Saturday, September 24, 2016

SOUTH MOAT: 9/22/16

A sunny afternoon hike to one of the best of the "52 With a View" peaks. Though it's only 2,770 ft. high, the climb to South Moat packs a punch with 2,200 ft. of elevation gain in 2 1/2 miles. I also grabbed 8 geocaches along the way (part of a series of 30 caches along the length of Moat Mountain Trail).

At the start the trail follows a reroute into the woods to the left around a sometimes-active logging yard. After 0.1 mile, the logging is left behind.

The next 1.2 miles of the trail follow a smooth sidecut section that was constructed in 2004-2005 by the Saco Ranger District trail crew.

Dry Brook living up to its name.

A great stretch of walking.

The second half of the trail ascends 1,650 ft. in a mile and a quarter, with many ledgy sections.

This large outcrop at the two-mile mark (elevation 2,000 ft.) is a destination in itself, even if you don't continue to the summit.

It has a wide view to the SW, including the Ossipee Range and Mt. Chocorua.

Early colors.

Ledgy inclines.

Looking down the trail.

Views pop out as you ascend the scrubby, ledgy summit cone.

Blueberry foliage.

The miniature trees on this little shoulder at 2,600 ft. somehow reminded me of a long-ago hike on North Traveler in Baxter State Park.

Getting close to the top.

Blueberry color and SW view.

The Sandwich Range seen beyond the Dry Brook valley.

The high peaks of the Sandwich Range.

Peering north to North Moat, the Presidentials, and Wildcats-Carter Dome.

Across the Saco Valley to Kearsarge North.

Jumble o' peaks.

South Moat summit.

Cairn art.

South Moat from the ledgy bump just to the north.

South Moat summit.

Painted sky.

Low sun highlights reds in the valley.

Looking west.


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