View Full Version : A few questions for a first timer...

07-15-2009, 01:37 PM
Hi All,

I have signed up for seek the peak and am excited to head to the summit.

I have a few questions as a new hiker:

Can my dog join me on the hike and should she stay on her leash or is she free to go anywhere?

I am relatively new to mountain hikes - but am a runner/cyclist who is fit. I am looking for a trail recommendation that will be challenging but okay for the up and down on Saturday.

On Sunday I would like to stay and do some more hiking - recommendations?

I am a solo hiker -- should I be weary of anything in particular (I assume because it is seek the peak there will be many people on the trails...)

Is there camping at the bottom?

Any advice/information/comments are greatly appreciated!

Thank you so much!!

07-15-2009, 05:06 PM
Welcome Amy - both to the forums and to Seek the Peak. To answer at lease some of your questions...

Yes, dogs are OK. Most are off leash (hopefully yours is friendly). You'll meet plenty of other canines on the trail.

There's no worry about hiking solo - there will be lots of others on any trail you take. With 400 signed up for STP plus the usual July Saturday crowd the trick will be finding any solitude ;)

The best choice for trails is probably one of the combination starting from Pinkham Notch Visitors Center. This is the official send-off spot for STP and is the closest to the dinner at the end. There are a number of possible combinations that work well. We will be going up the Lion Head trail and down the Tuckermans Ravine headwall. You can also do this in reverse. Another option is Boott Spur in combination with Tuckermans and/or Lion Head (this one is a bit longer). I'll leave it to the others here that have been up and down way more times than me to make a recommendation but we really liked the Lion Head up Tucks down route last year.

There are several campgrounds in the area (not directly at the bottom). The closest is Dolly Copp (I think) which is just a few miles up the road. There are a number of STPer's staying at Moose Brook in Gorham which is about a 25 minute ride. There are a number of other choices too.

For Sunday hiking the possibilities are limitless. Depends on how long, steep, etc you're looking for.

Hope this helps.

KD Talbot
07-15-2009, 07:35 PM
I would just add that you may run into much different weather at the top than at the base, be prepared.

Dolly Copp is a good CG, but I would make a reservation. Are you just looking for a tentsite? There are campsites and lean-tos at Hermit Lake about 1/2 way up the mountain reached by backpacking, but alas, no dogs allowed.


Most of them fill up on weekends. When do you plan to arrive? Friday or Saturday?

A lot of the members here will be camping at Moosebrook.


If you're not afraid of meeting new people we will be gathering at this site after the awards dinner Saturday night.

If you really need a place to camp and can't get one we have room on our site for a tent. There will be a small group on this site, as well as others scattered around the CG.


We will be at the shelter. There are showers and flush toilets in the main part of the park. The showers may have long lines, though.

My wife, dog and I will be hiking up Boott Spur/Davis/Crawford if the weather cooperates. If you'd like to join us you can PM or email:



PS: I didn't answer your dog questions, so I'll answer by asking you questions, don't you hate that? How old is your dog? Is he/she in good shape? Nobody wants to rescue your dog. Does she respond to voice command? Has she camped before? Is this all going to be new to her? Does she take off chasing smells? This is not somewhere you want to lose your dog. There have been many dog tragedies on this mountain. Are her paws tough? The quartzite/mica schist make up of the rocks on this mountain can tear a dogs pads up. All this being said, our dog joins us every year, but she is very mountain experienced. I'll be glad to answer any and all questions, but the more information I have about your dog the more accurate I can be with my info. Thanks.

07-15-2009, 10:08 PM
All this being said, our dog joins us every year, but she is very mountain experienced.

Kevin certainly understates this point. As best I can tell Emma is about the most mountain experienced of anyone here - 2 or 4 legged. And from one that tried to just keep up with her on the way down the mountain last year I can tell you that she's one tough little lady. ;) Can't even fathom trying to follow her up...

07-16-2009, 06:07 AM
With this being your first hike I would recommend keeping it simple with this hike. Use a direct, short route. Stay at PNVC the 2 nights - they have a dining room for meals. Use a combination of Tuckerman Ravine Trail and/or Lion Head. Most first timers go up Tuckerman to the summit and back down the same route. There will be a lot of people on that trail. But on the way down you will at least know the trail and the conditions. This could be helpful for afternoon showers or storms.

There will be a good sized group on Lion Head also. Going up and down it is a good option and is a trail I love to do. Up one and down the other is a nice combination. But, you will be on "new" trail all day and not know what to expect coming down.

You will find this will use different muscles than you may have been using. Don't push too hard - too fast - or for too long. The summit is only halfway there. I have taken serious runners and bikers up and they did well. But they all said it was the toughest thing they have ever done.

Have fun and see you there.

07-16-2009, 04:28 PM
As to hiking the following day, if you are staying in the Pinkham Notch area one idea would be to climb the Wildcats or the Carters which are directly across from Mt Washington and company. It provides you a different perspective and view of what you climbed the day before and shouldn't be as crowded.

07-17-2009, 05:17 PM
I will be looking for a hot tub the next day.

07-17-2009, 07:54 PM
I will be looking for a hot tub the next day.

i will be looking for the hot tub before and after dinner :D

07-17-2009, 10:30 PM
I will be looking for a hot tub the next day.

Good luck with that - if you find one let me know. I'll be resting Sunday getting ready for a 5 day backpack starting Monday...