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July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah
http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9093
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Author:  DPDISXR4Ti [ Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:55 pm ]
Post subject:  July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

We've just made 5-day hut and lodge reservations for mid-July. We'll be starting and finishing at the Joe Dodge Lodge, with our final night in the mountains spent at the Mispah Spring Hut. The final day we'd like to try something new and head out early on the Dry River Cutoff for 2.2 miles, right onto the Mt. Eisenhower Trail for .3 miles, right for another .3 miles onto Dry River Trail, left onto Isolation trail for 2.4 miles, left onto Davis Path for 1.6 miles, right onto Glen Boulder Trail for 2.4 miles, and then a left on Avalanche Brook Ski Trail for 1 mile to the Lodge. Total mileage 10.2 miles

Any thoughts, concerns, etc on this route? I've heard the trails in the Wilderness can be a little tough to follow, but it would seem it's been cleaned up and made a little more pass-able since Irene.

For reference, the two of us are in reasonably good shape and have hiked as much as 14 miles/day in the Whites before.

Author:  Granite Guy [ Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

The lower part of the Mt. Clinton trail is still kind of a disaster but I think the DRC is in better shape. Not sure about that though, and all those are lightly used in the wilderness area. The wilderness in trails in general are harder to follow in places than others but not too bad 99% of the time. Just plan for a little more time for route finding and poorer footing than you normally do. Glen Boulder is a rugged knee jarring way to finish a hike. Whoever said it was moderately steep in the guide book is out of their mind but they got the poor footing part right. Still, if the mileage is no concern and you have good knees it sounds like a great route. We did a Webster Cliff/Mt Clinton/Dry River loop this past fall and I loved the wild feel of the area (TR if interested http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=8898 ) and would like to get back there this summer myself.

Author:  kpmmbm [ Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

instead of ski trail off from Glen Boulder, take Dirrestisma (sp?) Trail. Years ago I took the ski trail and it was really wet and I don't think it had rained much prior to

Author:  DPDISXR4Ti [ Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

Granite Guy wrote:
The lower part of the Mt. Clinton trail is still kind of a disaster but I think the DRC is in better shape.


Thanks for the feedback. No plans to do Mt. Clinton trail, so we're already taking your advise on that one. :) We had some thoughts on adding the ~2.5 mile out & back to Mt. Isolation, but we'll really need to get ahead of schedule early to even think about adding that. Plus, your input on Glen Boulder means we should save some legs for that.

Great shots from your hike last fall!

Author:  DPDISXR4Ti [ Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

kpmmbm wrote:
instead of ski trail off from Glen Boulder, take Dirrestisma (sp?) Trail. Years ago I took the ski trail and it was really wet and I don't think it had rained much prior to


I don't see any trail named anything like "Dirrestisma", but there is an un-named trail which parallels Rt.16 and then appears to dump out on 16, requiring a short road walk to get to the lodge . Might it be that one?

Author:  iagreewithjamie [ Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

Direttissima starts at the visitor's center, and runs into the Glen Boulder trail.

Author:  Kathy [ Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

DPDISXR4Ti wrote:
I don't see any trail named anything like "Dirrestisma", but there is an un-named trail which parallels Rt.16 and then appears to dump out on 16, requiring a short road walk to get to the lodge . Might it be that one?

Direttissima parallels 16, cuts into Glen Boulder Trail. It starts off parking area just south of PNVC. I would second the idea to not take the ski trail as that is designed to be travelled with snow pack and not ideal for hiking.

Author:  Kathy [ Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

iagreewithjamie wrote:
Direttissima starts at the visitor's center, and runs into the Glen Boulder trail.

HA HA. Great minds think alike!

Author:  DPDISXR4Ti [ Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

Kathy wrote:
Direttissima parallels 16, cuts into Glen Boulder Trail. It starts off parking area just south of PNVC. I would second the idea to not take the ski trail as that is designed to be travelled with snow pack and not ideal for hiking.


Okay, pulled out the bigger map with more detail and indeed Direttissima is listed and it is the one I was thinking of. Thanks for the input.

Author:  DPDISXR4Ti [ Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

Now that we're about 10 days away from our trip, just wondering if anyone has been through the "Wilderness" lately who can give a trail report. I'm hoping that the water level isn't too high, which should make some of the stream crossings a bit easier - yes, no, maybe???

Author:  Granite Guy [ Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

It's been very dry this year. Water crossings should be about as easy as they get. Of course, that can all change in an instant.

Author:  madmattd [ Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

As GraniteGuy said, it has been extremely dry the last 2ish months. Stream levels are running in the lower 25th percentile of record. We did have some heavy rains last week on a couple days which raised levels briefly, but then they dropped right back to very low a mere day or two later. The USGS keeps stream gage data available online instantaneously, the Saco gage in Conway is available here: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nh/nwis/uv/?site_no=01064500&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060. I don't usually watch this one, but the Lincoln one which correlates more to Lincoln Woods, but it is tracking similarly, just at different actual levels.

I was in the Dry River Wilderness, though on the Rocky Branch side, a couple weeks ago. Water crossings were fairly trivial at the time, I doubt they will pose you much trouble unless we get a lot of rain before then.

Last fall (Labor Day Weekend) I crossed the Dry River Trail on both the Mt. Clinton and Mt. Eisenhower Trails (that crossing it sounds like will be on your route) when that Saco gage above read in the 170cfs/2.3ft range (it was extremely dry last August). The crossing is tricky, but was very doable, and most of the rocks are tall, so the slightly higher levels right now should not make it noticeably harder. I think that is the only crossing on your route of great significance, unless I'm forgetting something. (I've not been on the Dry River Cutoff yet, but any crossings there should be far smaller due to being feeder stream(s)).

A picture of the Mt. Eisenhower Trail crossing I just dug up:
Image
I recall finding a place to cross with completely dry boots somewhere just a few feet upstream, but those rocks in the middle were maybe only 1" below the water.

Author:  DPDISXR4Ti [ Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

Thanks for the input. 3 years ago (when you had 30" snow Memorial day Weekend) we day-hiked an out & back loop to Castles and had to do about 8 (wet) stream crossings on the way back down. Slowed us down a bunch and we got back to the car after dark. Trying to plan our timing a little better this time. :D

Author:  DPDISXR4Ti [ Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: July Traverse of Dry River Wilderness from Mizpah

Exactly one week ago at this time I was on the Isolation trail. Of everything we did that day I'd say it was the toughest trail to follow along the lower sections that parallel the stream; several landslides to navigate around; I presume they were from Irene. But overall we never drifted off-trail by more than a couple feet.

The Dry River did NOT live up to it's name. It had rained each of the three preceding nights and was raining when we left Mizpah at 8AM. Water levels had climbed some. I made it across "dry" without taking my boots off - just one good sized jump. My girlfriend opted to take her boots off.

For some silly reason we opted NOT to take the fine advise offered above and so we took the ski trail back to Joe Dodge. Indeed it was wet. We both fell once all day, and it was on the ski trail. Good thing for showers back at the lodge.

Total mileage for the day was 10.9 miles. We had it covered in less than 10 hours with several breaks. Eight hours would have been do-able without much trouble.

We nixed the idea of adding the 2.4-mile out & back to Mt. Isolation, mostly because we wanted to be back to Joe Dodge in time for dinner.

It was an awesome day - best of the trip. The entire day we passed just one couple - a welcome change from the mall-like environment at the top of Washington two days previous.

Thanks for all the input.

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