Mount Pemigewasset via Indian Head Trail

Mountain:  Mt. Pemigewasset (2557')
Trail:  Indian Head Trail
Region:  NH - Central West  
White Mountain National Forest, Cannon-Kinsman Region
Location:  Lincoln, NH
Rating:  Moderate  
Features:  Summit, views
Distance:  3.8 miles  
Elevation Gain:  1557 feet (high point minus low point)  
Hiking Time:  Actual: 2:15     
Season:  Spring
Hike Date:  04/29/2000 (Saturday)  
Weather:  About 60-80 degrees
Author:  Webmaster

Route Summary   

From the summit slabs of Mount Pemigewasset, there are views of several nearby mountains. This hike ascends on Indian Head Trail and returns via the same route.

Place         Split
Indian Head Trailhead 0.0 0.0 0:00 0:00
Mt. Pemigewasset summit 1.9 1.9 1:15 1:15
Indian Head Trailhead 1.9 3.8 1:00 2:15

  Trail Guide   

This was a pleasant trail leading to an open, ledgy summit that provides 180 degrees worth of views. For the most part the trail was easy to follow but a few downed trees and sparse blazes made it a little tricky in spots.

Easy grades take you through some ugliness and noise as the path crosses a meadow and then goes under both north and south bound lanes of the Franconia Parkway (I-93). This short section is softened by a babbling brook that runs along the trail for at least half the hike.

Mt. Pemigewasset (photo by Webmaster)

After walking away from the highway, the path is easy to moderate with lots of neat views of the brook. The woods are mostly made up of deciduous trees which afforded good views since they were merely sporting buds at this time. This advantage was set off by the lack of shade. As I hiked up, the sun beat down mercilessly on me and made for a toasty 80 degrees.

Close to the top, I could see the impressive mass of "Indian Head" (the ledges of Mount Pemigewasset) loom up off to the right of the trail. It seemed rather daunting that I would soon be on top of that ledge and I was glad I was skirting around it on a trail rather than rock-climbing up the seemingly sheer face.

Shortly before reaching the top, the woods changed to conifers with a sprinkling of birch trees and the path became steep for a short-lived section. At the summit are spacious ledges with outlooks encompassing Mount Liberty, Mount Flume, Loon Mountain, and Mount Wolf. Due to several small groves of trees on the otherwise open ledge, some moving around is necessary to fully absorb all of the views.

NH - Central West

  Driving Directions   

  • Head North on I-93.
  • Take exit 33 and head North on Rt. 3
  • Look for a gravel turn-off just south of, and on the opposite side of the street from the Indian Head Resort. It will be marked with a "Trailhead Parking" sign and leads into a parking area where the trailhead is located.

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