ALPHA GUIDE: The Pemigewasset Loop

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One of the Northeast’s great backpacking adventures proves that good things don’t come easy.

The Pemi Loop represents the ultimate goal for many New Hampshire peak baggers. It traverses the ridgelines of three different ranges—Franconia, Twin, and Bond—in one epic loop around the western half of the 45,000-acre Pemigewasset Wilderness. With its eight summits and the potential to tick four more via minor detours, the possibility of summiting a quarter of the 48 4,000-footers, all while spending a significant chunk of time in New Hampshire’s largest wilderness area, is a thrilling prospect. More significantly, with huge views, amazing above-treeline stretches, and the reputation for being one of the country’s hardest hikes, the Pemi Loop is a feather in the hiker’s cap and one of New Hampshire’s best, hands down.


Quick Facts

Distance: 28-mile loop
Time to complete: 2 to 3 days
Difficulty: ★★★★☆
Scenery: ★★★★★

Season: May through October
Fees/Permits: $3/day for parking at the Lincoln Woods Trailhead



If you’re coming from Interstate 93, getting to the Lincoln Woods Trailhead is easy. Take exit 32 and follow Route 112, better known as the Kancamagus Highway. After driving through the town of Lincoln and past Loon Mountain, look for the trailhead on your left.

If you’re coming from the North Conway side of the Whites, follow Route 16 to Route 112 (Kancamagus Highway) up and over Kancamagus Pass and past “the hairpin turn” at the Hancock Overlook Parking Area, and the trail will be on your right side.

Credit: Tim Peck
Low on the Osseo Trail. | Credit: Tim Peck

The First Climb

Leave the parking lot on the Lincoln Woods Trail, and cross the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River on a suspension bridge. At the end of the bridge, the trail turns right, following an abandoned railroad bed for 1.4 miles to the Osseo Trail (44.082691, -71.581635). At the junction, turn left on the Osseo Trail, and follow the yellow rectangular blazes toward Mount Flume, the route’s first 4,000-footer.

At 4.1 miles long, the Osseo Trail gains elevation moderately for the first few miles before steepening, leading to a series of ladders, and eventually putting you on the Franconia Ridge Trail for a final, short burst to the summit (44.108826, -71.628052). In total, you’ll ascend 3,100 feet on this climb, a significant chunk of the Pemi’s 10,000 feet of overall elevation gain.

Summiting Mount Flume. | Credit: Tim Peck
Summiting Mount Flume. | Credit: Tim Peck

On the Ridge

Before dropping back below treeline on the Franconia Ridge Trail, take a moment on Mt. Flume’s rocky summit to enjoy the view. The Kinsmans, Lincoln, and Interstate 93 are to the south and west. Owl’s Head, the Pemi Wilderness, and the Bonds are to the east. Then, the next step on your itinerary—Franconia Ridge—is to the north. Try not to feel overwhelmed, and just follow the yellow blazes as you start making your way along the 1.5 miles to Mount Liberty’s summit.

The descent off Mt. Flume and across to Mt. Liberty is pretty relaxed. As you near the latter’s summit, you’ll encounter a few moves that require some minor scrambling. While they might briefly slow you down, they also mean you’re getting close to the second 4,000-footer of the day.

Mt. Liberty’s stunning open summit (44.115730, -71.642097) is among the Whites’ best. However, while it’s tempting to linger here to take in the views of Loon Mountain, Cannon, and the Bonds, you still have a long way to go.

Franconia Ridge. | Credit: Tim Peck
Franconia Ridge. | Credit: Tim Peck

Above the Treeline

Next up on the Franconia Ridge Trail are the 1.8 miles to Little Haystack Mountain. To get there, the route drops back below treeline and joins up with the Appalachian Trail at the juncture of the Franconia Ridge and Liberty Springs Trails. Follow the AT’s white dashes as it traverses, culminating in a short, steep climb to the open summit.

On a typical weekend day, the crowds can be intense on top of Little Haystack Mountain (44.140476, -71.645905). So, instead, consider stopping on a rocky outcropping a little south of the actual summit before the juncture of the Franconia Ridge and Falling Waters Trails to take in the view, get a snack, and avoid the masses.

The Franconia Ridge Trail’s 1.7-mile stretch from Little Haystack’s summit to Mt. Lafayette’s is among the White Mountains’ most iconic. It is entirely above treeline, with views in every direction. In two pushes, you’ll cross Mt. Lincoln (44.148682, -71.644707) and Mt. Lafayette (44.160717, -71.644470), the third and fourth 4,000-footers of the day.

Much like Little Haystack’s, Mount Lafayette’s summit is often crowded on a nice weekend day, with hikers doing the Franconia Ridge loop. Since you’ll be heading in a different direction from most after Lafayette, however, follow the Garfield Ridge Trail for a few minutes to find equally great views, without all the crowds. On a clear day, the view to the west, with Garfield in the foreground, followed by the Twins and the Bonds, and then the Presidentials in the distance, is fantastic.

The Garfield Ridge Trail. | Credit: Tim Peck
The Garfield Ridge Trail. | Credit: Tim Peck

The Crux

Although the beginning of the Garfield Ridge Trail closely resembles the Franconia Ridge Trail’s best stretches, this 3.7-mile section is the crux of the Pemi Loop’s first half. Dropping sharply before steeply climbing back up towards Mt. Garfield’s summit, the trail is rough, and the elevation change is dramatic. Moreover, at this point, the miles are starting to add up—more than 13 so far—and you might be running low on water. Garfield Pond (44.187107, -71.619034), on your left just before the trail starts heading up again on the final climb to Garfield’s summit, is the first on-route location since leaving Lincoln Woods to refill bottles.

Once you’ve made it to Mount Garfield (44.187298, -71.610764), pause on the open, rocky summit to savor your fifth 4,000-footer of the day in the company of great views in every direction. Look right to admire your traverse across the entire Franconia Ridge. Then, look left to see how much farther you’ve left to go, with the Twins and Bonds before you. Turn around to admire the Pemi’s far edges and, on a clear day, to see all the way to Stowe, Vermont.

Garfield Leanto. | Credit: Tim Peck
Garfield Lean-to. | Credit: Tim Peck

Call it a Night

From Garfield’s summit, continue following the Garfield Ridge Trail downhill for a short distance to the spur trail for the Garfield Shelter—a three-sided wooden lean-to—and tent site (44.190086, -71.607002) at mile 14.3. For backpackers planning on doing the Pemi Loop over three days, this is the logical place to spend the first night ($10 per person a night). The area is managed by the Appalachian Mountain Club, and space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, it tends to fill up on prime hiking weekends.

