Tripyramids

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Tripyramids
Drive 70 miles
Hike 11 miles
Difficulty Moderate to Strenuous, depending on route chosen

The Tripyramids are three peaks connected by a ridgeline with very little space or elevation change in between. Two of them (North and Middle) are official 4000 foot peaks, while the third, South peak, is at 4100 feet but does not have the necessary 200 feet of prominence. The Tripyramids are a moderate, albeit long (around 11 mile round trip) hike that should be accessible to a wide variety of hikers given adequate time.


Driving Directions

Take I-91 North to exit 15 (US 5/Fairlee/Orford NH). In 0.2 miles, turn right onto Lake Morey road. In 0.1 miles, take left onto US 5/N Main St. In 0.5 miles, take right onto Vermont 25A E/Bridge St. In 0.3 miles turn right onto New Hampshire 25A E/NH 10 S/Dartmouth College Hwy. In 0.3 miles turn left onto New Hampshire 25A E. In 14.5 miles turn right onto NH 118 S/NH-25 E/Mt. Moosilauke Hwy. In 11.6 miles, take the 2nd exit of the traffic circle onto New Hampshire 3A N/NH-25 E/Tenney Mountain Hwy. In 4.1 miles merge onto I-93 via the ramp to Campton/Littleton. Take exit 28 for NH-49 toward NH-175/Campton/Waterville Valley. In 0.3 miles turn right onto NH-49 E. In 11.2 miles turn right onto NH-49 E/Boulder Path Rd. In 0.4 miles turn right onto W Branch Rd. In 0.1 miles turn right to stay on W Branch Rd. In 0.5 miles turn right onto Livermore Rd. In about 5.3 miles, the Sabbaday Brook Trail parking lot should be on your right.


Hiking Directions

MODERATE ROUTE (11 miles): After parking at the Sabbaday Brook Trail parking lot, you have a choice. You can either ascend by Sabbaday Brook (4.9 miles) and come back down Pine Bend Brook Trail (3.2 miles), meaning you must then walk 1 mile on the road back to the car, or begin the day by walking the mile on the road and ascend by Pine Bend Brook Trail, meaning your car will be waiting for you as soon as you finish your descent, which will be welcome after a long day of hiking. The Pine Bend Brook Trail will take you directly to the summit of North Tripyramid. From here, continue south for 0.5 miles to the intersection of the Pine Bend Brook and Sabbaday Brook trails. From this point it is 0.3 miles to the summit of Middle Tripyramid. The elevation gain to ascend Middle peak is minimal. By this point you will have completed both official 4000 footers. If you have the energy and the time, you can continue south for about 0.6 miles to reach the summit of South Tripyramid. Whether or not you choose to do the South peak, retrace your steps until you return to the junction of Sabbaday Brook and Pine Bend Brook. Follow the Sabbaday Brook trail down.

HARDER ROUTE (11 miles): Do not underestimate this 11 mile loop. If there is any rain, snow, ice, or other reason the trail might be slippery, it may be essentially impassable. Both the ascent and descent have steep, rocky sections that could easily lead to a nasty fall.

This will leave from the Livermore trailhead, and as such, you will not be parking at the Sabbaday Brook trailhead parking lot. The Livermore trailhead is about 3.3 miles after your final turn, or about 2 miles before the Sabbaday Brook trailhead. The hike begins with the gentle Livermore trail for 2.6 miles. After this, you will come to an intersection that has a route to the southern side of the Tripyramids. If doing the loop from North Tripyramid down to South (recommended, as the descent down North would be dangerous and time-consuming), continue one more mile to the north end of the Mount Tripyramid trail. This is the most challenging section of the hike. For 1.2 miles, you will be ascending the steep, rocky, and exposed trail to the summit of North Tripyramid. From here, continue 3.7 miles on the Mount Tripyramid trail. This will take you over the Middle and South peaks before descending a rocky, steep trail below the south summit and eventually linking back to the Livermore trail.


Advice & Anecdotes

There are numerous river crossings on this hike, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Though it presents numerous opportunities to refill water (which you shouldn’t need for a day hike if you start by carrying 2-3 liters, but accidents happen), this can slow down large groups. During high water some of these may be difficult, especially on Sabbaday Brook Trail, which has a couple of relatively wide crossings (about 30 feet).

Also, even on the moderate route, there are several steep sections near the summit. In snowy or wet conditions, the descent by Sabbaday Brook Trail becomes incredibly slippery, and there are parts where you are essentially forced to slide down. Besides these very steep sections, most of the trail is flat, so take your time on the steep parts and use a headlamp on the flat stretch at the end if you have to. It’s not worth rushing the steep descent.

Trip Reports

October 26, 2013 Group: 8: Steven Tebbe (leader), John French (co-leader), Renata Hegyi, David Cavagnaro, Apoorva Dixit, Sam Greydanus, Loring Schaible, Josie Nordrum Weather: Light dusting of snow, with 1-2 inches already on the ground. Almost no wind, even on the ridge and peaks, making for a winter-wonderland experience. Route: Easier route, from Pine Bend Brook to Sabbaday Falls. Time: 9:15 (with plenty of breaks, and significantly slowed by snow)

July 12, 2015 Group: 4: Dan Pomerantz (leader), Matthew West (co-leader), Eliza Rockefeller, Robert Wright Weather: Sunny, hot, and humid. Beautiful weather, with lots of views, though a bit hazy. Route: More strenuous trail, North Slide Time: 7:30 (lots of breaks, and the north slide is pretty slow going because it's steep)

May 1, 2016 Group 7: Jalen Benson (leader), Maddy Kroot (co-leader), Mia Kobs, Anna Ellis, Linford Zirangwa, Steph Everett, and Kenzie Clark. Weather: Threatened to rain all day, so no views. Started snowing lightly on the top of Middle Pyramid. Icy towards the top with lots of slush, and mud at lower elevations. Route: Livermore Road Trail to Scaur Ridge up to North Peak and then the Mount Tripyramid Loop down, taking the South Slide. (13.5 miles) Time: 6:00ish (went fast on the flat sections of Livermore, slow on the icy ups).

Trail Notes

October 26, 2013 Appears to not have been maintained in a few weeks. Many fallen-down trees right across the path. Also, leaf-cover all along the ground made the trail difficult to find and follow in patches. Other than that, the trail quality was good, and not too wet or muddy.

Recommended Gear

For 3 season hiking, regular gear. For winter hiking, snowshoes and microspikes should be enough. Crampons and ice axes should be unnecessary.