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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mount Jackson: Frost on Red Leaves

Jackson is one of my favorite peaks to bring hikers new to the 4000-footers. Notice I didn't say new hikers. You still have to work your way up to this peak! Kendra, Arianna, and Cynthia wanted to hike up Mount Washington but we were rained out a couple weeks ago. As I predicted, the weather would most likely not be suitable for hikers not accustomed to the conditions the home of the "world's worst weather" could throw at us. We decided to make a rain date and change over to hiking a 4K with grand views of Mount Washington.


On our drive up we had sunshine, wind, rain, snow, and a little more sunshine. As we approached the Highland Center, cloud cover was thick and we knew we would not have views of 6,288 foot Mount Washington. 

With hats and gloves on, we began to hike the Jackson-Webster trail up to the summit of Mount Jackson.


I love bringing hikers up this peak for a few reasons. The view of the Southern Presidentials is gorgeous up top, but even without those views (like today) you still get some surprises. Bugle Cliff (pictured above) is a great outlook. After a moderate amount of work, you look back at the Highland Center and see how far you've gone already. It's a great motivator.

I've always seen Grey Jays up here. I call them the seagulls of the mountains. They're quite the scavengers. The gals got to feel like Snow White, winding up a snow covered trail with birds eating out of their hand. What more could you ask for?


Less than halfway up, our fall foliage hike turned into a winter preview.









The snow covered branches made up for the lack of views atop the summit!


Mt. Jackson is a moderate climb, never getting too steep until the last summit push. There are a few rock slabs to climb up. I wouldn't recommend newer hikers to do this when the trail is icy as there isn't a route to bypass this section. It is a nice challenge though! Arianna kept saying she felt like a bad ass doing it. With 20-25 mph winds and snowy landscape, these Southern girls rocked it! 









Cairns need love too

Just a little windy

I think the cold got to them...

If you are wondering what those views look like, I have trip reports of Jackson in June and August.

 Hike Stats:


Round Trip: 5.2 miles
Elevation gain: 2,150 feet
Book time: 3:40