Even if you’re not staying at the Garfield Shelter, consider filling your water bottles at the spring located at the spur trail’s junction. It is one of the easiest and best water sources on the whole Pemi Loop.

If you’re planning on completing the loop in just two days, we recommend pushing on toward Galehead Hut (44.187927, -71.568810), which is just under three more rugged miles from Garfield’s summit. Also managed by the AMC, this hut is a great option if you’re looking to go light. Although the hut is a more expensive overnight option, during prime hiking season, it comes with a multi-course dinner the night you arrive and a hearty breakfast the next morning. The food is top-notch. ($113 per night; make reservations in advance). It also has the only real bathroom you’ll see on the trip.

If camping is your preference, the route to Galehead Hut also has a handful of places that meet the White Mountains’ rules and restrictions to pitch a tent (no camping within a quarter mile of any trailhead, hut, or shelter). Don’t camp directly on the trail!

Galehead Hut from an overlook above it. | Credit: Tim Peck
Galehead Hut from an overlook above it. | Credit: Tim Peck

The Halfway Point

Regardless of where you end up staying, Galehead Hut is the trip’s halfway point and near Galehead’s summit. To get there from the hut, follow the Galehead Spur Trail 0.4 miles. The round trip is quite moderate, especially compared to what you’ve been doing. While the summit (44.185150, -71.573586) is surrounded by trees and has no views, near the top, a great overlook offers a spectacular view of the Pemi Wilderness, the Bonds, and Galehead Hut at South Twin’s western base.

The spur trail to North Twin. | Credit: Tim Peck
The spur trail to North Twin. | Credit: Tim Peck

The Twinway

From Galehead Hut, follow the Twinway 0.8 miles to South Twin’s summit (44.187832, -71.554558), the loop’s seventh 4,000-footer. Don’t be lulled by the short mileage, however. This is the loop’s hardest ascent, and is slow-going, thanks to the elevation gain (1,200 feet) and the trail’s roughness. After a day of being above treeline, you’re about to hit some wooded summits. So, take a moment to enjoy the view from South Twin before pushing on.

If you’re doing the “full” Pemi, leave your pack just off South Twin’s summit, and take the North Twin Spur Trail, a 2.6-mile round-trip hike with 750 feet of elevation gain to the summit of North Twin (44.202591, -71.557816), your eighth 4,000-footer. The traverse to North Twin is fairly moderate, with a couple of rocky steps on the final climb. Once you get there, take a picture at the summit cairn, appreciate the lack of view, and backtrack to South Twin.

Once back on South Twin, follow the Twinway roughly two miles to the trail junction near Mount Guyot (44.168594, -71.535614). Still feeling ambitious? If so, drop your pack, and continue along the Twinway for 1.3 relatively easy miles (2.6 round trip) to Zealand Mountain’s summit and “bag” the journey’s ninth 4,000-footer. Just don’t go to Zealand expecting a sight, as it’s in contention for some of the Whites’ most uneventful summit views.

The Bondcliff Trail. | Credit: Tim Peck
The Bondcliff Trail. | Credit: Tim Peck

The Bonds

If Zealand isn’t in the cards for you, take the Bondcliff Trail at the Guyot junction. From the junction, the trail is briefly above treeline, with fantastic views east into the Pemi, before dropping you at the spur trail for the Guyot Campsite (44.161049, -71.537468).

Guyot Campsite has a shelter, six four-person tent platforms, and a composting toilet. At 0.2 miles from the trailhead, Guyot is the logical second night for backpackers hiking the Pemi Loop as a three-day trip ($10 per person a night, first-come, first-served). Its spring, which is a little ways down the spur trail, is also a reliable place to find water.

From the Guyot Campsite junction, continue on the Bondcliff Trail a short way to the West Bond Spur Trail (44.158905, -71.537270). This is the “must-do” of the optional summits, and perhaps the hike’s best, because you really feel like you’re in the middle of the 45,000-acre Pemi Wilderness. So, drop your pack and make this one-mile round-trip side hike. Ascending a mere 350 feet, West Bond (44.154804, -71.543610) gets you the tenth 4,000-footer of the Pemi Loop. From the summit, you can’t see a road or any signs of civilization, no matter which direction you look.

Climbing near Guyot. | Credit: Tim Peck
Climbing near Guyot. | Credit: Tim Peck

Back on the Bondcliff Trail, follow it uphill, mainly through the trees, for 0.5 miles before poking above treeline on Mount Bond’s summit (44.152889, -71.531250), the trip’s eleventh 4,000-footer. From Bond’s summit, you get a great view of what lies ahead, as the Bondcliff Trail winds towards the sheer walls of Bondcliff.


Before leaving Mount Bond’s summit, get a hat, gloves, and windshirt ready. While the 1.2 miles between Mount Bond and Bondcliff are quite scenic (and among the Whites’ most beautiful), they are also either at or above treeline, leaving you exposed to wind and weather. Feeling warm and comfortable will allow you to enjoy the excellent views from the Bondcliff Trail as you approach the loop’s final summit, Bondcliff. No matter if you’re starting to get anxious for the hike to be over, or you don’t want the fun to stop, the numerous false summits on the way to the top can play mind games with even the most resilient of hikers.

On Bondcliff (44.140419, -71.541260), savor the loop’s last summit—number 12—and one of the 48 4,000-footers’ most unique. Aptly named, Bondcliff features sheer cliffs, which make for incredible photos. From the summit, look back, and think about how far you have come, as the entirety of your trip is visible, from Flume to Bond.

Descending the Bondcliff Trail. | Credit: Tim Peck
Descending the Bondcliff Trail. | Credit: Tim Peck


You would think that, with the last summit out of the way, the rest would be easy, but sadly, it isn’t so. From Bondcliff, you’ve got a lengthy 6.2-mile trek along the Bondcliff Trail back to the Lincoln Woods Trail. There is usually water to be found in the streams along your descent, and if you find yourself running low, it might be a good time to fill up. While the rest is either downhill or on flat ground, it takes a deceptively long time.

