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27 January 2016

A Hike to North and South Doublehead Mountain (Jackson, NH)


Doublehead Mountain in Jackson, NH consists of two peaks (North and South Doublehead) and is sometimes referred to simply as "The Doubleheads".  It had been a while since I hiked to this mountain, and so in early January 2016 I decided to make a return visit.  The Doubleheads provide expansive views of many high peaks in the White Mountains, but the starring-role in my opinion belongs to the view of the Presidential Range and the distinctive U-shaped Carter Notch.

My hike began and ended on the Doublehead Ski Trail by doing a lollipop route (counterclockwise) which incorporated the Old Path and a segment of the New Path.  The loop provides a respectable workout with about 1,800 ft elevation gain, and a round-trip mileage of about 4 miles.

Trails used for this hike are highlighted in yellow at top right of map
Doublehead Mountain as viewed from a point along Dundee Road near the trailhead
A big view looking westward from South Doublehead.  Mt. Carrigain is most prominent bump on the horizon at far left of photo; Mt. Washington is unmistakable at right of photo; Carter Notch is at far right.
Zooming in on Carter Notch
The cabin on North Doublehead was occupied and judging by the smoke billowing from the chimney, the  tenants were warm and cozy with a fire in the fireplace.  (As if the date of this posting, details about how to rent this cabin can be obtained by clicking HERE.)
At the center of this photo (taken from North Doublehead) is a body of water known as Mountain Pond which is another short, but worthy, hiking destination!
This slightly zoomed image was taken looking southwesterly from South Doublehead.  At center of photo is North Moat Mountain with the very tip of Mt. Chocorua peeking over the top.
On the way home from hiking the Doubleheads, I just happened to drive by the Mt. Washington Hotel at precisely the right time of day to catch an impressive display of alpenglow on the Presidential Range.  It was a magnificent ending to a fabulous day!



One Day in America said...

John, you mentioned that the photos in my last post were beyond gorgeous. Well, I have to say that your final pic of the alpenglow on the Presidential Range is beyond stunning! Talk about an award-winner!

I'm also impressed with the effort involved to complete this hike—1800 feet elevation gain in about two miles is some strenuous work! The great views are worth it though.
Nice trailside cabin, too.

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita,

Thanks for the kind words about the alpenglow photo. Getting that photo was totally unplanned, and was a classic case of just happening to be at the right place at the right time. The alpenglow had already started to unfold when I arrived at the scene. Since it is such a short-lived phenomenon, I was convinced that there would never be enough time to pull off the road, get out my camera, and take a few shots. Obviously, it worked out, but just barely. There was only about a 2-minute window of opportunity before the alpenglow disappeared.

And regarding the elevation gain for the Doubleheads loop hike . . . yes, it is indeed steep. But, it’s a short hike, and so you just keep reminding yourself as you make the climb that the steepness will be short-lived. :-) And, as you say, the views are worth it.


Ellen Snyder said...

Hi John,

Our hiking has been limited of late, so I very much enjoy seeing your postings, especially of places we have been before. The Doubleheads are an expected pleasant hike. It looks like you had a nice bit of snow too, which has been sorely lacking here this winter (by next week I think ours will all disappear). And the alpenglow is stunning. You have a knack for being in the right place!


1HappyHiker said...

Thank you for your comments and kind words, Ellen!

My hike to The Doubleheads was done during the first week of January when we had more snow on the ground than we do now. But even then, the ground cover was pretty skimpy for January in northern NH. It will be interesting to see how our weather situation unfolds in February and March!