Wednesday, March 6, 2013


As the lowest (tied with Isolation) and among the "easiest"of the 4000-footers, Mt. Tecumseh is not often perceived as a great destination. This is nevertheless an interesting peak with some very fine views if you do a little poking around. I had read that the main summit view had been greatly improved recently due to the removal of one or more obstructing trees by unknown parties. This Tuesday morning was brighter than predicted, and though the higher peaks to the north were socked in, Tecumseh was free from the clouds. Seemed like a good day to go up and check out this newly expanded view.

This new sign has been posted at the trailhead by the Waterville valley resort. It seemed odd that it does not mention the fact that both the hiking trail and the ski trails are on National Forest land, not property owned by the resort.

A well-packed highway through the fine hardwood forest on the lower part of the trail.

At 1.2 miles a short side path leads to a nice vista from the edge of a ski trail. I had a brief chat with a skier who had started climbing his 4000-footers this past summer.

A zoom on the rocky nubble of The Scaur, one of our favorite short-hike destinations, with Flume Peak rising behind.

Above the outlook is a long, straight grind of a climb - no one's favorite section of trail. In the next half-mile hikers must be on the lookout for snowboarders and skiers who jump out of bounds from the ski area to take a run down this section of the hiking trail.

Partway up the climb I ran into old hiking friend Sue "Stinkyfeet" Johnston and her husband Chris, who were on their way down. Sue is closing in on her impressive goal of climbing all 72 Trailwrights 4000-footers this winter, which includes some challenging bushwhacks. We had a nice chat reminiscing about some hikes we'd done with friends back in the 90s.

After the long climb, the trail levels on the 3840-ft. ridgecrest. Great snowshoeing conditions up here.

The split where you can go left on the Sosman Trail or right on the Mt. Tecumseh Trail to reach the summit. I chose Sosman for the way up.

I stopped for a while to enjoy the unique framed vistas to the west and SW along the Sosman Trail. Mt. Moosilauke is seen on the right in this view.

A zoom on some of the many talus slopes on the steep flank of West Tecumseh.

A look down at the lower Bald Mountain ridge and Haselton Brook valley, one of our favorite areas for off-trail exploration. Carr Mountain is on the horizon.

A new sign at the summit helps guide hikers in choosing the correct trail for the descent.

At the summit, time to check out the expanded views.

Wide-open view to the east now.

Zooming in on snow-caked Giant Stairs and Mt. Resolution.

Dropping down a few feet, I found a great view of the Osceolas close by to the north.

A fine look at the Sandwich Range: Tripyramids, Passacaonaway, the Sleepers and Whiteface.

I made a foray 0.1 mile down the Mt. Tecumseh Trail towards Tripoli Road. The snow was deep and unbroken in here, looking like no one had been through here all winter.

There's a unique framed view to the north from the edge of the trail, looking at the Franconia Range and Owl's Head beyond the wild humps of Scar Ridge.

Looking at SW Twin, slide-scarred West Bond, and Bondcliff.

A closer look at Owl's Head, which is usually overshadowed by Mt. Garfield (socked-in) in this view. Note the ledges on the bump in the foreground. If you're doing a traverse of the Scar Ridge peaks, including the main (west) summits, Middle Scar and East Scar, these ledges are well worth the short detour on a generally viewless ridge.

Back at the main summit outlook - many mountains can be seen.

I made a short bushwhack to an open spot atop a steep slope at the south end of Tecumseh's summit crest. This provides a wide southerly view beyond nearby White Peak and Green Mountain and some of the wild ledgy spur ridges off Green.

Welch and Dickey peer over the col between Green and its SW spur.

Looking towards Sandwich Dome beyond the top of the ski area.

I returned to the summit and enjoyed a swooping descent off the cone on the Mt. Tecumseh Trail.

To complete my Tecumseh tour, I followed the Sosman Trail 0.2 mile south to some additional views, including this unique look back at the sharp summit cone.

Just beyond, I checked out a western outlook, where Moosilauke was buried in cloud...

...and an eastern outlook, similar to the main summit view.

On the way down I made a quick stop at the ski slope viewspot, catching some late evening light on Tripyramid.

Heading down through the hardwoods at the end of a rewarding day on lowly Tecumseh.


  1. Tecumseh never looked so good!

    1. I agree! It definitely is a more appealing destination.

  2. The expanded view at the summit is awesome! I agree wholeheartedly with the comment posted by Paul Ferguson, i.e. "Tecumseh never looked so good!"


    1. Hi John,

      It's certainly a more expansive view than we had a few winters ago on that cold day up there.


  3. Steve

    Is the expanded view due to snow depth or has there been blowdowns? I love your shot of Bald Mt. It's amazing how high the hardwood forest extends towards the summit.


    1. Hi Ray,

      The expanded view is mostly due to the removal of a tree or two (or more?)by someone. The snow depth did help at the lower level where you look left to Osceola, but the upper perch should be wide open in summer, too. I really like that angle on Bald. Great hardwoods down there. Will you head back with your recovered map?


  4. Hey Steve, it was SUPER to run into you on Tecumseh. Could've stood there for hours chatting with you! :) I did finish my TW on Moriah on St. Patty's Day and am now in recovery mode. Lowly Tecumseh turned out to be one of my favorites of the winter!

    All the best,

    1. Hi Sue,

      It was great catching up with you, and getting to meet Chris. Huge congrats on finishing the Trailwrights in a single winter - perhaps that is unprecedented? Loved your report of your solo traverse of the four Osceolas. I still need to do West Osceola (along with SW Twin and Sam Adams).

      Rest up!