The end of the Bondcliff Trail brings you to the Lincoln Woods Trail, the same route on which you started. From here, it’s 2.9 miles along an abandoned railroad. While your legs will enjoy the flat ground, the old ties can interrupt your stride enough to make this last bit harder than it need be. After 2.9 miles on the Lincoln Woods Trail, look for the suspension bridge where this crazy journey began.

The Kit

  • A Sawyer Mini Filter is a small investment for having easy access to potable drinking water.
  • If you’re looking to go lightweight and keep your pack as small as possible, the minuscule yet comfortable Sea to Summit Ultralight Sleeping Pad is a must have.
  • The old adage of “light is right” applies particularly to objectives like the Pemi Loop. The simple and cleanly designed Black Diamond Speed 50 has just enough space for everything you need with no room for “extras,” keeping your kit pared down and you moving fast.
  • After a full day on the trail, you’ll be ready to eat anything, but the last thing you’ll want to do is fiddle with a stove. The MSR Reactor is lightweight, packable, virtually unaffected by temperatures, and boils water quickly. And, don’t forget to pack a lighter.
  • A sun shirt like the Black Diamond Alpenglow Sun Hoody is a perfect choice for hikes like the Pemi Loop, with extended, sun-exposed sections above the treeline. Quickly becoming a staple of our summer hiking kits, sun shirts provide simple UV protection, reduce the need for sunscreen and bug dope, and help keep you feeling fresh.
  • A UV Buff is another excellent addition to any Pemi Loop gear list. It provides protection from the sun and wind on exposed ridges, and can double as a bandage in an emergency.

On the Bondcliff Trail. | Credit: Tim Peck
On the Bondcliff Trail. | Credit: Tim Peck

Keys to the Trip

  • The Pemi Loop is committing and bailing off it can be difficult if you only have one car. From both Garfield and Galehead, it’s possible to drop down to Thirteen Falls in the middle of the Pemi, and hike back to the Lincoln Woods Trail via the Franconia Brook Trail. That trail is another former railroad bed, so it is easygoing for the 10-plus miles back to your car.
  • Although the Pemi Loop is an awesome goal and great accomplishment, you don’t have to do the whole thing in one go. Break it in two by using the Franconia Brook Trail.
  • While it’s tempting to soak in the numerous incredible summit views, those doing the hike in two days will want to keep their breaks short, as the days are long to begin with.
  • You’ll pass numerous streams on the Bondcliff Trail’s final descent and the East Pemigewasset River on the Wilderness Trail. Those ahead of schedule will love the chance to dip their feet in the cool, refreshing water.
  • Although the Wilderness Trail can be the trip’s most tedious part, spend it marveling that it was once part of the White Mountains’ largest logging railroad system.
  • We love Wayne’s Market in Woodstock for post-hike sandwiches. Pro tip: Call your order in at (603) 745-8819 as soon as you get cell service, so it’ll be ready and waiting for you.
  • If you’ve spent a couple of hot days on the trail, Lady’s Bathtub in Lincoln and Crystal Cascade in Woodstock are great places to take a dip.

Current Conditions

Have you done the entire loop or even a piece of it recently? Post your experience and the trail conditions (with the date of your hike) in the comments for others!

Header photo credit: Jeff Pang

Backcountry Aspirin: Wasabi Salmon Fish Cakes with Rice Noodles

Sore muscles or joints after a long day on the trail? This backcountry meal might do the trick. The secret is in the wasabi, which is known to have anti-inflammatory qualities. Plus, salmon is a superfood. It’s high in protein and full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help with brain, nerve, and eye development. Our bodies don’t naturally make them, so we have to get them from food.

What’s even better? You can get it all in a delicious, half-pound, camp-ready meal in under 10 minutes. So, eat up!


  • 2 tbsp. potato pancake mix
  • 5 tsp. wasabi powder
  • 1 pouch salmon
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 packs soy sauce to taste
  • 1 serving rice noodles


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 503
  • Carbs: 50 grams
  • Fats: 19 grams
  • Protein: 30 grams


Home Prep: 2 minutes
Trail Prep: 2 minutes 
Cook: 10 minutes
Ready in: 10 minutes

Wasabi Salmon

At-Home Prep:

  1. Combine the potato pancake mix with the wasabi powder in a medium Ziploc bag
  2. Pour the olive oil into a small bottle
  3. Put all of the ingredients in a medium Ziploc bag

Wasabi Salmon

Trail Prep:

  1. Pour 2 oz. of water into the bag with the potato pancake and wasabi mixture
  2. Add the salmon to the potato and wasabi mix
  3. Mix it all around inside the Ziploc

Wasabi Salmon


  1. Boil water in your pot, and cook the rice noodles for 2 minutes
  2. Drain off excess water, so the rice noodles are dry
  3. Heat the olive oil in your frying pan on medium-high heat
  4. Squeeze out 4 small fish cake patties into the pan, and cook them until both sides are golden brown
  5. Boom! You’ve got Wasabi Salmon Fish Cakes with Rice Noodles. To finish, add the soy sauce to the fish cakes or rice noodles to taste.

Fun fact: According to Packaging Technology & Science, salmon and tuna pouches produce 60- to 70-percent less greenhouse gases than metal cans. So, with this dish, you’re helping the environment, too. Nice!

Wasabi Salmon

Safe to Climb: Reading Weather Reports for Mount Washington

White Mountain weather is notoriously dangerous. Thankfully, the Mount Washington Observatory (MWOBS) is up to the task, working every day to monitor these conditions and keep us safe. An invaluable resource, their reports help us make informed decisions for our backcountry trips and increase our margin of safety in the mountains.

Located at Mount Washington’s summit, 6,288 feet above sea level, MWOBS sees some of the world’s most intense weather events. There, six full-time weather observers and meteorologists work in shifts around the clock, delivering forecasts, collecting data, and maintaining weather instruments during extreme events.

Courtesy of: Mount Washington Observatory
Courtesy of: Mount Washington Observatory

“Our forecasts are the only forecasts produced by experts on the summit, who live and breathe this extreme weather every day, and hence are the most reliable forecasts by far,” said MWOBS Senior Meteorologist Mike Carmon. “You can find plenty of other forecasts for the higher peaks of the White Mountains out there. But, those are purely automated by a computer model and very often underestimate the extreme weather above treeline in the Whites.”

Since mountain weather constantly changes, don’t expect to see a 10-day forecast on the Observatory site. “The biggest forecasting challenge is the extreme nature of Mount Washington’s weather, and how inherently difficult it is to predict extremes in the world of meteorology,” said Carmon. Instead, you can expect detailed, short-term forecasts with supplementary real-time data.

