Mount Pierce and Mizpah Spring Hut

Destinations:  Mt. Pierce (4312'), Mizpah Spring Hut (3777'), Gibbs Falls (2300')
Trails:  Crawford Connector, Crawford Path, Gibbs Falls Spur, Webster Cliff Trail, Mizpah Cutoff, Appalachian Trail
Region:  NH - Central East  
White Mountain National Forest, Presidentials
Location:  Carroll (Twin Mountain), NH
Rating:  Moderate/Difficult  
Features:  Summit, views, hut, 4000-footer, waterfall, cascades, brook, loop hike
Distance:  6.6 miles  
Elevation Gain:  2500 feet (cumulative)  
Hiking Time:  Typical: 4:35  
Outing Duration:  Typical: 6:30  
Season:  Fall
Hike Date:  09/29/2007 (Saturday)  
Last Updated:  10/03/2009  
Author:  Deb Hann
Companion:  Thirteen SDHers

On Mt. Pierce (photo by Mark Malnati) Route Summary   

This loop hike brings you to Mount Pierce which is a 4000-footer in the Presidential Range. You will also pass by AMC's Mizpah Spring Hut and Nauman Tentsite. Both the summit and portions of the walk between the hut and the peak offer fantastic views.

  • Start on Crawford Connector, following it for 0.4 mile. The trail will cross Mount Clinton Road and then arrive at a footbridge crossing Gibbs Brook where there are pretty cascades. Just before the bridge, Crawford Cliff Spur veers left but you should stay straight and cross the bridge.
  • Several strides after crossing Gibbs Brook, you will reach a junction with Crawford Path. Go straight/left to head up the mountain; the right-hand leg leads to Route 302.
  • After just 0.2 mile on Crawford Path, look for a sign for "Gibbs Falls" on the left. Follow the path left for about 40 yards which will bring you to a viewpoint of Gibbs Falls spilling down a tall ledge.
  • Retrace your steps on the spur then turn left to resume the ascent on Crawford Path.
  • Hike on Crawford Path for another 1.3 miles which will bring you to a junction with Mizpah Cutoff. Bear left to stay on Crawford Path; our return route will later bring us down Mizpah Cutoff.
  • Continue on Crawford Path for an additional 1.2 miles until reaching the junction with Webster Cliff Trail.
  • Turn right onto Webster Cliff Trail which is part of the Appalachian Trail (leaving Crawford Path to continue straight ahead) and ascend 0.1 mile to the summit of Mount Pierce which is marked by a cairn with denser scrub beyond it. The summit offers fantastic views over to the rounded dome of Mount Eisenhower and the building-topped Mount Washington.
  • When you're through enjoying the views, continue along Webster Cliff Trail / Appalachian Trail, descending Mount Pierce on the other side, and arriving at Mizpah Spring Hut and Nauman Tentsite in 0.8 mile.
  • Upon entering the cleared area at Mizpah Spring Hut, turn right and walk several strides along the clearing edge, then turn right again back into the woods where a sign indicates "Webster Cliff Trail / Mizpah Cutoff 200 feet".
  • In about 200 feet, Webster Cliff Trail / Appalachian Trail turns left while Mizpah Cutoff goes straight ahead. Keep straight to get onto Mizpah Cutoff.
  • Descend gently on Mizpah Cutoff for 0.7 mile until it runs into Crawford Path at a junction that you met during your ascent.
  • Turn left and follow Crawford Path and Crawford Connector for 1.9 miles back to the parking lot. After 1.5 miles, go straight/right to get on Crawford Connector where Crawford Path goes left.

Place         Split
Miles
     Total
Miles
Crawford Connector parking lot on Mt. Clinton Road (1920') 0.0 0.0
Jct. Crawford Connector / Crawford Cliff Spur (2080') 0.4 0.4
Jct. Crawford Path / Gibbs Falls Spur (2250') 0.2 0.3
Jct. Crawford Path / Mizpah Cutoff (3380') 1.3 1.9
Jct. Crawford Path / Webster Cliff Trail (4250') 1.2 3.1
Mt. Pierce summit (4312') 0.1 3.2
Mizpah Spring Hut (3800') 0.8 4.0
Jct. Crawford Path / Mizpah Cutoff (3380') 0.7 4.7
Jct. Crawford Path / Gibbs Falls Spur (2250') 1.3 6.0
Jct. Crawford Connector / Crawford Cliff Spur (2080') 0.2 6.2
Crawford Connector parking lot on Mt. Clinton Road (1920') 0.4 6.6

Stay overnight in a tipi - Tipi Lodging

 



 

Trail map of hike route to Mt. Pierce and Mizpah Spring Hut (map by Webmaster)


Trail Guide   

The Tale of Mount Pierce: The Hares and the Tortoises.

