On Labor Day, my friend John and I were going to hike the Franconia Ridge Loop, but circumstances changed at the last minute, and we decided to do this loop that would have somewhat comparable views. After reading Ryan Knapp's weather prediction in the morning that the clouds would be lifting over the Higher Summits as the morning progressed, we were off to the Crawford Path trail head.
We reached it at 9:30am. The temps were great and the sun was shining.
We caught our first glimpse of Washington shortly before reaching the summit of Pierce. This was a real treat since I have never hiked in the southern Presidentials, looking north from this viewpoint.
John tried to get a Gray Jay to eat from the palm of his hand, but this little guy just wasn't hungry.
Once on the summit of Pierce, the views were fabulous.
After leaving Pierce, we took the AT towards Jackson. We stopped along the way at the Mizpah Hut for a very good bowl of homemade pea soup and bread.
When we reached Jackson's summit, the views all around were still excellent.
We then continued on the AT towards Webster, our final summit for the day. This summit was probably the most rewarding. The view of Washington to the north was still very clear, while turning around 180 degrees, the views down into Crawford Notch and beyond to the west were amazing.
Our final trail down would be the Webster-Jackson Trail back to Rt 302. This loop ended up being a very fine replacement for the Franconia Ridge Loop. Total distance was 9.8 miles, taking us 9 hours.
Thanks for viewing our hike. A complete photo set can be seen here.