Through the Observatory website, you can quickly get information on current summit conditions and a summit and valley forecast. For experienced weather enthusiasts, it further provides more detailed data.

Courtesy of: Mount Washington Observatory
Courtesy of: Mount Washington Observatory

How do I read the forecast?

The Higher Summits Forecast particularly benefits local recreationists, such as hikers, skiers, mountaineers, and backcountry campers. Additionally, organizations like the U.S. Forest Service, New Hampshire Fish and Game, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Mount Washington State Park use it for critical decision making.

The forecast begins with a meteorologist’s summary for at least the following two days and indicates what conditions to expect. This information provides important details about high- and low-pressure systems, temperature gradients, and precipitation potential. Ultimately, it lets you determine how the impending weather will affect your adventure.

To cut to the chase, look below the summary for the cloud cover, precipitation, temperature, wind, and wind chill. This data is broken up between day and night.

Aimed at helping visitors and tourists, the Mount Washington Valley Forecast offers more general information specific to the surrounding lower elevations. Oftentimes, it follows the Summits Forecast’s trends but is substantially less intense. If the forecast calls for winter-like summit conditions, the Valley, however, might be hot and sunny. The main lesson in these circumstances is, never trust lower-elevation weather to represent the summits.

Courtesy of: Mount Washington Observatory
Courtesy of: Mount Washington Observatory

What’s it like on Mount Washington right now?

As another resource, real-time weather data covers both Mount Washington’s summit and various locations around the Whites. This type of information particularly assists those traveling to or near the reporting weather station.

The Current Summit Conditions page includes a vertical temperature profile, wind, temperature, humidity, pressure data, and current visibility. A graphical representation additionally displays trends from the last 24 hours. Incredibly valuable to winter climbers and skiers, this technical data helps anyone planning to travel to Mount Washington’s summit.

The Mount Washington Regional Mesonet compiles real-time data from the White Mountains’ other remote weather stations. While not as advanced, these unmanned stations have basic data on current temperature, wind, and humidity across a wider area.

Courtesy of: Mount Washington Observatory
Courtesy of: Mount Washington Observatory

How do they do it?

“The fact that our weather station is still manned 24/7 is probably what sets us apart the most from your typical weather station,” explained Carmon. “Most weather stations, these days, use almost entirely automated instrumentation and are unmanned. However, the nature of our extreme weather still necessitates a manned presence on Mount Washington 24 hours per day and 365 days per year.”

To make everything work, MWOBS relies on durable, state-of-the-art weather instrumentation, complex IT infrastructure, and vehicles to transport staff throughout the year. Over time, these costs add up.

“Seek the Peak is the Observatory’s largest annual fundraiser. So, it is the single, biggest event that contributes directly to the work of the Observatory,” Carmon said. “The contributions made through Seek the Peak go directly to keeping the station functioning and providing the most accurate weather forecasts possible.”

Courtesy of: Mount Washington Observatory
Courtesy of: Mount Washington Observatory

What other weather resources do hikers have?

The Backcountry Weather page, run by the AMC, lets travelers look at weather data specific to their locations. Before visiting an AMC hut, lodge, or campsite or any nearby location, be sure to check the destination’s specific weather.

The Mount Washington Avalanche Center’s Avalanche Advisory critically assists anyone traveling on the mountain’s east side from December through May. During the winter, the daily avalanche forecasts touch on snow and weather, trail and route conditions, and avalanche danger ratings.

The National Weather Service offers comprehensive forecasts, weather models, raw data, and radar pulling from numerous remote and unmanned stations. While it isn’t usually able to match the MWOBS Higher Summits Forecast’s accuracy, NWS is useful within your trip-planning toolbox.


Remember, you are responsible for your own safety while traveling in the mountains. Using these weather reports is just one way to help you make good decisions and be prepared for Mother Nature’s most extreme days.

A Guide to Hiking the Great Gulf

Called the Great Gulf, the massive ridge joining Mount Washington, Clay, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison forms the largest glacial cirque in the Presidential Range. The roar from Weetamoo Falls and the West Branch of the Peabody River echoes across the wilderness’ ridges and cliffs. Here, salient spurs descend each mountain to form small, remote ravines populated by moose and black bear.

Few places in New England can match its grandeur. The glacially carved, boulder-strewn terrain rises over 2,000 feet from the Gulf’s floor to the peaks, making any visitor feel small and fragile.

The trail network in this region, perhaps the Whites’ most rugged and spectacular, provides hikers familiar with these mountains new vantages, challenges, and solitude. Each ascends a direct and arduous route over a steep ridge or up a wild ravine, making most Presidential Range trails feel tame by comparison.

In addition to ascending tremendous elevation over a modest distance, hikers must navigate all of the challenges nature can provide: house-sized boulders, major water crossings, and precipitous ledges.

great gulf


The Edmands Path, Crawford Path, and Valley Way were constructed with a hiker’s comfort in mind, with grading and switch-backs. By contrast, The Great Gulf’s trails, built between 1908 and 1910, were at the mercy of the terrain. Specifically, trail builders used paths nature had already cleared: landslides, boulder fields, and talus. As a result, these trails follow painfully direct routes to the summits, which only strong hikers should attempt.

The Great Gulf Trail [7.4 miles, 4,650 feet of elevation]

Traveling 7.4 miles and ascending more than 4,500 feet from New Hampshire Route 16 to an area below the summit of Mount Washington, the Great Gulf Trail is the network’s artery. It is also perhaps the most demanding. After following the West Branch of the Peabody River for six miles, it passes Weetamoo Falls and eventually Spaulding Lake—a gorgeous glacial tarn—before ascending the massive boulders and landslides of the Great Gulf headwall.

Being in a wilderness area, the Great Gulf’s trails are maintained to a low standard. As such, hikers will encounter brook crossings, sharp boulders, standing water, and slippery river rocks.

Credit: Dennis Follensbee
Credit: Dennis Follensbee

Madison Gulf Trail [2.7 miles, 2,550 feet of elevation]

Approximately 2.5 miles from the Great Gulf trailhead, the Madison Gulf Trail climbs to the Adams-Madison Col. It is a gnarly journey, passing brooks and cascades with a steep and wet climb up exposed boulders before intersecting with the Parapet Trail. Keep in mind that the footing becomes dangerously slippery where the Madison Gulf Trail goes through the Parapet Brook and near the Madison Gulf headwall.

