View Full Version : Recommended Overnights? (w/o AMC huts)

07-06-2007, 11:21 PM
I am planning a two day overnight trip to Washington, with the night spent camping not at one of the AMC huts. The route would ideally be a loop, but other ideas would also be wonderful. In lieu of a route, suggested areas to camp would be very helpful. Are there established sites at areas other than along the Great Gulf Trail? I am also trying to work in a ravine ascent or other challenging section.

I have done one of these trips this summer (6/25-26), and I would recommend it: Parked at the Great Gulf Trailhead, Hiked the Great Gulf Trail to Madison Gulf Trail and up to the Madison Hut, then along Gulfside to Israel Ridge Path and stayed at the Perch. Next day we hiked back to Gulfside, took it the all the way to summit Washington, then took Nelson Craig to Alpine Garden, hiked the winter cutoff to avoid hiking the auto road, then took Chandler Brook back to Great Gulf and the trailhead.
My only other trail experience at Washington has been a day hike up Huntington and down Lion Head.

Thanks for any suggestions.

KD Talbot
07-08-2007, 04:03 PM
I think there has been no response to your questions because similar inquiries have popped up a lot recently. If you read some of the other threads in this section you are sure to find answers to a lot of your questions.

If you are interested in a ravine ascent then one of your best bets would be Tuckerman Ravine. There is no camping except at Hermit Lake Shelters on this (the east) side of MW, and there is no camping anywhere above treeline anywhere in the White Mountains. A good loop can be made from here ascending Tuckerman Ravine or Lion's Head Trail and by descending one or the other. You will not find this anywhere near as challenging as the trips you have previously listed. In my opinion, the most challenging trip you could make would be to camp in the Great Gulf at a designated site, then ascend the Great Gulf Headwall to Washington following the Great Gulf Trail. Descent would be determined by wether you carry your gear up, or have to return to the Great Gulf to retrieve it.

A complete guide to camping on MW is here, #14:


Also check this:


If you have more questions after checking these out, don't hesitate to ask.


07-09-2007, 11:00 PM
Thanks for your advice. I have read around the forums, and my group and I practice LNT. I had carefully looked over the WMNF regulations (http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/recreation/camping/backcountry_rules_2006-07.pdf) before going on my last trip, and just read them again.

Does anyone know if there are designated sites on the Great Gulf Trail between where Wamsutta Trail and Sphinx Trail intersect it? If not, how far do the sites go along the Great Gulf Trail?

Also, does anyone know if the Great Gulf Headwall has sections of rock like the beginning of Huntington http://members.tripod.com/mueller/wash/wash_fan.jpg (not me)
or is it very steep boulders?


rockin rex
07-10-2007, 11:59 AM
Not sure about the camping now that they have changed the camping areas.
I usally stay at the site by the suspension bridge. As far as the great gulf headwall above Spaulding lake I am very familar with. It does not have the slabs with the sheer drop offs but it does have the steepness with loose rocks. The bottom is very large boulders you have to get across and then it is straight up loose rocks. This headwall is very steep much more so than Huntington Ravine. It does not have the slabs which I guess some would say make it easier. I find it extremely challenging!!