The Caps Ridge Trail is a quick drive from my home in Bethlehem, NH, thus making it handy for repeat visits. I love the full-body workout this trail provides with its scrambles over steep outcroppings of rocks and ledges that are known as the "Caps".
Sometimes when time is limited, I'll just climb over all the Caps and then simply make the Cornice Trail junction as my final destination, rather than continuing onward to Mt. Jefferson. And, such was the case when I did this abbreviated trek on an overcast day in mid-August 2016.
|Map showing route for my trek in mid-August 2016 using the Cornice Trail junction as a turnaround point. This abbreviated version is about 4.2 miles (round-trip).|
|Typical segment of trail during first mile of hike|
The view from "Pothole Rock" at 1-mile into the hike.
(Depressions were formed by erosive action of circular currents of glacial meltwater mixed with small pebbles.)
Looking upward from "Pothole Rock"
(Caps Ridge Trail goes up and over the rocky outcroppings along ridgeline at TOP CENTER of photo.)
|A typical segment of trail that runs for only a short distance AFTER leaving "Pothole Rock" and BEFORE starting the climb up the Caps.|
Shortly after leaving "Pothole Rock" you begin a series of vertical scrambles such as shown here.(There are plenty of hand and footholds, but these scrambles are treacherous during wet and/or icy conditions.)
|View from the first Cap looking southward along southern Presidential Range|
|A trailside view looking upward toward a higher Cap from one of the lower Caps|
|Rather than the 'peek-a-boo' view shown in the preceding photo, this snapshot shows the Castellated Ridge as it's normally viewed from the Caps Ridge Trail.|
|My turnaround point for this particular trek along the Caps Ridge Trail|
|On my descent back down the Caps ridge, the sky began to brighten considerably . . . of course! :-)|
*** FOOTNOTE: ***
My abbreviated trek in mid-August was also done to reassure myself that the Caps would be doable for an upcoming visit by a family member with boys ages 10 and 13. I was reassured about recommending this route, and about a week later, I led them on an enjoyable hike over the Caps and onward to the top of Mt. Jefferson.