Mt. Isolation

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Mt. Isolation
Drive 125 miles (2 hours 15 minutes)
Hike 12 miles
Difficulty Strenuous

Driving Directions

Take I-91 North to exit 19, I-93 South to exit 40, and Route 302 East to its intersection with Route 3. Turn left onto 3 North, and then right onto Route 115 North. Turn right onto Route 2 East, follow it through Gorham, and turn right onto Route 16 South. After about 11 miles, turn right into the Glen Ellis Parking Lot.

Hiking Directions

Follow Glen Boulder Trail to the West about 3 miles, then turn left onto the Davis Path. Continue on the Davis Path about 2.8 miles, then turn right for a shirt hike the the summit. Return by the same route.

Trip Reports


Group: Dan Pomerantz '18 (leader), Adam Burnett '18 (heeler), Mac Murphy '15, Greg Partridge '16, Matt Partridge UVM '18, Ivan Cornish '19, Matt Barnes '16

Weather: Totally overcast for most of the day, but there were some gaps of sunshine and blue sky, particularly earlier in the morning, so we still got great views. We could see rain over in the Franconia area and farther west, but thankfully it never reached us. We also heard one distant rumble of thunder. Temperatures were mostly in the 60s and 70s, although above treeline it got down into the 50s. It generally was still, warm and humid below treeline.

Route: Up the Glen Boulder Trail to the Davis Path, then up to Boott Spur, before going down the Davis Path to Isolation and back.

Trail conditions: A relatively long stretch of the Glen Boulder Trail in the trees was very ice-covered and almost forced us to turn back, since we lacked microspikes. Fortunately, it was the only significant icy stretch we encountered. There was patch ice in places on the Davis Path, as well as some sections with deep but well-consolidated snow, but neither posed problems.

Notes: After a night at the Lodge, we got to the trailhead and started hiking at 8:19. We got back to the trailhead at 4:55. We were a fast group and made good time. An inquisitive male Spruce Grouse walked right up to us as we were hiking on the Davis Path near the summit of Isolation. We also found an old rockbar in the woods off the Davis Path, near Isolation. Rusted and standing vertically, it blended in with the trees, but for the piece of flagging tape that gave it away. We decided to leave it there on the remote chance that a trail crew would be coming back for it, but if it's still there next time around, CnT should claim it!

A male Spruce Grouse seen along the Davis Path near Mount Isolation.


Group: Michelle Dundek '18 (leader), Ursula Jongebloed '18 (leader), Emma Rieb '18, Adam Burnett '18, Matt Magann '21, David Vonderheide '21, Frank Sapienza '21

Weather: Rainy, overcast, poor visibility at elevation. Temps in the 50s. Fairly windy above treeline, stinging our faces with raindrops.

Trail conditions: Tough. Dry at low elevations, but we quickly encountered snow and snowmelt. Long stretches within the trees were still covered in multiple feet of slushy, posthole-y snow, often with water flowing over, under, around, and through it. We were glad we brought snowshoes.

Notes: Our goal was to hike up the Glen Boulder Trail, then down the Davis Path to Isolation, and back the way we came. After leaving campus at 7 AM, we arrived at the trailhead and started hiking at 9:30. At about 12:30, we still weren't quite up to the top of the Glen Boulder Trail, people were soaked and shivering, and the weather and trail conditions were getting increasingly difficult as we gained elevation. After a leisurely lunch stop hunkered among the trees, we decided to head back down at that point. The weather cleared a bit as we neared Glen Boulder, so that we got some limited views to the south and down into Pinkham Notch. Lower down, it was magically spring again. We got back to the trailhead at 4 and were back on campus by 6:30, having taken a full day to hike half of what we were hoping to. This trip was a testament to the difficulties of spring hiking, and the crazy conditions possible in the Whites even when it's 70 and summer in Hanover.