It was the best of times, with a few unfortunate "incidents". On Saturday, Sept 29th thirteen dayhikers and two dogs were optimistic about the weather forecast. We left the parking area on Mount Clinton Road at 10ish for the moderate climb. There were a few breaks to shed layers (then add as we neared the summit). The Mizpah Spring Hut caretaker later told me wind gusts were recorded at 60 mph! (On Mount Washington?!) Anyhoo, it was windy.

View from Crawford Path (photo by Mark Malnati)


The "hares" of our group were full of goose bumps by the time the "tortoises" reached the summit of Mount Pierce (4312 feet) for the first lunch. Alex, our "hare" on Red Bull, decided to continue on to the hut to wait for the group and duck out of the wind. Near the Mount Pierce summit was where Tessa was pegged as a "lost dog" and tied to the sign post by well meaning hikers. I guess all of that whining and howling into the wind can be interpreted any number of ways! Here is where Jack was dining at the summit, heard Tessa was tied, and he dropped down to the trail junction to free her. He also followed her down the trail a bit to be sure we met up. This was Jack's first opportunity to be the hero. He jogs around those trails with such agility and ease! Thanks Jack! After that, Tessa never got out of my sight.

Mt. Eisenhower (photo by Mark Malnati) After a brief stop at the summit (for the tortoises, longer for the hares), we descended to Mizpah Spring Hut to meet up with Alex. By the time we reached the hut, the sun was bright and the sky blue. Several hikers warmed up with hot soup, the sun streaming in the windows warmed all. After a brief jaunt (2.6 miles) down from the hut, most made it to the parking area uneventfully.

Here's where Jack appears again. A few hikers missed the last turn to the Crawford Connector to Mount Clinton Road. Jack realized they were on a different trail before too long and they only added a mile to their hike. Once again, hikers were happy Jack was along! Sorry I did not wait at that turn for you guys! They were all smiles and looked very buff after that extra mileage! The Willey House was open for our ice cream stop, with limited flavors. No maple walnut...

Oh yeah, the foliage was nice as well! All in all, a nice hike and beautiful day.
 
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NH - Central East

  Driving Directions   

The trailhead for Crawford Connector is located on Mount Clinton Road, off of Route 302, in Carroll (Twin Mountain), New Hampshire.

From the West:
  • From the junction of Routes 3 and 302 in Carroll (Twin Mountain), follow Rt. 302 East for 8.0 miles, then turn left onto Mount Clinton Road.
  • Almost immediately upon turning onto Mount Clinton Road, take your first left into a large parking lot.
  • The trailhead for Crawford Connector is at the far end of the parking area, just to the right of the toilets.

From the East:
  • Follow Rt. 302 West. Mount Clinton Road will be on the right and is 0.2 mile beyond the AMC Highland Center, or about 3 miles west of the Willey House Historical Site.
  • Almost immediately upon turning onto Mount Clinton Road, take your first left into a large parking lot.
  • The trailhead for Crawford Connector is at the far end of the parking area, just to the right of the toilets.

Facilities   

Toilets at the parking lot.

Other Notes   

A parking permit is required to park at White Mountain National Forest trailheads and parking areas. You can purchase a WMNF permit from the forest service and other vendors and can also pay-by-the-day using self-service kiosks located in many parking areas.

For more information on parking passes please refer to the White Mountain National Forest website.

Rates:
  • $3 per day
  • $5 for a week-long pass
  • $20 for a year-long pass
  • $25 for two year-long passes (one household/two cars)

More Mt. Pierce and Mizpah Spring Hut Trail Reports   

  White Mountains elegant vacation rental
 
Charlie at junction (photo by Mark Malnati) Sal (photo by Mark Malnati)
 

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