Rainbow and I had planned to hike the Hancocks the day after Jackson and Webster. However, after a rough day on rough terrain, we came up with plan B: Mt. Crawford. It was near to where we had camped, it would be slightly less distance and slightly less elevation than the day before, supposedly with better trail conditions.
It was a rough start, not because of the trail, but because we were both pretty sore from the hike the day before. Many stops to stretch calves and quads. Happily, the first mile of the trail was blissfully rock-free and fairly flat.
The trail began to get rocky, and stayed rocky for what felt like forever. One stretch I counted 215 rock steps. It was like an endless stairmaster. It was similar to Tecumseh on some points, where you could see what seemed like the top of the stair stretch, but it was just a turn in the trail that would reveal…more stone stairs. I’m sure if we’d had fresh legs this would have been a lot easier, but as we were, it was tough. We both fell silent as we pushed ourselves to get up to the summit.
The stone staircases seemed to finally come to an end with some large granite slabs. While I’m not a fan of slabs, it was a nice change of pace and they included this lovely viewpoint.
Just a few more slabs and a couple of ledges to the summit. Happily, the summit was worth it.
It’s always so cool to me to see what other peaks are visible, and especially when I’ve hiked them! Peaks I’ve hiked in this photo: Hale, Willey, Field, Tom, Avalon, Webster, Jackson, and Pierce! Especially cool to see Webster and Jackson and know we’d just done them the day before.
We enjoyed a lovely break on the summit, and chatted with a couple (two of only 4 people we saw the whole day).
A woodpecker has been hard at work on this tree. As Rainbow said “these stone steps are emblematic of our hike”. And I guess this is called the Dry River Wilderness for good reason.
This hike was a struggle simply because of the day before. But it also had some really wonderful views, views that answered the question that came up a few times, “Why do we do this?!”.
- Distance: 5 miles
- Elevation gained: 2100 feet
- Total time: 6 hours 9 minutes
- Moving time: 4 hours 44 minutes