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 Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions 
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Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:02 am
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Location: Brighton, MA
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 Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
Howdy,

Has anyone been up to Lafayette, Lincoln, Garfield, Owl's Head (Franconia area) in the past week? I'm planning a two-nighter at 13 Falls Memorial Day weekend and wanted to get an update on the level of snow and ice above the treeline.

Thank you!


Mon May 11, 2015 9:44 am
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Location: Natick, MA
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
Above treeline is pretty bare now, just pockets of snow here and there. From ~3000ft (probably lower on Northern exposures) to treeline is where the snow is right now, I'll let those that may have been up North this past weekend chime in with hard data.

By Memorial Day I should think things will be fairly well off in most places except the deep Northern pockets perhaps. Provided the temps stay warm of course (this week is supposed to be a little cooler but rain will help accelerate melting). At least I certainly hope so, I'd like to get the Pemi Loop backpack that's eluded me in May the last several years at last!

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Mon May 11, 2015 12:11 pm
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Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:02 am
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Location: Brighton, MA
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
Matt,

Thank you for the prompt response and solid report. I appreciate it greatly.

I'm hoping I will not have to pack any gaiters or micros to get through the full loop. We're planning two nights up there, so pray for good weather!

:beer:


Mon May 11, 2015 1:56 pm
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
Keep an eye on NewEnglandTrailConditions for the area, it should give you an idea of what to expect. Bringing the micros may not be a bad idea, and I personally often wear short gaiters even in summer. Last Memorial Day weekend I ran into a few pockets of ice between 3700ft and 4000ft on a couple different hikes, but it was short and avoidable enough to skip the spikes. Of course, things started melting a bit earlier last year ;)

Water levels are very high right now, which will affect you for Owl's Head if you are using the Southern end of Lincoln Brook Trail (and for that matter a few of the Franconia Brook Trail crossings). I was hoping to head in to Owl's Head this weekend myself but I don't forsee the water levels dropping enough by then to make that plausible (right now the Pemi flow is 2-3x my comfort level even when bushwahcking around the worst 2 crossings).

I'm curious what your itinerary looks like if you care to share. It sounds like a half-Pemi loop with Owl's Head, but somehow 2 nights at 13 Falls?

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Mon May 11, 2015 3:27 pm
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Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:02 am
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Location: Brighton, MA
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
Pemi Wilderness Expedition Itinerary

Day 1:

Lincoln Woods Visitor Center - Park
Lincoln Woods Trail 2.9 miles (1 hr 35 min)
Bondcliff Trail 8.1 miles (5 hr 30 min) Lunch on top of Bondcliff Mtn. or Mt. Bond
Reach Guyot Campsite - set up camp
Eat Dinner
West Bond spur to West Bond Mtn. (1 mi roundtrip)
Watch sunset on West Bond and head back to camp for fire

Total Miles: 12
Total Mtns.: 3

Day 2:

Breakfast at campsite
Bondcliff Trail (short distance)
Twin Way East to Zealand Mtn (1.3)
Twin Way West to South Twin Mtn. (3.3)
North Twin Spur to North Twin Mtn. (2.6 round trip)
Twin Way to Galehead Hut (0.8)
Frost Trail to Galehead Mtn. (1 mile round trip)
Twin Brook Trail (2.6)
Arrive at 13 Falls Campsite
Relax and Eat dinner

Total Miles: 10.6
Total Mtns: 4

Day 3:
Franconia Brook Trail (5.2)
Lincoln Woods Trail (2.9)
Lincoln Woods Visitor Center - return to truck
Dinner on the road
Home sweet home


Tue May 12, 2015 1:59 pm
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Flatfoot
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
I had to modify a little bit, but thought this would be a great expedition.


Tue May 12, 2015 2:07 pm
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
Sweet! Two backpackers in the Pemi on Memorial Day weekend! See you there!

-The Black Flies

Image

:wink:


Tue May 12, 2015 5:57 pm
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
Sounds like a great trip!

