June 20, 2014 / Comments (4)

Two Days in the Pemigewasset Wilderness

After a hike up Carrigain on Tuesday, I headed over to Haystack road to camp before an overnight trip in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Before this trip I carefully packed the food I would need for each day and the gear I would be carrying for my JMT hike next month. I was interested to see what I would eat on the trail, what I would leave be, and how I felt. Hiking in New Hampshire is great training for a long distance hike. We may not have the altitude, but we have plenty of rock strewn trails, as much elevation change as you’d like, and a lack of switchbacks.

For breakfast I made a chocolate protein shake. It was so good! I just mixed Carnation Instant Breakfast with some powdered whole milk, chocolate whey protein, and ground flax. I made a funnel out of a piece of paper and added water. It tastes like chocolate milk!

I parked at the North Twin trailhead and we took the North Twin Trail exactly a mile until we came to the “tree in the middle of the trail” and went left up a hill to the Fire Warden Trail herd path. I met a fellow hiker Darcy at the trailhead and we hiked to Hale together. She told me after that we turned too early for the herd path, but it still worked. The Fire Warden Trail (FWT) is very easy to follow.



The FWT is the preferred route to Hale for hikers who have done it. It looked really interesting in a blanket of fog.


Once we made it to the summit of Mt. Hale it was time for my second breakfast. I had smores poptarts and plenty of water. Hikers have the best diet!

After a nice break at the summit, Clint lead the way down from the summit. We were busy chatting as we were hiking further and further downhill. I remembered the trail descends a lot from Hale to get to Zealand, but Clint said it seemed like we were descending too much. All of our chit chat led us down the wrong path… for about a mile and a half! Coming from Hale Brook Trail there is only one other trail to take from the summit, but going up an unmarked trail leaves two choices. We didn’t even glance at the sign. Three miles later and we were back on Mt Hale ready for Zealand!

We met a couple of guys out on a day hike who were going to Zealand as well. We joined them for a while on our hike. They were great company for this stretch! Right before the hut there is a water spigot. We refilled there and continued on Twinway to one of my favorite trail signs.




The summit of Zealand is not too impressive. If you haven’t been before, a trip over to Zeacliff is a must!

Twinway continues over Mt Guyot and some striking views into the Pemi. Once above treeline we had to contend with 50 mph wind gusts while rock hopping with full packs. It’s always an adventure!


A little before 5:00 we checked in with the Guyot Shelter caretaker and picked our camping accommodations.You can choose either tent platforms or the shelter. I’ve never stayed in the shelter and it only had three others in it so I decided to try that out.

Dinner was almond butter and jelly in a tortilla and instant mashed red potatoes. I of course finished the night with a chocolate peanut butter bar.

On a very similar trip I had hiked over to the Bonds after dinner and left only the Twins for day two. It was getting foggy and I had never seen a view from West Bond so we saved the Bonds for the morning.


Second night using the Klymit Inertia X-Lite



Guyot campsite charges an $8.00 fee during the warmer months when there is a caretaker. There are two bear boxes (pictures above) and a composting toilet. At about 8:00 pm a group of 10 high school students from NYC arrived with two 20-something trip leaders. The students were very respectful and seemed to be having a good time. The leaders were a little condescending asking one of the boys if he’d be “ok” tenting on a platform. They repeatedly said they would be worried about him and joked about putting a bell on him…

A little after 8:30 we were packed up, had breakfast, and were ready for the next 13 miles! There is a steep climb out of Guyot Campsite first thing and it helped determine how the day would be. After some morning stretching, my legs didn’t feel too bad. They actually felt better on day three than they did on day 2.

Once we reached the Twinway intersection, we dropped our packs and saw my friend Bill. He was hiking a section of the Pemi as well! We chatted about redlining, the grid, and everything obsessed hikers chat about before we parted ways.

West Bond was quite the treat! The views were something I had been patiently been waiting to see and it was definitely worth it!


My Gossamer Gear Mariposa pack comes with a hipbelt that stays in place by velcro. I just took the hipbelt with me to the Bonds for my camera and a little Gu to help me up the trail.

We made a quick descent from West Bond and continued to Mount Bond. Last time I was here it was about 4 am and I was taking a “power nap” behind the rocks!




Getting up to Bondcliff from Mt Bond was easier than I remember. It may have been the miles I’ve hiked over the years, the anticipation of standing atop one of my favorite spots in the Whites, or Clint’s Allagash alien abduction story. I’ll never know!


Once you summit Bondcliff, you have to trudge back up to Bond and then it’s downhill for a little while. Next up was South and North Twin before I returned to society.

I was determined on my way to South Twin and didn’t take any pictures. The summit boasts 360 degree views and I was loving it.


The hike over to North Twin was pretty muddy. I quickly rock hopped down the trail to the viewless summit.



North Twin marked the last peak of my Spring list! I am hiking all of the NH 4000-footers in each season and Spring is my first to be completed! After a few months of winter hiking I am always ready to hit the trail with a lighter pack even if that means bugs and mud! I really don’t know how I got more peaks completed in Spring than any other season, but I’ll just run with it! Once I hike Madison, Adams, and Jefferson this summer I’ll have round 2 complete and *hopefully* round 3 complete this fall.

The last major crossing was really moving along. I found out on Mt Carrigain how fast my trail runners dry out so I just walked right through. Soon enough we were back at North Twin Trailhead. The Bonds are on my list of winter hikes so I will be back to visit very soon!


Last modified: September 2, 2017

4 Responses to :
Two Days in the Pemigewasset Wilderness

  1. Martin Rye says:

    Nice to see another fan of the White Mountains and New England hiking. Great blog and glad I found it.

  2. Nice to run into you Thursday! What a superb day to be out and about!

  3. Thanks Martin! Bill it was an awesome day out! Glad to see your hike went so well.

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