Mt. Moosilauke

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Mt. Moosilauke
Moosilauke.jpg
A group of CnT hikers on the Moosilauke summit in April 2010.
Drive 50 miles
Hike 7-12 miles
Difficulty Moderate to strenuous

Mt. Moosilauke has been the spiritual home of Dartmouth's out-of-doors for over one hundred years. Through the generosity of numerous individuals, most notably Pennington Haile ’24, the College owns 4,600 acres on this 4,802 foot peak (about a third of the mountain above 2000 feet). It is the tenth highest peak in the state, with a summit many claim has the best view in the White Mountains. The vast majority of Dartmouth students are introduced to the College through DOC First-Year Trips culminating at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge halfway up the mountain’s southern side. With steadily expanding interest in DOC cabins and summer programs at the Ravine Lodge, it is not surprising that Moosilauke has become a big part of Dartmouth’s culture.

Yet few people really take advantage of all that there is to experience at Moosilauke. The possibilities at Moosilauke are almost limitless. Whether it be afternoon strolls to your favorite spot, bushwhacking up ravines, winter overnights, or Lodge square dancing, your hours at this special place will be remembered forever. As Otto Schniebs, legendary Dartmouth Skiing Coach and Moosilauke trailbuilder, once said, “Ach, it is not a schport — it is a vay of life.”

Overview of attractions

These are the obvious high points, but they are only a beginning to the adventures possible. Within this thirty square mile mountain region are miles of idyllic streams, old logging roads, rock slides, subsidiary summits, and intriguing woods to explore. Subject to your route-finding and map-reading ability, the possibilities are endless.

The Summit

360 degree view, 100 acres of alpine tundra, ruins of Summit Camp and two Summit Cabins.

Beaver Brook Cascades

Some of the finest cascades in the region.

South Peak

Less frequented than the main summit, great views of Warren NH nearly 4000 feet below.

Jobildunc Ravine

Spectacular glacial cirque. Difficult bushwhack access to base, good views of headwalls from Gorge Brook, Upper Beaver Brook, and particularly from viewpoint on Al Merrill Ski Loop.

Little Tunnel Ravine

Another glacial cirque; northeast of the Benton Trail. Numerous cascades and good views into ravine from Benton Trail.

Ravine Lodge area

Unique, historic log building.

Driving Directions

Directions to Beaver Brook Trailhead

Option 1 = passing by the Lodge

  • Go north Warren, NH, either via 25A or 25C
  • Traveling N through Warren, take a R onto 118 North
  • Go L at the Rt. 112 Junction (heading W)
  • Trailhead is on your left, next to Beaver Pond

Option 2 = taking the highway

  • Go north on I-91, take exit 17 East
  • Stay on 302 through Woodsville (302 joins rt. 112 at some point)
  • Take a R at the 112 junction
  • Stay on 112. Trailhead is on your right, after Beaver Pond. If you cross the Rt. 118 junction you've gone too far!

Hiking Directions

Map of Moosilauke's hiking trails.

Mt. Moosilauke offers multiple trails and hiking options. See the map for info on possible routes.

Sledding

Moosilauke's Carriage Road offers a great place for sledding if the conditions are good. Taking the access road to the Lodge followed by the Snapper->Carriage Road->Hurricane loop is probably the best option because the hike up isn't bad at all, and the sledding is a lot of fun. Make sure you check how icy it is before sledding down, though - it isn't incredibly steep, but there are a few sharp turns/bumps that could turn ugly if the trail is too icy. Relatively icy/packed snow with a layer of powder on top works fine as long as everyone knows the basics of controlling their descent with hands/feet.

Trip Reports

March 2-3, 2012 Leaders: Georgi Klissurski ’14 (Heeler), Matt Pickart ’13 (Co-Leader) Group: 4 trippees with no to moderate skiing experience, but a really wonderful bunch: Melinda, Lexi, Hongyu, and Dan. This was CnT’s joint trip with the Williams Outing Club, so we also had 5 Williams people who were really fun to spend two days with! Weather: quiet and cloudy on Friday night. Misty with very slight precipitation (snow/rain) on Saturday morning (the temperature was right around 30 F); no precipitation (but still cloudy) after 11 am. It became really sunny and the sky cleared up after 3 pm. After 6 pm, it was a little windy, and the snow which partially melted during the day started to freeze again, which did not make skiing too fun. Trail/Snow conditions: the access road to the Lodge was okay for skiing on Friday night, but a little icy/cementy on Saturday night. Carriage Road had some powder, but telemark skiers had smoothened it out a little. It was perfect for sledding, though! Description: The Dartmouth and Williams groups drove together to the Lodge access road, and we cross-country skied at night to John Rand. It took us about 1.5 hours, and it was great fun! We had some good snacks at the cabin and played fun games. Early the next morning, we sledded/skied down to the Lodge and took the Snapper Trail. At the junction with Carriage Road, we had a yummy lunch and then kept going for another mile. Sledding down was great, as the snow conditions were perfect and there were fast turns and good jumps. As we went down Snapper again, though, the snow started melting and it was really sticky, so sledding was not as great anymore. We made it back to John Rand just in time for a beautiful sunset, and after packing quickly, we skied back to our van. Mileage and Time: 5 to 6 miles of hiking/sledding (round trip) from the Lodge and back. Skiing in and out of John Rand was about 2 miles each way.