Chandler Brook Trail [0.9 miles, 1,350 feet of elevation]

Roughly one mile west of the Great Gulf Trail’s juncture with the Madison Gulf Trail, the Chandler Brook Trail climbs the ravine’s south side on rugged and slippery rock up Chandler Brook to the Mount Washington Auto Road.

Credit: Dennis Follensbee
Credit: Dennis Follensbee

Six Husbands Trail [2.3 miles, 2,550 feet of elevation]

At 4.5 miles along the Great Gulf Trail, one of the White Mountains’ steepest paths diverges to ascend a wildly rugged ridge. Six Husbands Trail—named for the six husbands of Weetamoo, queen of the Wampanoag tribe during the 1600s—is among the forest’s most strenuous, demanding, and spectacular hiking trails. It is infamous for its series of wooden ladders that ascend the cliffs of a steep arête, called Jefferson’s North Knee. The Forest Service has secured, with bolts and cables, the ladders to huge outcroppings.

Ascent demands that adventurers suppress any fear of heights to climb painfully tight, cliff-like terrain. Above the ladders, the steep climb continues to the summit of Jefferson. Along the way, views of Adams, Washington, and the Carter Range leave an impression.

Credit: Dennis Follensbee
Credit: Dennis Follensbee

Wamsutta Trail [1.7 miles, 2,200 feet of elevation]

Traveling south from the Great Gulf Trail’s juncture with Six Husbands, the Wamsutta Trail ascends a northern spur of Chandler Ridge, going over outcroppings to the Mount Washington Auto Road and the Alpine Garden Trail. Its name references one of Weetamoo’s six husbands, Wamsutta.

After departing the Great Gulf Trail, the Wamsutta Trail makes a steep climb up a ledge and takes you through an exposed scramble of krumholtz and boulders. The view along this portion—sublime scenery of massive landslides on Adams, Jefferson’s knee-like ridges, and Madison’s sharp profile—is the reason to stop and stare in awe.

Buttress Trail [1.9 miles, 1,600 feet of elevation]

Where Six Husbands Trail meets Jefferson Brook, the Buttress Trail, named for the massive ridge that descends from the summit of Adams into the Great Gulf, begins a long journey to the Star Lake Trail. It is easier than the region’s other paths, which makes it helpful for descending.

However, despite a modest elevation gain, it is wild and strenuous. The Buttress Trail snakes uphill, in the path of an old landslide, and crosses a massive talus field with a dizzying view of the Great Gulf headwall, Jefferson Ravine, and Jefferson’s narrow North Knee.

As it heads into a quiet conifer forest, the Buttress Trail then becomes very steep. When reaching exposed terrain, it forces hikers to ascend boulders and squeeze between large rocks. The view here to the Carter Range and Madison is stunning and grand. From this point, the Buttress Trail rises above Madison Gulf’s precipitous headwall before connecting with the Star Lake Trail.

Sphinx Trail [1.1 miles, 1,350 feet of elevation]

Just over a mile southwest of the Six Husbands and Wamsutta Trails juncture, the Sphinx Trail climbs Sphinx Gulf to the col between Jefferson and Clay. For a little over a mile, this trail parallels and crosses the Sphinx Brook, and sometimes overlaps with it. Though slippery in sections and occasionally hard to follow, this trail is a fast trip that can also be used for descending if the brook hasn’t seen recent rainfall.

Credit: Dennis Follensbee
Credit: Dennis Follensbee

Day Hike Options

Amazing day hikes are possible using combinations of these spectacular trails.

Up Six Husbands Trail and down Buttress or Sphinx Trail (16 miles or 14.3 miles)

The combination of ascending Six Husbands Trail and descending via Buttress Trail requires significant stamina. Be mindful that, on your return, staying focused helps you avoid slipping. After you’ve reached the summit, use the Gulfside Trail to access Buttress or Sphinx from Jefferson.

Up Great Gulf Trail and down Sphinx Trail (17 miles)

Climbing the Great Gulf headwall is a long day, but well worth it for the view of the Northern Presidentials. For the descent, use the Gulfside Trail to access the Sphinx Trail.

Credit: Dennis Follensbee
Credit: Dennis Follensbee

Up Wamsutta Trail and down Sphinx Trail (12.2 miles)

Climbing Wamsutta Trail and descending the Sphinx Trail requires care when crossing the Auto Road and again when descending the slippery Sphinx Trail. Using Alpine Garden Trail, Nelson Crag Trail, and Gulfside Trail, you can connect the Wamsutta and Sphinx Trails.

Up Madison Gulf Trail and down Buttress Trail (11.6 miles)

This shorter option avoids the summits of Madison and Adams, opting for a gorgeous view from the Parapet and Buttress Trails.

For all Great Gulf trails, use care when descending. Steep and demanding, especially when compared to other hiking trails, these routes feature areas above treeline that are exposed over long distances. So, if weather turns bad, know your escape route and realize that, during your descent, these trails become potentially dangerous when wet.

For more assistance, refer to the AMC White Mountain Guide for regulations on camping and more detailed trail descriptions.

Credit: Dennis Follensbee
Credit: Dennis Follensbee

Backcountry Breakfast Recipe: The Eggadilla

Every day should start with a wholesome breakfast, especially when you’re in the outdoors. A dirtbag’s favorite inspired by professional climber Cedar Wright, eggadillas are quick, delicious, and nutritious, and they’re a breeze to clean up.

Eggadillas can be crafted in just about any kind of cookware, over almost any stove, and cooking them entails very little fuel. This recipe is so simple, delicious, and frugal that it will become your go-to breakfast for every adventure!

Credit: Edmund Falkowski
Credit: Edmund Falkowski


  • 1 egg
  • 1 or 2 tortillas
  • ¼ cup shredded (or 1 slice) cheese of your choice
  • Olive or canola oil
  • (Optional): Onions, bell peppers, and salsa


Prep: 3 minutes

Cook: 7 minutes

Ready in: 10 minutes

Credit: Edmund Falkowski
Credit: Edmund Falkowski
Credit: Edmund Falkowski
Credit: Edmund Falkowski


  1. Oil your pan generously. If you have onions and bell peppers, throw them in the oiled pan to sautée them.
  2. Once your veggies are sautéed, crack an egg over them. Cook your egg scrambled or over easy—whichever way you prefer!
  3. Cook the egg for two minutes and flip, or cover your pan and cook the egg for four minutes.
  4. After the egg is cooked, transfer it to a plate, and grab a tortilla, sprinkling on your cheese of choice. The cheese will melt in 30 seconds to one minute.
  5. Add your egg on top of the cheese.
  6. Next, fold the tortilla and cook for another minute or two.

