I conquered not only three more of the 48 4,000 footers, but also the last three of the Presidentials on my list. These three were Eisenhower, Pierce, and Jackson.
The first Southern Prezzie (short for Presidential for those who are puzzled by the White Mountain slang) that I summit-ed was Eisenhower. I parked at the Crawford Path trailhead just a stone throw down the road from Highland Center. I took the Crawford Path straight to the top of Eisenhower. Lafayette is my favorite 4,000 footer because it is the first one I ever hiked, so I’m a bit partial, however after the other day I am confident in saying Eisenhower is now a close second. Being at the center of it’s dome-shaped top on a clear day gives most hikers a feeling of solitude; that they are on the very top of the world as they look below onto amazing waves of land created by magma intrusions 124 to 100 million years ago as the North American Plate moved westward over the New England hotspot. One may find it hard not to sing…”I’m on the, top of the world looking, down on creation…”. It’s cliche, yes, but the feelings are real.
At 4,760 feet, the jaunt to Mount Pierce at 4,312 was nice. The view from the top was equally as rewarding. I stopped for a snack but was quickly on my way to Jackson. If you look just to the right of Eisenhower’s dome, you can see a perfectly clear view of Washington’s summit.
Instead of going straight to Jackson, a pit stop was made at the Mizpah Spring Hut where I refilled my Camelbak. The Mizpah Hut was renovated in 2002; the wood still smells new. I have not personally stayed at the Mizpah Hut, but I have heard nothing but good things from anybody I’ve talked to about it. Next was the trek to Jackson. I have hiked quite a bit in the White Mountains, but this was my first time hiking the Webster Cliff Trail from Pierce to Jackson, and man, was it beautiful! There are long stretches of bog that can only be crossed via wood-planked bridges. You can thank our lovely Trail Crew for building those! Without them, these trails would not be as accessible! I was surprised by how wooded the path was. The treetops created an alpine-like dome over my head and the smell of balsam did not once leave the air. From the summit of Jackson was a clear view of the summit of Pierce, Eisenhower, and still Washington!
This was surely a hike to remember. You can find this hike in the White Mountain Guide Book and on AMC Map #1 The Presidentials which you can purchase from www.outdoors.org. May you have as amazing weather as I did!
As always, you can check AMC conditions for the latest report and/or call us here at Pinkham to see what we’re seeing out our windows and for the best trail advice we can give you!
We are available by phone at (603)466-2721 every day from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Please call AMC Lodges and Huts, at (603)466-2727 available Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm.
Backcountry Information Specialist
Pinkham Notch Visitor Center