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Lowe's Bald Spot 2/4/02

4.4 miles 800' Elevation gain

Old Jackson Rd. to Madison Gulf Trail to spur trail

Kevin, Judy and Emma
After climbing the "Doubleheads" we spent the afternoon and evening alternately pigging out, relaxing in the hot tub and drying by the fireplace. We were ready for another expedition into the cold. The next day brought slightly warmer temperatures and we opted for less of a climb and more of a hike in the trip to Lowe’s Bald Spot. The good part of this destination is it offers great views for little effort. Starting at the Joe Dodge AMC Lodge in Pinkham Notch, we take the Old Jackson Road north. It rises gradually to 700’ over almost 2 miles, so it is a very easy trail as trails go in the White Mountains, especially for Pinkham Notch. At 1.9 miles it crosses the Mount Washington Auto Road at the 2 mile marker. This is also part of the Appalachian Trail. We saw vans, “Snow Coaches”, with tracks like specialized snowmobile tracks replacing the tires. These carried skiers up the Auto Road to ski back down. After crossing the Auto Road we can see over our left shoulders is Mount Washington, the summit invisible behind Nelson Crag. Following the Madison Gulf Trail for 2/10ths of a mile there is a 1/10th spur trail up to a rocky knob. On this exceptionally clear, crisp day in February the views are stunning in all directions. Gusty winds blow snow from the surrounding peaks and give an idea of how ferocious winter in the Presidentials can be. We enjoy Mounts Adams and Madison to the northwest, views to the Crescent and Mahoosuc Ranges to the north, the Carters and Carter Dome to the northeast, with filtered views to the southeast of the Wildcats. I think Jude is growing a fine appreciation to the beauty of hiking in the Whites during the cold months, too! And Emma? Well, she was just made for hiking in winter with her thick coat, much more suited for this than those hot buggy days we've spent on the trail in the past.Another excellent short trip followed by a return to the hottub and fireplace. I could get used to living like this.

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