Not all hikes are created equal, and Mt. Carrigain is a valuable addition to the memory bank.
Let’s see if this makes sense: there’s no truly difficult part of climbing Bondcliff in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and the Pemigewasset Wilderness. The first 50 percent of the hike covering the Lincoln Woods Trail and Wilderness Trail is all flat, heavily traveled ground. Yes, there are a few steep sections on the Bondcliff Trail—show me a 4,000-foot mountain in the Northeast that doesn’t have some serious ups—but even these are quite forgiving by White Mountains’ standards.
The Pemi Loop. The name alone brings a wistful smile to many a New England hiker’s face. Eight wide-open summits on the New Hampshire 48 list of 4,000+ footers—each offering spectacular views of the Pemigewasset Wilderness—plus four other “optional” 4,000+ peaks bagged via short side trails, help make The Loop an annual addiction for many.
Bookended by the widely popular hiking destinations of Franconia Ridge and South Twin Mountain on one end, and the Presidential Range on the other, it’s easy to dismiss the New Hampshire Appalachian Trail from Mt. Guyot to Mizpah Spring Hut as the necessary in-between. To an extent this wouldn’t entirely be a mistake (the summit of Mt. Zealand isn’t likely to take anyone’s breath away); however, those who tackle this stretch are treated to ample photo opportunities from Zealand Falls, Zeacliff, Zealand Notch and the Webster Cliffs.
The New Hampshire Appalachian Trail from Mt. Garfield to Mt. Guyot features views of the Pemigewasset Wilderness you’ll lose your train of thought in, along with calorie-busting terrain to make amends for that last trip to Five Guys & Fries. In other words, par for the course. We begin this AT adventure at the intersection of the Garfield Trail and the Garfield Ridge Trail.