View Full Version : Cannon Mountain - Trip Report

10-13-2009, 10:24 PM
A little long and a little late, but here it goes...

Cannon Mtn

Lonesome Lake Trail --> Dodge Cutoff Trail --> Hi-Cannon Trail --> Kinsman Ridge Trail --> Summit --> Kinsman Ridge Trail --> Tram Area --> Bike Path --> Parking Lot

Total Distance = 4.637 mi. (mtn)
7.552 mi. (w/ bike path)
Elevation Gain = 2350 ft.
Time = 4:29 (mtn)
5:42 (w/ bike path)

I parked in the parking area on the Northbound side of 93 across from the Lafeyette Place Campground. Walked through the tunnel under the road and through the campground to the start of the trail. I tried to start off at an easy pace as I tend to go too fast too quick and therefore get tired quicker. As this was going to be my longest hike in some time, I didn't want that to happen. The Lonesome Lake trail was a good trail that wasn't too steep as it has a couple switchbacks in it. As it levels off before the lake, I was given a nice break in the hiking effort in the middle of the climb.

Switchback in the trail

As I took pictures at the lake, I wondered how I had never known it was there even though I had been up the tram to the summit as a kid. I would find out later that it is because you can't see it from the summit. This makes me wonder how many non-hikers take the tram up and down don't even know about this little gem.

Lonesome Lake

The Dodge Cuttoff trail was a short and pleasant trail. While the wooden walkways in the muddy areas could use some work, I enjoyed this trail. It is just worn enough to follow and has a couple narrow passages through some thick spruce trees.

Narrow path through the spruce

The Hi-Cannon trail provides varied and interesting terrain. After the Dodge Cutoff trail joins it, it isn't overly steep and goes quick. It then gets steeper and soon turns towards the right following the edge of the mountain more. The first lookout on the trail wasn't quite what I expected. There is a small opening in the trees and you are looking over other trees due to how steep the side is at this point. After this you follow the edge a bit more before turning up the mountain. You quickly come to the ladder on the trail followed by the second lookout. This lookout has a great overlook of Lonesome Lake and you can walk right out onto the rock. From here it isn't a bad walk to the Kinsman Ridge trail.

First lookout


Second lookout

The Kinsman Ridge trail isn't very steep after you join up with it. This makes for a gentle stroll up to the summit and the observation deck. This trail has been used so much over the years that the walking path of it is worn down a few inches compared to the surrounding ground.

I think the hardest point of this part of the climb was the three flights of stairs up to the observation deck. But they were well worth it as it was now noon and it was a beautiful day out. The sun was shinning, the skies were blue, and there were almost no clouds at all to get in the way of the 360 degree view. After taking a bunch of pictures and soaking in the view, I went to the tram station to sit for a bit and watch the tram cars come and go a couple times. I then headed back along the Ridge trail and down the other side of the mountain.

View from the observation deck - Lafeyette, Lincoln, Little Haystack

View from the observation deck - Can't see Lonesome Lake

View from the observation deck - Tram car coming in

On the way down I made the side trek to the lookout over where the Old Man of the Mtn had been. This trail descending was certainly rockier than the climb up and and was often slopping to the side. It certainly looks like it would have been a more difficult ascent. And while you aren't too far from the tram line, there is only a couple places where you can see the cars going up and down. The most interesting thing I found on this trail, was towards the bottom when you start to walk through a deep trench in the trail. The rock here isn't overly strong and seems to have crumbled. On the ground it almost looks like you are walking on rice krispies or something.

Tram through the trees


I stopped at a picnic table in the parking area once at the bottom to get the dirt (rice krispies mostly) out of my boots. Just before heading back to the truck though I got some major cramps in my legs (the first of the day). Walking around made them go away, but the cramps made walking hard and painful. After getting the cramps taken care of, I got on the bike path and walked back to the truck. I was going to take the Pemi trail here, but missed the start of it (I think I know where it is now) and thought the bike path might be a little quicker being paved as I was running a little late for getting home for supper at a friend's house.

To view the rest of the pictures from the hike, just click here. (http://sdways01.smugmug.com/48NH4Ks/CannonMtn/)

KD Talbot
10-16-2009, 07:55 PM
After hiking for the last two days up there it was nice to see some warm weather pictures. Excellent photos and TR. Thanks for sharing and welcome to the forum. I'll look forward to more TRs!


Snow Miser
10-16-2009, 08:28 PM
Very nice TR and photos! You really had a good day to be out there. Welcome to the forums, and thanks for taking us along on your hike.

10-16-2009, 11:09 PM
Nice photo journey! Great quality pictures.

10-17-2009, 08:31 AM
Fantastic trip report and wonderful pictures. Looks like it was a perfect day. Thanks for sharing your trip with us and welcome to the forum.

10-17-2009, 10:04 AM
Awesome! This is definitely the way to do Cannon - so much great scenery along the way and much better trail conditions than "the direct way" up Kinsman Ridge. You found a perfect day to enjoy those views too. Great TR and pics. Thanks for taking us along.