summer, and breaking trail in the virtually untouched ground cover slowed us to a fairly slow pace. But there’s nothing to complain about in that.

This was some of the most beautiful hiking I’ve had in a long time. With the mountains in the clouds, we could focus on closer views of snow mounds.

A hiker walks down a snow-covered trail.
Siren threads the needle through precariously perched snow piles.
Photo by Ryan Linn
A hiker and a yellow labrador look out at a bbank of fog and snow-covered trees.
On Mount Tom, walking in the clouds.
Photo by Ryan Linn

Atop Mount Field, the sky cleared a little bit and we ran into a few other hikers. For such a nice day on a fairly popular mountain, I was surprised to see so few people on the trail, but certainly not disappointed.

There’s something of an enchanted forest feel to the mountain when it’s so quiet and buried like this. We may have never been more than three miles from the nearest road, but it never felt like we were anywhere near civilization.

A snowy trail winds through snow-covered trees.
On the descent. Notice the height of the blaze, which is normally about eye-level.
Photo by Ryan Linn

After Mt Field, we decided that two peaks were good enough for the day (it was a long drive back for each of us), and so we descended along the Avalon Trail, with a brief stop for the only views of the day on Mt Avalon. Though it’s the shortest peak we hit that day, I often get the best views from there because it is short enough to keep its head out of the clouds, unlike the higher peaks of the range.

As an added bonus, the steepness of the trail heading down allowed for some long and exciting butt-sledding– the icing on an already wonderful cake of a day.


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Presidential Range, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
Photo by Ryan Linn
Presidential Range, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
Photo by Ryan Linn

White Mountain National Forest

White Mountain National Forest is home to New Hampshire’s highest peaks and over a thousand miles of hiking trails!

250+ miles of trail (400 km)
$29.99 full guide
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About the Author
A man wears a blue shirt, blue backpack, and a tan baseball cap.

Ryan Linn

Ryan is also known as “Guthook”, which is where our apps get their name. Already an avid hiker, he hiked the Appalachian Trail, New England Trail, and Pacific Crest Trail before joining forces with Paul to create the Guthook Guides apps. Ryan handles iOS development for our apps from his office in Maine, and usually runs away to the forests and mountains throughout New England. He also volunteers with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club and the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Baxter State Park in Maine is his happy place.