Mt. Moosilauke: Car Camping and Summit Yoga
Yesterday morning made for a beautiful hike up the Moose! No, we didn't see any actual moose, but it was still a great day! I hiked with the family I nanny for during the week, so we had a pretty big group with lots of kids. It was a really fun adventure and I think everyone had a great time. It was the first 4,000 footer for two of the kids so that was really exciting as well. A perfect day to hike Moosilauke for #21 of my quest for the NH 48!
Last night we stayed at Waterest Campground for a fun night of car camping. I haven't camped like this since I was probably ten years old so it brought back happy memories from my childhood. My sister and I used to go every year with my dad and uncle, but for some reason we stopped when I was about the age that the older kids are now. They are 12, 11, 11, and 8 months old and I was a little worried about how it would go camping with such a young baby. Everything ended up turning out great! We went streaming and made lots of yummy food including BBQ chicken, s'mores, and Jiffy Pop.
The morning started off with pancakes and sausage for breakfast. What a luxury! I swear this trip probably had the best camping food I've ever experienced. We took our time breaking camp and arrived at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge around 10:00. It was a really beautiful building, but we were in and out quickly, hitting the trail at 10:15.
We started with an ascent via the Gorge Brook trail. It was a pretty tame route with no really steep areas or scrambling. The trail was wet and muddy from yesterday's rain, but there were no difficult stream crossings. This was Emma's (12) and Owen's (8 months) first 4,000 footer, so we were all really excited about that. Emma had hiked Cannon before but they took the tram down so it didn't really count. We took lots of short breaks on the way up and had some snacks at the halfway point. By the time we reached the summit at 12:58 we were all pretty hungry and ready for a longer rest.
Lunch was sandwiches at the summit where there were many other people. We saw a good amount of hikers on our way up, but the summit was packed with families on this beautiful day. The weather was really nice at the summit, about 70 degrees and sunny but still pretty humid. It was very humid at the trailhead and much warmer, but above treeline the breeze cooled us all off. When we first arrived it was cloudy but in the time we ate the clouds lifted to reveal a really nice view. Owen had a great time playing free from his backpack carrier and didn't succeed in any of his attempts to eat rocks, so I would call that a win for us! Abby (11), Emma, and I did some acroyoga at the summit which was fun. We've been practicing for a while, so it was nice to get some good pictures showcasing our poses in front of the view.
After a nice break and some much needed sustenance, we descended via Glenncliff Trail, Carriage Road, and Snapper Trail. This path had a little bit more above treeline and was pretty rocky. The rocks weren't big and easy to step on though, they were the small ankle-breaking ones that tested your attention and concentration with every step. At this point Owen was in need of a nap, so we all hiked quietly until he settled in. Once we were below treeline the path became muddy and wet. Our ankles were sore and we were pretty tired, so playing some games helped pass the time. Jack (11) and I played the "guess where I'm going by asking me what items I'm bringing" game for a while, but it's hard when everywhere we could think of required hiking boots, rain gear, and a knife. I'm pretty sure we were playing it all wrong, but it took our mind off of hiking and made the time pass more quickly! We got back to the lodge around 3:50 and stopped for a little while before making the trek back to the car. It felt so much longer than it had a few hours before!
Overall the hike was really nice. It was a great summit for such a short hike at a surprising 4,802 ft. It certainly didn't feel higher than the Bonds, Liberty, or Flume, but we started at the lodge at 2,500 ft so I guess it makes sense how we gained the elevation in such short mileage. I was really impressed at how all of the kids handled the hike. There was a minimal amount of complaining, and they went at a really good pace especially on the way down. Jack and Abby have a lot of hiking experience and it showed in their perseverance throughout the hike. Emma also did really well and probably complained the least out of the three of them. Owen was hardly fussy at all and I was really surprised how well he did in his pack. It was a beautiful day of hiking and I think we all had a great time!
Mt. Moosilauke [4802 ft, 6.9 mi, 5:35] via. Gorge Brook Tr, Glencliff Tr, Carriage Rd, and Snapper Tr.
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