Mt. Jackson, Mt. Webster, and Webster Cliffs

Mountains:  Mt. Jackson (4052'), Mt. Webster (3910')
Trails:  Webster-Jackson Trail, Webster Cliff Trail, Appalachian Trail
Region:  NH - Central East  
White Mountain National Forest, Presidentials
Location:  Twin Mountain (Carroll), NH
Rating:  Moderate/Difficult  
Features:  Summits, views, 4000-footer, rock scrambles, cliffs, ledges
Distance:  7.3 miles  
Elevation Gain:  2400 feet (cumulative)  
Hiking Time:  Typical: 4:55  
Outing Duration:  Actual: 6:30   Typical: 7:00  
Season:  Summer
Hike Date:  09/13/2008 (Saturday)  
Weather:  Mostly clear
Author:  Mark Malnati
Companions:  Eight SDHers, 3 dogs

Trail in the morning (photo by Mark Malnati)


Route Summary   

This is a point-to-point hike up to Mount Jackson, over to Mount Webster, then down the Webster Cliff Trail. Both summits as well as Webster Cliff Trail offer fantastic views.

Spider web (photo by Mark Malnati)
  • Start on Webster-Jackson Trail.
  • After 0.1 mile, there will be a spur to the right leading to Elephant Head after 0.2 mile if you wish to make the detour. The path ends atop a cliff with views over Crawford Notch.
  • After another 0.5 mile on Webster-Jackson Trail you will encounter another spur on the right which leads to Bugle Cliff after 60 yards if you wish to make another detour to enjoy views from atop this ledge over Crawford Notch.
  • Continuing another 0.8 mile on Webster-Jackson Trail will bring you to a fork in Webster-Jackson Trail; the left fork leads to Mount Jackson in 1.2 miles and the right fork to Mount Webster in 1.1 miles. Turn left to follow the Jackson branch of the trail and take it all the way to the summit.
  • After enjoying the open ledges and fantastic views from Mount Jackson, head southwest on Webster Cliff Trail which is also the Appalachian Trail (AT). Webster Cliff Trail / AT also goes north so be sure to follow the correct branch; when coming up from Webster-Jackson Trail, you should take a right onto Webster Cliff Trail / AT.
  • Follow Webster Cliff Trail / AT mostly downwards for 1.4 miles, then, following a short steep climb, you will arrive at the summit of Mount Webster which offers many views from its disjointed rocky summit.
  • After enjoying Mount Webster, continue along Webster Cliff Trail / AT downhill to reach its trailhead on Route 302 after 3.3 miles, walking on several open ledges along the way with Webster Cliffs dropping steeply off to the right of the trail. Just 0.3 mile from the end of the hike, you will pass the eastern leg of Saco River Trail on the left, and 0.1 mile after than you will pass its western segment on the right; keep going straight on Webster Cliff Trail / AT through both of these junctions.

Place         Split
Miles
     Total
Miles
Webster-Jackson Trailhead (1900') 0.0 0.0
Fork of Webster-Jackson Trail (2800') 1.4 1.4
Mt. Jackson summit (4052') 1.2 2.6
Mt. Webster summit (3910') 1.4 4.0
Webster Cliff Trailhead (1275') 3.3 7.3

Stay overnight in a tipi - Tipi Lodging

5-year-old hiker on Mount Jackson (photo by Mark Malnati)
 

Quincy (photo by Mark Malnati)



Trail signs (photo by Mark Malnati)


 

Trail map of hike route to Mount Jackson, Mount Webster, and Webster Cliffs (map by Webmaster)


Trail Guide   

On this day, September 13, 2008, as an act of remembrance to September 11th, American flags were raised atop all 48 four-thousand-foot and higher mountains in New Hampshire. You can find more information about the flag raising at http://www.flagsonthe48.org/.