If you didn't know, both of those campsites have bearboxes now, so you just toss all your smellables in there at the end of the night and latch them, no need to hang/bring a bear can. Both sites also have caretakers, and have a $8pp/night fee. Guyot will be PACKED as an fyi, especially if the weather is decent. Get there early!

Have a great trip, I will be unable to hike that weekend for the first time in a couple years, meaning instead of the rain, snow, sleet, etc that recent years have seen that weekend, it will probably be gorgeous!

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My Trip Reports: http://mattshikes.blogspot.com/


Wed May 13, 2015 8:01 pm
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Flatfoot
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Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:02 am
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
We're all pretty excited about it! We are planning on getting to Guyot around 2-3 PM; do you think that leaves us with a good probability of getting a tent site?


Thu May 14, 2015 6:47 am
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
cm_wright wrote:
We're all pretty excited about it! We are planning on getting to Guyot around 2-3 PM; do you think that leaves us with a good probability of getting a tent site?

Probably a decent chance, in my experience the place starts getting busy by 3-3:30. The caretaker won't generally turn anyone away anyway, they shoehorn in as many as they can. Just don't expect solitude! 13 Falls should be better, but on a holiday weekend will likely still be busy.

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My Trip Reports: http://mattshikes.blogspot.com/


Thu May 14, 2015 5:45 pm
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Flatfoot
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Location: Brighton, MA
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
Matt, I appreciate all of your advice and pointers! One last question, I was confused when reading the rules, but are campfires allowed at Guyot and 13 Falls?

Again, thank you. I will post pictures of the trip as soon as I get back.


Fri May 15, 2015 7:53 am
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
Unless I've read the regulations wrong fires are not allowed at either.


Fri May 15, 2015 8:37 am
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
Granite Guy wrote:
Unless I've read the regulations wrong fires are not allowed at either.

Correct.

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NH 4K x6 || NH W4K || NE4K || NEHH || WNE4K 64/67 || 52WAV 19/52

My Trip Reports: http://mattshikes.blogspot.com/


Fri May 15, 2015 11:16 am
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Flatfoot
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Location: Brighton, MA
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
Some in our group are pretty adamant about wanting to have a fire each night. I know that we have to be 200 feet from any trail or water source, but would you guys recommend any locations nearby those two campsites where we could set up camp and have a fire?

Thanks for the help.


Tue May 19, 2015 11:28 am
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 Re: Franconia - 13 Falls Trail Conditions
In short. No. But I guess it depends what you mean by "close". There's no fires allowed within 200 feet of trails or 1/4 mile of those sites and a few others.

Pemigewasset Wilderness
Size: 45,000 acres

Trails: Approximately 60 miles of maintained hiking trails.

Description: This is the largest Wilderness on the White Mountain National Forest. Between 1880 and 1940, what is now the Pemigewasset Wilderness contained the largest logging railroad system in the White Mountains, including 72 miles of train lines. Over 1 billion board feet of timber was removed from the 66,000 acre watershed. In 1907, a 10-day wildfire fed on leftover logging slash. After years of unsustainable logging and the enormous fire of 1907, the Pemigewasset Wilderness has re-grown to include beautiful terrain for backpacking, hiking, and experiencing nature.

Regulations
No mechanized equipment or mechanical transport (including bicycles, carts, and wagons. Wheelchairs are allowed.).
Hiking and camping group size must be limited to 10 people or less.
Geocaching is prohibited.

Special Regulations (in addition to those listed above):
No camping, wood or charcoal fires within 200 feet of any trail.
No camping, wood or charcoal fires within 200 feet of the East Branch of the Pemi River from the Wilderness boundary to its crossing with Thoreau Falls Trail, including islands.
No camping, wood or charcoal fires within 1/4 mile of the Franconia Brook Campsite, 13 Falls Tentsite, Guyot Tentsite, or Thoreau Falls.


http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/whitemountain/specialplaces/?cid=stelprdb5186443


Tue May 19, 2015 12:51 pm
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