Saturday, October 10, 2015


It was a glorious October day - sunny and crystal-clear with a high around 60 - ideal for bushwhacking to some ledges with sweeping views of the surrounding peaks and valleys in the Pemigewasset Wilderness, with a bit of evening time along the East Branch.

The morning was quiet on the Lincoln Woods Trail, a wonderful place to walk in the fall.


 Forest Service camping regulations along the lower part of the Bondcliff Trail (formerly the Wilderness Trail).

Foliage-tinted corridor on the Bondcliff Trail.

A forest scene while bushwhacking up a ridge to the ledges.

Lots of rocky terrain in this area.

A towering rock monolith rises in the woods.

I was able to scramble up the back side of this giant chunk of stone.

 It is split down the middle.

The top of the rock, among the treetops.

This darkly-wooded area of the ridge was strewn with rocks of all sizes, making for treacherous footing. Kind of spooky.

I worked my way out of the rocky area and made a steep climb to the ridge and the ledges, where stunning foliage views awaited. This vista looks into the lower Lincoln Brook valley, with Owl's Head on the right (Little Haystack in back) and Mounts Liberty and Flume on the left.

Whaleback, Flume and Liberty.

 Mounts Flume and Liberty and their long northeastern ridges.

The broad East Branch valley sprawls out towards Scar Ridge.

The many summits of Scar Ridge.

The Hancocks and Hitchcocks beyond the middle of the East Branch valley. Between them is the remote Cedar Brook valley.

Mt. Anderson, Vose Spur, peak "4266," and the tip of Mt. Carrigain peering over a north spur of Hancock.

Locals have called these ledges "Tombstone." They've also been dubbed "Henry's Ledge," for they overlook much of the territory cut over by the notorious lumber baron J.E. Henry.

  Ledge and foliage.


A side view of the ship-prow crag.

A different perspective from another ledge.

 A serious crack.

Peering around the corner at the summit ridge of Owl's Head.

I bushwhacked north along the thickly-wooded ridge to an east-facing ledge with a peek up at Bondcliff, its sharp southern spur, and a long trailing ridge.

Bondcliff summit and spur.

The Hancocks seen across the valley of One Mile Brook.

An impressive perch!

Peering into the Cedar Brook valley.

A small ridgetop pond.

I descended into the valley of One Mile Brook, where at times I was wading through extensive patches of hobblebush.

One Mile Brook, a small tributary of the East Branch, so named because it crosses the trail one mile east of the Franconia Brook bridge.

Fall color on the forest floor.

Evening sun on the East Branch.

Watching the river flow...


Streamside color.

A long view downstream.

 A parting shot of the wide riverbed, with the Hancock peaks in the distance.


  1. Wow! Just wow! Steve your last 3 reports have me salivating. The previous 2 and the slides have been talked about with others. But this one really looks awesome. The view looks great but that awesome foliage didn't hurt either.

    But, I'm trying to figure out exactly where you were. I'm fairly confident by your description the location of those ledges but they don't look that open on G.E. Which can sometimes be the case or the opposite.

    Anyway, great stuff. I'll definitely have to check out those ledges. Not this year though. :(

    Thanks for sharing,

    1. Thanks, Joe - glad you enjoyed these. It's been fun getting back out into the western Pemi, where I used to explore a lot in the 90s. Hope your healing is coming along well. You'll have to check out Henry's next year!


  2. Stunning photographs. I don't get to see much of the fall here in California. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Leslie - it's been a great season for foliage!