And, presto! Your eggadilla is ready to be enjoyed. If your eggadilla is over-stuffed, however, consider adding more cheese on top, pressing a second tortilla on top for a minute, and then flipping it.

Credit: Edmund Falkowski
Credit: Edmund Falkowski
Credit: Edmund Falkowski
Credit: Edmund Falkowsk

The Stove Debate: Canister vs. Liquid Fuel

Stoves are a vital piece of equipment for any camping, backpacking, or paddling trip. There are a variety of options available, including those that operate with propane, isobutane, white gas, alcohol, solid fuel, or wood. So, how do you determine which one is best for your purposes? In comparing the two most common options, isobutane-powered canister and liquid fuel-powered camp stoves, we’ve put together a list to help you narrow down your choices:

Courtesy: MSR
Courtesy: MSR

Canister Stoves

Examples: MSR PocketRocket 2, MSR SuperFlyJetboil MightyMo


  • Size: Canister stoves are very small and are often just the right size to pack within a pot, sometimes along with their canister.
  • Weight: These stoves are extremely lightweight. The PocketRocket weighs in at 2.6 ounces—more than four times less than the liquid-fuel WhisperLite.
  • Convenience: Canister stoves are simple to use. There are only two components: the stove itself and the fuel canister. Screw them together, turn the fuel valve, ignite, and cook!
  • Minimal maintenance: These stoves operate for years without needing much maintenance.
  • Energy efficiency: Generally speaking, with all things equal, a canister stove is more efficient than a liquid fuel stove.


  • Temperature: Canisters come with “four season” mixes, but their effectiveness drops significantly when temperatures go below freezing. Inverted canister designs, however, mitigate this issue somewhat.
  • Stability: Most canister stoves are top heavy. However, many use only the canister as the base, which raises a stability concern when boiling a heavy pot of water. Stands are available, such as the MSR Universal Canister Stand, to increase stability. Others, like the MSR WindPro, use an inverted canister design that is inherently more stable.
  • Volume: Aside from selecting canisters in a few different sizes, you’re stuck with a set amount and can’t customize it based on the trip. As well, if one canister is almost empty, you’ll need to supplement it with another full one. Read more: How to tell how much fuel is left in your canister.
Courtesy: MSR
Courtesy: MSR

Liquid Fuel Stoves

Examples: MSR WhisperLite, MSR XGK EX, MSR Dragonfly


  • Temperature: These stoves operate well in a wide temperature range, including well below freezing.
  • Fuel sources: Many liquid fuel stoves are able to utilize multiple fuel types, depending on the model. The standard is white gas, but some can also operate on gasoline, kerosene, and diesel. This adaptability makes this stove ideal for travel in foreign countries, where canisters are not readily available.
  • Stability: Liquid fuel stove designs are inherently more stable than conventional canister ones, with the exception of inverted canisters.
  • Fuel cost: Liquid fuel stoves often have higher upfront costs but will use less fuel, and thus cost less, with time. For example, using MSR’s efficiency measures and MSR fuels as price points (canister and liquid), $1 of canister fuel will boil 2.7L, while $1 of liquid fuel will boil 3.2L.
  • Less waste: Liquid fuel bottles are reusable. So, even though canisters are recyclable, liquid fuel’s waste tends to be less pervasive.


  • Size: Liquid fuel stoves are much larger than their canister competitors.
  • Weight: These stoves are also significantly heavier.
  • Maintenance: Liquid fuel stoves have moving parts and O-rings that require oiling and occasional replacement. Maintenance is not demanding, but it is something you don’t have to worry about with canister stoves.
  • Set-up: When you start them up, these stoves require “priming,” a process that is more involved than simply screwing a canister onto a stove.

The Middle Ground

Compared to the MSR WindPro, which combines a canister stove’s benefits with a liquid fuel stove’s low profile, the MSR WhisperLite Universal is a hybrid. It allows you to plug in an inverted canister or a bottle of liquid fuel, adding even more versatility to your meal preparation.

The Bottom Line

Many experienced backpackers use a canister stove for short trips in warm weather (i.e., above freezing), especially when they only plan to boil water for meals. However, they’ll use liquid fuel stoves for any journeys that are longer than three days, take place below freezing, or demand cooking beyond boiling water.

Courtesy: MSR
Courtesy: MSR

How to Pack Your "Seek the Peak" Daypack

Whether you’re “Seeking the Peak” on Mount Washington, climbing an Adirondack High Peak, or taking on some of New Hampshire’s hardest, one thing you’re likely to bring is your daypack. But, having all that extra stuff inside won’t do you much good if you’re not packing it the right way, with everything easily accessible, organized, and distributed correctly.

For a day hike on Mount Washington, you’ll want to make sure you have the following things:

3L reservoir

Especially during the summer, having enough water to climb Mount Washington is vital. Usually, three liters will be enough to get you up and down, but it won’t do you any good if you’re not drinking it. Storing it in a bladder against your pack’s back panel will keep it within reach and help ensure you’re staying hydrated.

First aid kit

Anything could happen on Mount Washington. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you had your first aid kit. Store this in the pack’s main compartment.

Rain jacket

Mount Washington is known for its unpredictable and wild weather. It could be raining at any minute! So, keep a quality, breathable rain jacket easily accessible in the outside stretch pocket.

Extra Techwick T-shirt

After a long, sweaty climb, it’s sometimes nice to have a clean, dry shirt to put on top, especially in Mount Washington’s winds. Store this at the bottom of your main compartment.


At over 6,200 feet, Mount Washington can be cold on top! As preparation, always carry an extra layer, even in the summer. Store this at the bottom of your main compartment, with your T-shirt.

Pack cover

If it starts raining, you don’t want everything in your pack to get wet, so throw a pack cover on top. Some have them built in, but if yours doesn’t, keep a separate one close by in your main compartment.

Stuff sack with lunch

Climbing Mount Washington is a full-day endeavor. To prepare, bring plenty of snacks to eat along the way, along with a larger lunch to have on top. Keep most of it in a stuff sack in your main compartment, but it’s also nice to have a Clif Bar or two in your hip belt pocket for easy access.


