Sunday, October 1, 2017


I returned to an old favorite on a spectacular sunny, crisp, breezy fall day. This 52WAV peak may be the best spot from which to stare into the heart of the Sandwich Range Wilderness.

The trail to Potash starts a short way in on the Downes Brook Trail. The hike is 4.4 miles round trip with 1450 ft. of elevation gain.

The crossing of Downes Brook was pretty easy with the current low water levels.

Fine hemlock forest about a mile up the trail.

The first viewpoint is a ledge on the mountain's NE shoulder, looking at Mts. Passaconaway and Whiteface.

Wild spruce forest cloaks the upper slopes.

This little mountain packs a bit of a punch, including this rough and rocky sidehill section along the SE side of the summit cone.

The ledgy summit area is host to some fragile subalpine vegetation.

Just before the final climb to the summit, the trail passes this expansive ledge area with views east and south. The eastern view includes Mt. Chocorua, Hedgehog Mountain and Mt. Paugus.

Passaconaway and Whiteface loom impressively to the south.

Here the trail turns north for the final steep ledgy climb to the broad summit.

The shining lower slabs of the Downes Brook Slide are well-displayed near the base of Passaconaway.

At the 2700-ft. summit there are good views NW to Mts. Kancamagus, Huntington, Hancock and Carrigain.

Mt. Carrigain, Green's Cliff and the Nancy Range.

Church Pond below Mt. Tremont, with the socked-in Presidentials on the horizon.

The Osceolas to the west, beyond the northern spur of the Fool Killer.

On the SW side there are superb views of the Sleepers and Tripyramids rising from the Sabbaday Brook valley.

Peering into the bowl between the Sleepers, scarred by the 2011 slide on West Sleeper.

 The granite ledges of Potash.

The sweetest spot on the mountain.

I followed an old route of the trail a short distance to what was once called the "Balanced Boulder" and could be rocked by the hand. Not any more, but still neat to look at.

A unique view across the broad part of the Downes Brook valley, with Mt. Paugus seen through the Hedgehog-Passaconaway col.

Before heading down I carefully bushwhacked to a SW ledge with a particularly fine view of Passaconaway and Whiteface.

Late afternoon view from the ledge on the NE shoulder.

Potash Mountain and Mt. Passaconaway from the Sugar Hill Overlook on the Kanc Highway.


  1. Beautiful pictures, Steve, it looks like you had a perfect day. I really like Mt Potash too. Haven't done Hedgehog yet, but I want to check that one out too.

    1. Hedgehog has long been one of my favorites, the more so since I adopted the west half of the UNH Trail.

  2. My husband and I climbed Potash Sept 29. Beautiful day with 100 mile visibility. This little mountain is a gem and we often visit it. Many times we have the entire mountain to ourselves. Our humble lunch at the top is always magically transformed into a banquet by the surroundings.

    1. Beautifully stated, Charlotte! It is indeed a gem.