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Bethlehem, New Hampshire, United States
E-mail contact: randonneur8@yahoo.com | Facebook: facebook.com/1HappyHikerNH

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24 June 2018

Boott Spur/Tuckerman Ravine Loop Hike


INTRODUCTION:

In mid-June 2018, I did a loop hike that provided views into New Hampshire’s famed Tuckerman Ravine.

Tuckerman Ravine is a glacial cirque on the southeast face of Mt. Washington.   It’s enjoyed by hikers throughout the year.  However, perhaps it is best known for the many "spring skiers" who ascend it on foot and then ski down the steep slope from early April until sometimes as late as July.  During that time period, the temperatures are relatively mild and there is usually a natural snowpack that is sufficient for skiing.  Skiing is not limited to this time frame, but from late December to early March there is an avalanche danger.  Special training and experience is needed to assess and navigate the ravine safely during the heart of winter.

My 5.7 mile loop hike was done in a clockwise direction. It involved a 2,787 ft. elevation gain using these trails: Tuckerman Ravine Trail; Boott Spur Trail; Boott Spur Link.  The actual hiking time was close to the ‘book time’ of about 4.5 hours.  However, plan on more time than that since you’ll want to make several stops to enjoy the many views along this route.

Map showing the route of travel for this loop hike

PHOTOS:

Once above tree line and into the Alpine Zone, there are views in all directions.  However, the ‘main attraction’ for this hike is the up close and personal view into Tuckerman Ravine from an outlook called Harvard Rock in the guidebooks.  But be advised that the signage directing you to this viewpoint reads “Ravine Outlook”
This first photo taken from “Ravine Outlook” shows a wide vista that includes Tuckerman Ravine and surrounding peaks. Yup!  There’s still some snow there in mid-June! :-)
This is a slightly-zoomed photo of Tuckerman Ravine that was taken from the “Ravine Outlook” viewpoint.
This is a highly zoomed photo of the floor of Tuckerman Ravine that was taken from “Ravine Outlook”.
After leaving the “Ravine Outlook” viewpoint, it was onward and upward to meet up with the Boott Spur Link trail.  Along the way, you pass by Split Rock.  In case you didn’t recognize it as being a split rock, there’s a sign to tell you that it is. :-)
The junction of Boott Spur Trail and Boott Spur Link
There are many views from the upper portion of Boot Spur Link, such as the one shown here that features Tuckerman Ravine, and peaks such as Mt. Washington, Lion Head, etc. (And yes, as you can probably surmise from this photo, the Boot Spur Link descends quite steeply!)
Looking down at the Hermit Lakes Shelter complex from the Boott Spur Link

In addition to the views into Tuckerman Ravine, this loop hike provides many other views, such as this vista looking southward down the Pinkham Notch.
On the return leg of my hike, I made a very quick ‘point and shoot’ visit to Crystal Cascade.  It was a nice finish to a day that was filled with many picturesque sights.
During the relatively short segment of my hike that was in the Alpine Zone, the only alpine flora that I saw and photographed were Diapensia and Mountain Cranberry.

TO SUM IT UP:

Climbing to the tops of mountains can be exhilarating and provide wonderful views.  However, there are alternative hikes, such as this one, where you can get great views without summiting a mountaintop.

4 comments:

  1. Great views of Tuckermans Ravine! I'm surprised to see that much snow left. Regarding your comment on my blog about the 4k peaks, which ones in Maine do you have left?

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    Replies
    1. Evan, thanks for reading and posting your comments to my blog. Yes, it was a bit surprising to see snow still lingering in Tuckerman Ravine. However, from what I understand, snow can sometimes hang around into July.

      Regarding your question about Maine’s 4K peaks, I’ve posted a response on your blog.

      John

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  2. Very nice hike. You're right that the views along this hike are wonderful, even without summiting any peaks. Still an impressive elevation gain though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rita, many thanks as always for reading my blog and posting your comments.

      John

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