Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Trail Report: Mount Osceola

On June 24 2012, Kellie, Kerri, Scott and Myself went to Exit 31 (Tripoli Road) in the beautiful White Mountains to hike our (Kellie and Myself) first 4000 footer.  The chosen mountain: Mount Osceola 4340'.  I had read a few trail reports from other hikers about this mountain so I knew going into it that it would be crowded, and it was.  The parking lot was completely full and there were a dozen or so cars parked along the road.  This is one of the easier 4000 footers to climb and being in the Lincoln/Woodstock area it's a little further South than traveling another 30 minutes or more over to Crawford Notch.

We started our hike about 11:15am, following the Mount Osceola Trail which is 3.2 miles one way to the summit.  There are no other trail junctions along the way to the summit.  The trail is not well marked but it's almost impossible to get lost as the trail is very well worn and also crowded.

Trail head sign

Rocky Trail

There really isn't a lot to say about this trail.  The entire trail is nothing but rocks and more rocks.  Most of the trail you are stepping from rock to rock and in a few areas some climbing.  There are quite a few switchbacks and this trail was not very steep.  We ran into numerous parties that were on their way down.  A little over an hour into the hike we got our first view and it was Waterville Valley Ski Area.

Waterville Valley Ski Area

The biggest disappointment with this trail is that there are virtually no good views until you get to the summit.  Traveling up the trail we saw a few nice views but due to all the tree cover (as you can see from the above picture), getting a nice clear shot is pretty much impossible.

More rocks in the trail

After about 2 hours of hiking we reached the summit and got our first really nice view.  Unfortunately this Mountain only has views towards the East.

I think the three peaks in the distance are the Tripyramids

Enjoying a Guinness at the summit!

There were quite a few people at the top, a bunch of groups with a lot of children.  After about 20 minutes or so, the parties started to leave and we did end up having the summit to ourselves, but only for about 10 minutes.

Kellie, Kerri, Scott resting

 USGS Marker Mount Osceola

The Chimney over to East Osceola

East Osceola 4156'

In the above two pictures you can see the chimney and the ridge line over to East Osceola which is about a 45 minute hike from the summit of Osceola.  Doing the hike there and back adds another two miles to the trip.

Yes, he is holding a SHOT in his hand

After to many beers I slipped and fell off the ledge

We stayed at the top for about 2 hours before we decided to head back down.  While at the top we talked about going over to East Osceola which is another summit about 45 minutes away but we ended up not doing this.  Next time!  The trip down was uneventful.  For some reason it took us just as long to get down as it did coming up.  Two hours each way.  There was one section that was a steep rock slab that was a pain to get over.

It is steeper than it looks!

Only a couple feet wide, don't slip!

Overall it was a good hike, the black flies were pretty bad and I keep hearing that they go away by mid-July.  I hope so.  Our first 4000 footer in the bag!  Only 47 more to go!

Summit of Mount Osceola: 4340'
Total hike time (round trip)..: 4h
Elevation Gain.....................: 2100'
Distance (round trip)...........: 6.4 miles

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