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novascroller
09-11-2011, 03:36 PM
which way is the best way to hike the loop? ascent via Falling Waters or ascent via the Old Bridal path? thanks.

Bill O
09-11-2011, 07:46 PM
Not sure. I've done it once and went up Falling Waters and down Old Bridal. I was staying the night at Greenleaf, so that was the most logical route for me.

BlueDog
09-11-2011, 08:18 PM
I suggest counter-clockwise for sure. This way to me is the most scenic, with lots of water and rock scrambles in the first stretch, then you pop out on Little Haystack. From there its some of the best views in the Whites as you do the ridge walk up to Lincoln, and then a little higher up to Lafayette. Greenleaf Hut is a perfect spot to break on the way down.

mtruman
09-11-2011, 10:14 PM
I second BlueDog's suggestion. We've done it three times now (most recently yesterday) and always that way. I've sworn that I'll never hike down Falling Waters. Lots of people do it that direction as well though and on the way down Old Bridle Path yesterday I said several times "I'd really like to go up this way someday - the views are so incredible". So maybe someday...

novascroller
09-12-2011, 07:34 AM
i checked the white mt guide yesterday and it recommended going clockwise for a). the views going up and b) you can cool off your feet in the stream on the way down. i'm kinda torn between the two.

d.b.cooperisalive
09-12-2011, 08:37 AM
My wife and I went up Little Haystack as our 3rd or 4th hike ever, last year. Previous to that my highest mountain was Willard which is nothing in comparison (incredible views though). At the age of 55, it just about did us in being that we had that little of experience and very out of shape. Complicating this it was very, very humid. I remember thinking at that time that I would never want to do this again but a few days later my opinion changed. Reflecting back it was so incredible hiking the ridge line and would have to say Franconia Ridge is one of my favorites (although very difficult).

sdways01
09-12-2011, 09:27 AM
I did this hike last year and went up the bridle path and down falling waters. I did it this direction so that I could get the higher peak done first. This way it would seem like less climbing in the second half. I can see why people wouldn't be as eager to go down the falling waters trail since it is steep and rocky at the top. But as long as you plan your steps and don't go too fast, you should make it down without problems just fine. After hiking the direction I did, I don't think I would like it as much in the other direction. Going clockwise you get multiple views on the way up that keep you climbing letting you see what you are going for. The falling waters trail seems like you wouldn't have a view until you got up to Little Haystack.

BlueDog
09-12-2011, 11:40 AM
i checked the white mt guide yesterday and it recommended going clockwise for a). the views going up and b) you can cool off your feet in the stream on the way down. i'm kinda torn between the two.

I should add... there is no "bad" way to do this hike. :)

Counter-clockwise is the more traditional direction. Clockwise I would say is the more challenging way. Falling Waters has a good number of scrambles that will require close attention and some handwork to negotiate. At the end of a hike if legs and feet are tired, one would just need to be extra mindful of your feet.

novascroller
09-12-2011, 08:52 PM
I should add... there is no "bad" way to do this hike. :)

Counter-clockwise is the more traditional direction. Clockwise I would say is the more challenging way. Falling Waters has a good number of scrambles that will require close attention and some handwork to negotiate. At the end of a hike if legs and feet are tired, one would just need to be extra mindful of your feet.

yes it looks like a great hike no matter which way we attack it. maybe it'll be a game day decision. :-)

MOAB149
09-13-2011, 01:07 PM
I concur with Erich. Having done it both ways, I prefer counter clockwise if doing the loop. If you goal is to visit Mt Lafayette summit, then of course the Bridal Path is best.

laudizen
09-15-2011, 01:28 PM
One negative about a counterclockwise circuit is that if you find yourself in the maw of a storm blowing out of the northwest it can be a long hike from Lafayette summit to the hut and you must plow ahead directly into the face of it. Traveling clockwise, you reach the relative shelter of the trees quickly and high on the ridge near Little Haystack. Another benefit of a clockwise circuit is that when you reach Little Haystack, depending on the vagaries of the day and the group, you have the option of continuing on the ridge to Mt Liberty before descending. I never found it a problem to get a lift back to my car from Liberty Spring trailhead. All things are relative and after you have made the circuit several times in each direction the distinctions fall away; it is a great hike in either direction.

novascroller
10-03-2011, 07:41 PM
ok so we did the counterclockwise loop of it on Sept 30th. sunny at the start (8am). by the time we got to Little Haystack we could really hear the wind blowing from the west. i looked off towards Cannon and though "uh oh, clouds on the way in". by the time we got to Lincoln we were socked in with cloud and winds gusting 40-55mph. no view at all. :-( we didn't get out of the cloud until we were almost at Greenleaf Hut. the views on the Bridal path were awesome though. that was our first experience with hiking in the clouds and it made me a little nervous seeing as it was our first time on that loop. i gotta say it was still easier than the Tuckerman ascent/Boott Spurr descent we did 2 days prior.

mtruman
10-03-2011, 11:11 PM
Congrats on Franconia Ridge #1. Sounds like you got the full spectrum treatment. Now that you've been there you have to go back. Each time has something unique (and wonderful) to offer.

novascroller
10-04-2011, 04:18 PM
Congrats on Franconia Ridge #1. Sounds like you got the full spectrum treatment. Now that you've been there you have to go back. Each time has something unique (and wonderful) to offer.

oh we'll definately be back. we had a great week in the Whites. we got hikes of Chocoura, Washington, Franconia Ridge and Willard in. weather couldn't have been better for every one but 1 hr of the Franconia Ridge.

neexpatriate
10-08-2011, 07:11 AM
I'd cast another vote for counter-clockwise, although I have to admit I haven't done it clockwise. I like hanging out, if only for a few minutes, at Greenleaf on the way down, looking back up at Lafayette, and thinking "yeah, I did that!".