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10 September 2018

Gem Pool’s Next Door Neighbor


This short blog posting is merely to document my trek to a spot that provided a view of several unnamed cascades along a gully that is located near the middle of the Ammonoosuc Ravine on the west side of Mt. Washington.  This place was visited merely on a hunch that it might be a worthwhile adventure.  No reports had been read of others having ventured to this location.  However, it is difficult to imagine that I am the first visitor, especially since this viewpoint was reached by doing a short bushwhack (about a tenth of a mile) northward from Gem Pool on the heavily-traveled Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.  Actually, the spot I visited and Gem Pool could be considered as next door neighbors since they are in such close proximity to each other. :-)
Google Earth image showing location of the viewpoint in relation to Gem Pool and Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
This trek took place in Sargent’s Purchase, NH in early September 2018.  It was launched from the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail trailhead which is located off the south side of Base Road.  The round-trip mileage was about 4.4 miles, of which 4.2 miles involved hiking the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail to/from Gem Pool.  And, the remaining distance involved a round-trip bushwhack of about 0.2 mile.  The bushwhack was launched from the north side of the brook that drains Gem Pool.

As mentioned above, no name has ever been assigned to the cascades in the middle gully of Ammonoosuc Ravine.  For my personal records, I’ve used an unofficial name of “Middle Gully Cascades”.  Perhaps someday an official name will be assigned to these attractive cascades.


The above photo was taken from the bottom of a series of cascades located within a gully near the center of the Ammonoosuc Ravine.  If you look closely near the center of the photo (just above the featured cascade), you can see two more cascades higher up on the wall of the ravine.

This composite photo shows zoomed views of two cascades located high up on the wall of the Ammonoosuc Ravine (LEFT panel is slightly zoomed; RIGHT panel is highly zoomed).  These two cascades were not visited on this particular day.  They will need to be the focus of a separate adventure. :-)
Shown above is yet another photo of the lower cascade.  It was shot from a perspective that is different from the first photo shown in this posting.
The above snapshot shows the view directly behind the cascade that was shown in the previous photo.  In the distance are peaks in the Twin Range, plus a piece of Mt. Lafayette.
And just as a refresher course :-), here is a snapshot of Gem Pool.  It was taken just before launching my short tenth of a mile bushwhack to a gully near the middle of the Ammonoosuc Ravine.

Because of my fondness for off-trail explorations, it somehow seems appropriate to sum up this posting with one of my favorite quotes from J.R.R. Tolkien (author of ‘Lord of the Rings’) which states “Not all those who wander are lost.” :-)


EvanHikes said...

Nice write up and photos as usual! I always wondered what was on that brook, because it always looked very scenic. I also never knew it was called "Gem Pool." It's always nice to read your shorter blogs!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Evan,

Thanks for your comments and your kind words.

Although my posting refers to the outflow from Gem Pool as a brook, I think it is actually the Ammonoosuc River at that point. However, at Gem Pool, it is definitely more brook-like in appearance. Further downstream, it becomes much more “river-like” in appearance after accumulating more water from a myriad of tributaries that flow into it.

All the best,

One Day in America said...

The pools, including Gem Pool, at the bottoms of the cascades look refreshing enough to be swimming holes. How deep are they? Tim would be wondering if they hold trout!
I love all the tumbling brooks, cascades and waterfalls in your part of the world! Thanks for posting.

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita . . . I don’t know how deep the pools are that I witnessed on this trek, but I would suspect they would only be no more than waist-deep.
And yes, New England is blessed with an abundance of beautiful tumbling brooks, cascades and waterfalls. Each region of the country has its own “brand” of beauty. I greatly admire the “brand” of beauty that abounds in your Far West region of the U.S.


john griesemer said...

Coming upon this nearly a year later. Don't know if you'll find this comment. Been enjoying your blog as an inspiration for hikes.

Do you know the curious slide one gully farther north than the one you discuss in this post? The slide is large, the shape of a spear tip and has a vivid stripe of vegetation down the middle. You can see it from around the Bretton Woods area. Here are the coordinates: 44.2704, -71.3217

Any knowledge or tips about getting to it?

1HappyHiker said...

TO:John Griesmer:
John, I have seen the slide that you described from various locations that I’ve visited in the area. However, I’ve never actually bushwhacked to it.

Don’t know of how much help the following might be, but am thinking that it MIGHT be helpful to you if I shared some of my waypoint info from my trek to “Gem Pool’s Next Door Neighbor”. So here goes:

44.2676, -71.3268 Point where I left the Ammo Ravine Trail
44.2678, -71.3267 Crossed a small brook not shown on topo maps
44.2679, -71.3268 Once on the other side of the brook mentioned above, I found a pathway leading NNE which took me to the mouth of my targeted gully.

Upon arrival at the mouth of my targeted gully, I could see the entrance to the gully that is of interest to you.

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