You never know! Have this in your other hip belt pocket in case you need it in a pinch.


It’s always a good idea to have a headlamp in your pack, even if you don’t plan on hiking in the dark. Again, anything can happen, and you’ll be wishing you had one if you end up getting down a littler later than expected.

Trekking poles

Mount Washington is rocky and steep, so these will be in your hands more often than not. However, for Osprey packs, if you need to free your hands up in a pinch, you can strap them under your arm in the dedicated trekking pole holster.

Compass and Map

Keep these handy and know how to use them! Mount Washington is a maze of trails, but if the conditions change quickly, you might not be able to see them at all.

GPS unit

This is always a handy thing to have in addition to your map and compass. Keep it in a hip belt pocket or clipped to a shoulder strap to follow along on your hike.


There are several awesome things to see on the Northeast’s tallest peak, so take pictures and video! Keep this handy in a side pocket.

Bug protection

Especially down low, bugs are a staple of Mount Washington’s summers. Apply this before you leave in your car, but keep it in your main compartment in case you need more.


Just like bug spray, apply this before you leave, but save it in case you need to reapply, especially on the exposed summit.


Do you have everything you need to Seek the Peak?

Mount Washington from Mount Monroe. | Credit: Ryan Wichelns
Mount Washington from Mount Monroe. | Credit: Ryan Wichelns

Staying Fueled Up On Long Hikes

Staying fueled up for a hike requires much more than just taking enough snacks. Rather, it’s something that starts before you even leave your house and doesn’t end until you’re back safe, completely refueled from all that exercise.

Eating before you’re hungry and drinking before you’re thirsty are important parts of keeping your energy up while you’re climbing hard, but that can mean several different things. While there’s no 100-percent “right” way, a few key principles will keep you feeling strong, even on your longest days.

Credit: Tim Peck
Credit: Tim Peck

Before the Hike

The first key to fueling your quest begins before you leave. If you’re like most people and have a long drive to the trailhead, use that time to get a jump on the day’s calories and hydration. If you have an unusually long day ahead, you might want to start even before you get into the car with something simple, like oatmeal, cereal, or a bagel.

Depending on how far you have to travel, your arrival at the trailhead might be closer to lunch than breakfast. Whether it’s a breakfast sandwich from the local coffee shop, a pastry (or two), the classic peanut butter and jelly, or even leftover pizza, get something in your stomach, and give it a chance to digest before pulling into the trailhead parking lot. Remember that it’s significantly lighter and easier to leave the trailhead with a full stomach and a bottle of water in your belly, instead of carrying them in your pack.

It’s also worth noting that if you have to drink coffee in the morning, caffeine—in addition to being a performance enhancer—is a diuretic. Although coffee is perfect for getting to the trailhead, it also leaves you slightly dehydrated, so plan accordingly.

Credit: Tim Peck
Credit: Tim Peck

During the Hike

What to Eat

While you hike, a good rule of thumb is to consume between 100 and 150 calories per hour. For fast-paced activities, energy bars and gels are a great way to get the calories you need while on the go. When a fast pace intersects with a long distance, however, something simple, like peanut butter and jelly, honey, or Nutella sandwiches, is a great way to celebrate a summit (or break) and provides an excellent “real food” alternative to supplement bars, gels, and chews.

For more moderate-paced outings, “real” food is the way to go. While the more traditional among us will reach for either store-bought or homemade GORP, cookies, Goldfish, and tortilla chips are all hiking favorites as well. Also, sandwiches, leftover pizza, and quesadillas all pack easily and will make you the envy of your fellow hikers. The thing to remember here is that personal preferences vary, and you should bring food that you will actually want to eat—not have to force down.

Lastly, it’s a good idea to pack some extra food in case of an emergency. Stash a couple of highly caffeinated gels in your pack, just in case somebody bonks. There’s one in every group, and these always seem to work to get them up and moving again.

What to Drink

When it comes to staying hydrated on hikes that just take a few hours, one 32-ounce bottle will suffice. For hikes longer than 10 miles, trail runs, and traverses, two 32-ounce bottles or a two-liter hydration bladder does the trick. If it’s really hot out or the distance is huge, you can always add a bike bottle. Using a GU or Nuun hydration tab in your bottles not only adds a little taste but also helps replace electrolytes lost primarily through sweat. For longer outings, it can be nice to carry an extra hydration tab if you’ll be refilling at a stream or hut.

For the “camels” among us (and the coffee drinkers who arrive a little dehydrated), moving from a traditional 32-ounce bottle to a Nalgene Silo is an easy way to pack a bit more liquid without a significant weight penalty. Another thing to consider is the use of bottles versus a hydration bladder. Although a hydration bladder is incredibly convenient, it’s easier to keep tabs on how much you’re drinking during the day using bottles.

Credit: Tim Peck
Credit: Tim Peck

After the Hike

No matter if you brought a full-course meal or subsisted off gels, there is something special about eating when you come back from the mountains. It also helps your recovery to have a meal 30 to 45 minutes after you finish hiking. Moreover, after a long day along the trails, you’re usually ready for something more substantial than the typical hiking fare.

The key here is to start replacing all of the calories you burned over the course of the day. A simple way to ensure you’re getting enough is to pack a post-hike meal to have at the campsite or on the car ride home. Did you plan a last-minute trip or didn’t think that far ahead? No worries—just head out to eat. But, beware: It’s amazing how much you can spend on the “value” menu after a long day in the mountains.





Preparing Your Child For Summer Camp

The school year is over and with it goes your kid’s six-hours-a-day babysitter. Thankfully, you’ve got something else lined up, both to occupy their time and give them a valuable experience: Your child is going to camp! You’re either nervous to see your little one become more independent or excited to have a few hours, days, or weeks of parental freedom. Whichever the case, you could probably use a little guidance when it comes to getting them ready.

Summer Camp

Preparing for Camp

1. Read the Handbook

First, read the parent handbook. Every camp has one, but not every parent reads it. Most camps answer hundreds, if not thousands, of parents’ questions in emails, phone calls, and Facebook posts, so there’s a good chance they’ve heard yours before. A good camp will pay attention to the questions coming in, identify the most common ones, and answer them in the camp’s handbook or in their website’s FAQ section.

