Moriah or Bust!

September 3, 2015
Moriah or Bust
The Carter Range from the ledges of Moriah

August came and went here in Pinkham Notch with you all scurrying up here to get one more hiking trip in, before the fall schedules begin and our college staff scurrying off to get back to school!The upshot is you haven’t heard from us in a month. However my own kids are back to school this week so I myself managed to squeeze one more hike in with my oldest before his classes began.

2 Moriah or Bust
The Beginning of the Stony Brook Trail

This past Monday we ascended Mt. Moriah via the Stony Brook Trail and descended via the Carter Moriah Trail.  I had hiked both trails before but it must have been in the rain because I have no memory of what we found! We got going at 7am and within our first hour we ran into Ben from the Reservations Department doing a traverse of the Carter/Wildcat Range and an unknown member of the AMC Maine Chapter Club.

It must have been AMC Day on the Stony Brook Trail! Awesome trail! It begins in a maize of moss covered rock streams and little flumes and continues up an old road of some sort, making good time easy for the first 2 miles.

Boulder on top of the Ridge

You have the last reliable water at a river crossing at around 2 miles and then it gets going uphill seriously. The good old White Mountain, rocks show up and you have to balance on top of them or scale up them for the mile plus up to the ridge line.

4 Moriah or Bust
Moriah’s Southern Cliffs

The ridge itself is absolutely glorious! Wow!!! Covered with ledges, boulders and evergreens, you dip in and out of amazing amazing views! There is also a series of cliffs looking out towards Evans Notch. My son did a fair amount of salivating as he dreamed of rock climbing and he at least accomplished a few boulder scrambles along the way.

We had a windy day with quite the cloud cover. We couldn’t see the Presidential range due to the Moriah’s Southern Cliffs clouds and it sure looked like it was raining on the Carters, but it didn’t rain on us!

Caleb playing

The last climb to the summit up the Carter Moriah Trail is a pretty crazy little chimney climb up 50 feet of ledge or so. You then take a short side trail up to the summit boulder and some more nice views. We finished our hike climbing down the Carter Moriah Trail which is a popular approach to the mountain but is not my favorite. It’s just a very long steep climb (and in this case descent) with plenty of ledges and scrambles to keep you on your toes.

Gorham from Mt. Surprise

The 4.5 mile trail is nicely broken up by Mt. Surprise which if you are not careful you will miss. It’s just not much of a mountain. But it IS an amazing view of the town of Gorham and a very nice place to take one last break on a long hike. Despite recent rain, the trail was dry and the river actually looked low to me.

If you’d like to try this hike, you can find the trails in the AMC White Mountain Guide and the AMC Map #5 for the Carter Range and Evans Notch.

Mt. Moriah is a 4000 footer and well worth the trip!

We are available by phone at (603)466-2721 every day from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM or by email at  Consider a hike to Mt. Moriah with a stay at the Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch.

To make reservations
Please call AMC Lodges and Huts, at (603)466-2727 available Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm.

Happy Adventuring!
AMC Backcountry Information Specialist

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