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 Overnight Backpack Great Gulf Questions 
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Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 9:37 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Connecticut
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 Overnight Backpack Great Gulf Questions
Hello,

Last year I got some good tips and feedback and I brought my wife and 8 year old daughter to Sawyer Pond and we also did Mt. Avalon in Crawford Notch. I am looking to bring them on an overnight or two nighter backpack this summer. My daughter is now 9 and a very strong hiker and pretty fit/boundless energy. My wife, not so much, lol... so peakbagging any one of the Presidentials may be out of the question. However My daughter wanted to climb Mt .Washington or one of the Presidential peaks.

After reading some of my guide books and maps, I was thinking a good compromise would be a trip to Spaulding Lake from the Great Gulf Trail. The hike sounds beautiful and somewhat moderate. I was thinking, If we wanted to, my daughter and I could always grab a peak from base camp. From my research, it sounds like there are countless tent sites both designated and dispersed along the way anywhere below Spaulding Lake. These include the bluff at 2.6 miles, campsite#2 by Parapet Brook at almost 3 miles in, Clam rock Campsite at 3.1 miles , Campsites #4 and #5 at mile 5 and some other sites between the Sphinx and Six Husbands trail junctions. Does anyone have any feedback on this area and how the various tenting options are? I`m assuming there are no fire rings at any of the sites as well? Basically I was just curious if the hike is as beautiful both on the way to and including Spaulding Lake and if it would satisfy that "alpine" type setting both me and my daughter are seeking while still doable for the wife.

Thanks everyone,

Kevin


Fri May 29, 2015 7:56 pm
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
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 Re: Overnight Backpack Great Gulf Questions
It really won't hit the spot for the alpine craving unless you hike out of the gulf itself, and the trails up and out are steep and rugged! Definitely doesn't sound like something your wife would like, although your daughter probably would. The campsites make convenient spots to use as base camps but are really nothing special. The walk along the river is a nice one, but again not much to see but woods and river. Good swimming holes along the way though. To get that type of backcountry camping and still bag a presidential peak can be tough. Are you specifically looking to backpack for a few days and use the site as a base camp for the hike, or would quiet camping like the sights along Cherry Mountain Road and then a great hike with your daughter up nearby Caps Ridge trail on Jefferson work?

Here's a trip report from part of the Great Gulf and then up and out on Six Husbands trail just for an idea of what the area is like. The link to the album has some pictures of Clam Rock so you can get an idea of what these sites are like.

http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=5053


Fri May 29, 2015 10:14 pm
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Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 9:37 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Connecticut
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 Re: Overnight Backpack Great Gulf Questions
Thanks for the reply and link. Those were some beautiful pics for sure. I see what your saying about the hike to Spaulding Lake. The guide book made it sound like it is as beautiful a hike as it is to Chimney Pond in Baxter State park, Maine which my family did last year and we absolutely loved that hike. I guess it might be back to the drawing board.


Fri May 29, 2015 10:46 pm
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:13 pm
Posts: 2027
Location: Mt Lafayette Winter 2009
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 Re: Overnight Backpack Great Gulf Questions
Hi Kevin,

I'll toss Franconia Brook as an option. Very easy almost road hike to the tent sites on the east side of the Pemi coming in from Lincoln Brook. There's usually a Ranger or caretaker near the tent sites.
It would give you and your daughter a chance to bag something cool like Bond Cliff or Carrigain while the wife can go up a little way along the river to an area with smooth rocks and neat cascades with a pool. Its a very popular area.
You may want to even consider a stay at one of the AMC huts. Kind of expensive but it can give you a chance to hike with a lot less weight and also have security. Lonesome Lake is very easy and great setting with peaks like The Kinsmans and Canon.

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Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:50 pm
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Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 9:37 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Connecticut
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 Re: Overnight Backpack Great Gulf Questions
Thanks for the suggestion. The Franconia Brook sounds like a pretty nice trip. Believe it or not, Not really high on the AMC huts though . It would cost us in the neighborhood of $300.00 for one night and we are actually looking for to carry our packs and start backpacking as a family and experiencing being out in the thick of things. I`ve been on some trips and have some experience in the Whites and my daughter seems really into it. she had a great time hiking Mt .Avalon and 3/4 of the way up Mt. Katahdin in Baxter last year.

I did Carrigain a couple of times as an overnight loop with Nancy Pond trail and Signal Ridge/Desolation trail and that was a beautiful trip but a tad too long and vertical for the Mrs...I`ll look into Thirteen Falls and Franconia Brook though..


Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:41 pm
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