4/4/2010

SNOW!! And awesome weather. We had a grand hike up Moosilauke's Gorge Brook Trail, but after the first 1/2 mile, the snow was ridiculous and our progress was much slower than expected. We were stepping into snow up to our waste in many places. The air temperature was in the mid 60s though, and we summited to clear views of the whole area. We took Snapper down, and were able to slide and run along the snow for a much quicker decent. We consumed candied spice-beans, candied chocolate, and candied salmon per Easter Sunday.


1/28/2011

Group: Max Deibel (leader), Ben Southworth, Melissa An, Phil Larie, Aron Liu, Annie Pham, Jamie Mercado, Kelsey Stimson

Weather: Surprisingly warm (upper 30s), pretty cloudy but no precipitation

Route (for sledding!): Access road to the Lodge, then up Snapper, down the Carriage Road, Hurricane back to the Lodge, and the access road back.

Time: Round trip ~6 hours (at a slow pace)

Notes: Sledding on Moosilauke! This was a Winter Weekend trip, so most of the trippees had little hiking experience (plus a couple had no sledding experience), but everyone seemed to have a good time. We made it up the access road to the Lodge in ~45 minutes and took a break there to sled on the Leach Field and admire the view. We took our time going up the Snapper trail (partially because of the sleds, but we also took a long lunch on the way up), met a few hikers on their way down. We were able to sled down the entirety of the Carriage Road - the snow was a bit icy, but there was powder on top of it that made conditions almost perfect, giving us a quick descent. It was a little disappointing to have to walk the Hurricane trail back to the Lodge, but we did get to sled most of the access road back to our vehicle. We drove to Harris to meet up with the the other Winter Weekend trips for dinner and then came back to campus.


1/19/2013

Group: Mac Murphy, Becca Novello, Colin Quinn‎, Hunter van Adelsberg‎, Philip Mannes‎, Jonathan King‎, Katie Jacobs

Weather: In the 20s. No precipitation.

Description: Tropical-themed raid on the Great Bear cabin camping P.E. class. We surprised them at the cabin around 9 a.m. and then hiked Glencliff trail (~7 mi) with a few of them. We had a great time -- very windy at the summit, great views, delicious lunch, good conversation, and some fun romping on the descent. We hung out at the cabin for the afternoon and cooked dinner, and we got back to campus by 8 p.m.


5/18-19/2013

Group: Anna Knowles, Juan Sanchez, Jesse Rieb, Luke Wallace, Shannon Cleary

Weather: Warm. Definitely shorts and a t-shirt even standing still at the bottom, slightly cooler higher up the mountain. Summit was sunny and only slightly breezy, but chilly enough that layering up was necessary to stay comfortable standing still.

Route: Juan dropped us at Great Bear, then took the sprinter on to the Lodge. We marched straight up Glencliff, over the summit, down Gorge Brook and past the Lodge to John Rand.

Hiking Time: 5 hours cabin to cabin, keeping a pretty good pace on the way up but with very frequent short stops to catch our breath. Had two longer snack breaks at the junction with Carriage road and the summit itself.

Trail Conditions: A bit of ice and snow still surviving in shaded areas at higher elevations (more on Gorge Brook than Glencliff), but not enough to cause any trouble getting through it. The trails were a bit muddy around the surviving snow patches, but it was all fairly easy to negotiate.

Further Description: We only left campus at 1:30 pm, which worked out nicely because we had enough daylight and we were staying at the cabin for my heeler overnight anyway (and Juan got to the cabin early and got the fire going). There were some nice wildflowers on the hike, and the trees higher up were only just starting to get leaves. We did a lot of culinary experimentation in the cabin - Juan made fettuccine alfredo with broccoli on the wood stove (which was just the right temperature for making a roux), and we also tried doing cinnamon rolls on top, but the bottoms got rather burnt. We kept milk in the stream overnight, had a cold breakfast, and were back on campus around 10 am the next day.

Policy Documents

These documents describe various aspects of the college's current policies regarding the use of the Mount Moosilauke property. The Moosilauke area has a Management Plan on this wiki.