After picking up some guidebooks in Waterville Valley, I had the afternoon free and made a four-mile loop over Snows Mountain, starting at the south end. The trail proper begins at this classic WVAIA sign at the upper end of a driveway, after a 0.3 mile climb up Snows Mountain Road. Thanks to the homeowner who allows access here.
Most of the moderately graded climb (1250 ft. total elevation gain) is through hardwood forest. Stabilicers (remember them?) worked well on the shallow packed snow on this ice-free trail.
For nearly a half-mile the trail follows a fine old logging road cut into the slope.
Near the top of the ridge a sign points to a SW-facing viewpoint.
Nice spot to take a break, though it was a mite chilly today.
Mt. Tecumseh rises beyond the town center of Waterville Valley.
A long view down the Mad River valley.
This twisted tree is a landmark by the loop junction at the top of the ridge (2780 ft.). Here a spur leads 0.1 mile east to a mostly overgrown view ledge looking towards Sandwich Dome. The 3060-ft. summit of Snows is another mile east along the ridge, off-trail.
A short bushwhack on the north side of the ridge led to a nice framed view of South Tripyramid.
Adding Middle Tripyramid to the view.
There are many cool old trees on the upper ridge of Snows.
Nice glade behind the spur viewpoint, just inside the Sandwich Range Wilderness.
This wide-spreading yellow birch lords it over a col a short way down the north loop of the trail.
Twilight view of Osceola from the top of the old Snows Mountain Ski Area, where the Elephant Rock Trail diverges into the woods.