2. Discuss Health Issues

The best reason to contact the camp before your child arrives is to discuss any health issues. If your child has a medical condition, mental health matter, dietary restriction, or something similar, don’t hesitate to reach out to the office.

Believe it or not, some people actually try to hide this stuff, because they’re worried that, if the camp knows their child has ADHD, is a vegan, or takes medication for depression, they will turn their child away. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Camps want children to succeed, and campers have the best chance when the camp and parents work together. Rather than withhold information, do your best to share everything the counselors and support staff can use to encourage your child’s success.

3. Share Your Thoughts

Lastly, it’s a good practice to think about two questions: One, what excites you most about your child’s camp experience, and two, what are you most worried about? Quietly pull your child’s counselor aside to share those thoughts while your child is unpacking or talking to a friend.

After working with over 400 college-aged counselors, I can tell you that they’re all in competition to be the best. They will eat up any information that helps them provide their campers with a positive, life-changing experience.

Summer Camp

What to Bring to Day Camp

Day campers should arrive wearing comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing—shorts, T-shirts, and either sneakers or other closed-toe shoes—and have a pair of water shoes or sandals ready for water activities. I recommend bringing a backpack with the following items:

Summer Camp

What to Pack for Overnight Camp

Each overnight camp offers different activities. So, as a starting place, this general list can be customized to the uniqueness of your child’s camp:


  • Shorts (2-4 pairs)
  • Jeans/long pants (2 pairs)
  • T-shirts (6)
  • Sneakers
  • Sandals with a heel strap
  • Socks and underwear (7 pairs)
  • Pajamas
  • Jacket or sweatshirt (boys or girls)
  • Raincoat or poncho (boys or girls)
  • Bathing suit (2)

Toiletries (Unscented)

  • Bath towel
  • Beach towel
  • Washcloth
  • Soap in a box (or Dr. Bronner’s)
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Comb or brush

Camp Life Items

  • Sleeping bag or bedding (twin size)
  • Pillow
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Bag for dirty clothes
  • Insect repellent (non-aerosol)
  • Sunscreen (non-aerosol)
  • Optional: Games and toys
  • Optional: Hammock or camp chair

Don’t worry too much, though. Your child will have a blast whether or not you remember to pack each and every item listed. Camp is a community, and folks tend to band together, so whether it be the health center, counselor, or your child’s new best friend, plenty of people have their back. So, relax, and get ready to hear “one time at camp” stories for the next nine months.Summer Camp

How To Safely Cross a Backcountry River

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “You never step into the same river twice.” Although this aphorism has broad philosophical implications, it still holds true if interpreted literally. Rivers are powerful and can be unpredictable. From trickles to torrents, river crossings are one of the most dangerous hurdles that hikers must overcome. So, to prepare, here are a few tips to keep in mind for the next time your hike leads you to a riverbank.

Before Your Trip

Study your map: Are there any obvious river crossings that you should prepare for?

Research beta: The internet holds a plethora of hiking guides and beta that can give you a heads-up for any challenges you may face.

Ask about the water levels by calling the park service or another land manager before your trip.

Pack wisely: Consider packing a lightweight dry bag and sandals!

Credit: Harry Berking
Credit: Harry Berking

On Your Trip

Risk versus reward

Is there another way around? Jumping on rocks may keep you dry, but practice extreme caution, because the water may make the rocks slick.

Take stock of the situation

How fast is the water flowing? Can you see the bottom of the river? Is the riverbed made up of solid rock, sand, or loose or slick boulders? What is the safest path? Typically, a wider section will be shallower than a narrow channel. As well, take a look downstream for obstacles like waterfalls that could pose a serious danger if you were to fall in.

Wear proper attire

Wearing sandals or other shoes will protect your feet from injury and help prevent slips. However, baggy clothes will make it substantially harder to move when you’re wet, especially if you end up having to swim. If you are wearing a backpack, it is wise to unclip your straps to make it easier to swim in case you fall in.

Have a plan

If you are in a group, decide whether someone should cross first, and then, set up a rope to make subsequent crossings and gear transport safer and easier. If you are alone, have a plan B. Always have a rescue plan.

Know the stance

If you are crossing alone, face upstream, or into the current, and take a wide stance, leaning forward with bent knees. Use a stick or trekking pole to create a tripod for more stability. Then, take small side-steps, judging the quality of each foot placement before committing. Avoid lifting your foot too high to prevent falling in if your other foot stumbles. Face upstream at all times, but travel at a slight diagonal downstream to save energy.

If you are hiking in a group of three or more, the safest way to cross as a unit is to form a stable foundation, such as a triangle, square, pentagon, or another shape. To form this sturdy base, group members should stand on the shoreline facing each other. Then, raise your arms, and place your hands firmly on the shoulders of the person standing next to you. With everyone holding this strong framework, take small steps as you cautiously cross the river.

Know what to do if you fall in

If possible, swim to the other side, directing your stroke slightly upstream. If the current is too strong to swim, drift with your feet in front of you on your butt until the river calms down.

River Crossing

Things to Consider

The early bird gets the worm

In the spring, water levels are the lowest early in the day before the snow melts, so time your river crossing wisely!

Water flows in tiers

The water’s surface flows at a different rate from the depths, and the flow rate is typically slower near the banks than in the middle. So, lifting your foot too high can mean it gets caught by a faster-flowing current, which can cause you to stumble or fall. This also explains why you should be cautious with every step until you are safely on the other side. The current will flow at different speeds throughout the entire river, so each step presents a different challenge.

Volume and velocity

A slow-moving river with a high volume of water can pose just as much danger as a lower-volume stream moving quickly.

Don’t rely on underwater support

Logs and boulders may seem like attractive handholds, but they can easily break loose underwater. Instead, try to rely on the stable tripod foundation that you form with a stick or trekking pole.

Practice caution with logs

Logs that span a river offer an appealing way across, but they can break loose and could even pin you underwater. Be sure to thoroughly test logs before trusting them.

Be willing to back out

If you feel uncomfortable going any further, turn back and search for another place to cross.

Know when to wait it out

Being able to identify when you shouldn’t cross a river is just as important as knowing how to ford through it. You may want to reconsider if you cannot see the bottom, the water level is above your knees, the current seems intensely strong at the riverbank, there is flash flood potential, or if the water is excessively cold. Be patient, because water levels can change within an hour!

River Crossing

The next time your adventure requires you to pass through a river, keep these tips in mind. Can you think of any more tips? If so, leave them in the comments below!