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23 September 2016

Loop Hike to Mt. Webster and Mt. Jackson


This is a short and simple report about a short and simple counterclockwise loop-hike done in mid-September 2016 in New Hampshire's White Mountains.  Mt. Webster (3,910 ft) was my first destination, followed by Mt. Jackson (4,052 ft). The total mileage was 6.5 miles, with an elevation gain of 2,876 ft.

My route is depicted on the map presented below.

The route taken for this hike is highlighted in yellow.
The trails used for this hike have been around for over 100 years.  Trails to the summits of Mts. Webster and Jackson were cut in the early 1890s.  And several years later (around 1912), a trail was cut to connect Mt. Webster and Mt. Jackson.


The well-used Webster-Jackson Trail
Looking southward from Mt. Webster where the pointy peak of Mt. Chocorua is seen on distant horizon at center of this vista.
An "in-your-face" view of the Willey Range located directly across from Mt. Webster
From Mt. Webster, I could view my next destination, Mt. Jackson (just right of center).  It looks rather scrawny compared to the higher Presidential Range peaks behind it.
A northward view from summit of Mt. Jackson
Photo shows zoomed view of other peaks in Presidential Range (as seen from summit of Mt. Jackson).  The unmistakable image of Mt. Washington is seen at far right.
There is a bit of steepness on the ascent/descent of Mt. Jackson's summit!
Lots of these colorful little guys were seen all along the route.



Rita Wechter said...

Something that has always struck me about your trails in New Hampshire is how long they've been around. Consider that at the same time in the west the early settlers were busy settling and trying to survive—and plundering the land and its resources, I might add. I don't think there was much interest in hiking and "enjoying" their scenic surroundings!

This trail is a gem and I love the fact that it's been around so long and is still quite beautiful.

I'm curious. In the "in-your-face" photo of the Willey Range there is a "cut" across the hillside. An old logging road?

Great post, John!

1HappyHiker said...

Rita, thank you for asking the question about the "cut" along the base of the Willey Range. I sometimes forget that there are readers of my blog who are unfamiliar with New Hampshire's White Mountains.

Anyway, the "cut" is a railroad corridor that was completed in 1875. It was considered one of the engineering marvels of the time. In order to run a rail line through this portion of the mountains it was necessary to carve a shelf out of the mountainside. All work was done with hand tools and horse drawn carts. And since dynamite wasn't available in the U.S. until about 1885, black powder was used to blast away tons of rock.

The completion of the railroad, through what is known as the Crawford Notch, had a significant impact on both the tourist industry and the logging industry. On a seasonal basis, the rail line is still in use today as a tourist train. Information about this tourist train is available at


Karl said...

Hi John,

A few years back (well, more than a few, but I'm getting depressed thinking about how long ago it actually was), Jill and I did the same lollipop loop, but counterclockwise. I can honestly say it was one of my favorite hikes.

As I mentioned in a Facebook comment a few days ago, I see so many trip reports on Jackson and so few people make the trek over to Webster. I recall the trail being somewhat grown in and less traveled, but still enjoyable. And the views, which captured so nicely, are really spectacular.

Your "in-your-face" view of Willey is great! Steepness of a mountain, if not taken from a side profile angle, is hard to capture. You took one straight on of Willey and captured its steepness perfectly!

Mushrooms are one of my favorite things to take pictures of too. Sometimes, you can get some great, bright, pastel colors...and you found an awesome one!

Great pics and trip report as always, John!


1HappyHiker said...

Thank you for all your generous comments, Karl.

The loop over Webster and Jackson is a hike that has much to offer. And for those individuals who are working on the various hiking lists, this loop provides the opportunity to bag a 4K peak (Jackson), as well as an NH-52 WAV peak (Webster).


Ellen Snyder said...

Hi John,

I've only done Webster-Jackson a few times, but always one of my favorites. Last time I was surprised at how much damage the hurricanes had done to the trails, esp segment down from summit of Mt. jackson. But also impressed with work by trail crews to repair the damage so hikers could still enjoy. Nice to see the mushroom in your photo -- indicates some actual moisture in the ground!


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Ellen,

Thank you for reading my blog and posting your comments.

The Webster-Jackson loop is also one of my favorites. It provides beautiful scenery, and as an added bonus for me, the trailhead is less than a half-hour drive from my home.

And yes, we all owe a ton of gratitude for the impressive work done by trail crews to repair storm damage to this, and so many other trails in the Whites.