Flag on Mount Jackson (photo by Mark Malnati)


We decided to hike up to Mount Jackson on the Webster-Jackson Trail. From Jackson many other 4,000-footers are visible so it was a good place to have lunch and take in the views of both flags and mountains. After leaving Jackson we hiked to Mount Webster and then continued on along the Webster Cliff Trail which has great views of Crawford Notch including the Willey House Historical Site area.

Storm clouds gave way to a very nice day as eight hikers and three dogs made their way to Mount Jackson. We took Webster-Jackson Trail to the Jackson branch and then climbed to the summit. The views were great and we enjoyed identifying mountains with help from Scudder's White Mountain Viewing Guide. We ate our lunch and chatted as the "Flags on the 48" team set up. There were plenty of other hikers there to see the flag, including a five-year-old girl who was peak-bagging; I think that Jackson was her seventh! Using binoculars, we could see flags on Pierce, Eisenhower, Willey, and Field.

SDH enjoying the views (photo by Mark Malnati)


After lunch we hiked over to Mount Webster. At the summit we took a nice long break, taking in the views of Crawford Notch. Once we realized that we could not spend the rest of the day sunning on the summit we continued down Webster Cliff Trail. I had been anxious to repeat the cliff walk ever since Dennis took us there a few years ago; this trail provides many spectacular views. It's pretty cool to look down 2,000 feet to the Willey House.

We hiked south along the ridge, then eventually descended into the woods where a series of switchbacks took us to our spotted car. This hike gave us some steep hiking, nice scrambling, and lots of views. We covered the 7.3 miles in about 6.5 hours. Back at the cars we enjoyed refreshments as we looked up at the cliffs that we had just hiked.
 
Steep spot on the trail (photo by Mark Malnati)


Deb and her dogs with a mountainous backdrop (photo by Mark Malnati)


White Mountains elegant vacation rental
 

Willey House Historical Site 2,000 feet below Webster Cliff Trail (photo by Mark Malnati) SDH on Webster Cliff Trail (photo by Mark Malnati)

 


NH - Central East



  Driving Directions   

This is a point-to-point hike so you will need to spot cars or arrange for transportation before you begin. The starting point is the Webster-Jackson Trailhead and the ending point is the Webster Cliff Trailhead.

Webster-Jackson Trailhead:

The Webster-Jackson Trailhead is located on Route 302 in Twin Mountain (Carroll), New Hampshire.

Coming from the west:
  • The Webster-Jackson Trailhead is about 8.5 miles east of the junction of Rt. 3 and Rt. 302, about 0.1 mile after the Highland Center which is on the right.
  • The parking area is on the right and the trailhead is across the street on the left.

Coming from the east:
  • Traveling from the east, the Webster-Jackson Trailhead is about 2.6 miles west of the Willey House, about 0.1 mile before the AMC Highland Center which is on the left.
  • The parking area is on the left and the trailhead is across the street on the right.

SDH enjoying the views (photo by Mark Malnati)


Webster Cliff Trailhead:

The Webster Cliff Trailhead is located on Route 302 in Harts Location, New Hampshire within Crawford Notch State Park.

Coming from the west:
  • The Webster Cliff Trailhead is about 12.1 miles east of the junction of Rt. 3 and Rt. 302. It's also about 7 miles east of the Mount Washington Hotel and 1 mile east of the Willey House Historical Site.
  • The parking area is on the right next to a side street and the trailhead is on the opposite side of Route 302.

Coming from the east:
  • Traveling from the east, the Webster Cliff Trailhead is about 11 miles west of Bear Notch Road which is on the left-hand side of Route 302 in Bartlett.
  • The parking area is on the left next to a side street and the trailhead is on the opposite side of Route 302.

More Mt. Webster and Mt. Jackson Trail Reports   

 

Wyly (photo by Mark Malnati)

View from Webster Cliff Trail (photo by Mark Malnati)

SDH (photo by Mark Malnati)
 

View from Webster Cliff Trail (photo by Mark Malnati) View from Webster Cliff Trail (photo by Mark Malnati)

 

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