Ascent of Deer Mountain-North Peak on 2019-07-28

Climber: Map Man

Date:Sunday, July 28, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Deer Mountain-North Peak
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:2994 ft / 912 m

Ascent Trip Report

#96 on the NH Fire Tower list. This one had a surprisingly nicely maintained trail! The White Mountain Guide had some good directions to get to the trailhead, but did not describe the trail at all. The dirt road to the trailhead was not in terrible shape, but it looks like some culverts could collapse in the future. It's only 3/4 mile in from Rt. 3 anyway. The Deer Mtn Fire Tower Trail is an official spur of the Cohos Trail, which is following the dirt road Sophie's Lane. It starts at the beginning of the clearing mentioned in the WMG as a "cul-de-sac" and is clearly marked. It had a sign-in box, but all the pages were full. The first 3/4 mile on the trail follows a brook at gentle grades and passes plenty of small cascades and waterfalls. The brook is crossed at 0.3 miles and again shortly after. The trail and brook turn north at 2550' elevation and climb gently to a pleasant marsh at 0.9 miles. The trail follows along the west side of the marsh, with several nice views over the opening. The trail crosses the brook feeding the marsh, and at just over a mile, the trail climbs with a long switchback around a steep pitch where there is a seasonal waterfall. The trail plateaus after this and leads into some beautiful open glades before climbing again at 1.35. It reaches the ridge top at 1.5 miles and swings north and runs flat around a flat area. There is a 50 foot descent to the col with the main summit of Deer Mountain, reached at 1.8 miles. Shortly after this, the trail runs through the clearing where the fire warden's cabin once stood. There are several piles of interesting artifacts, including bed springs, pots and pans, and metal barrels. After a gentle climb of 100 feet, the summit and its tower are reached at 2.1 miles. The blowdown patch around the tower offers limited views, but the tower must have shown incredible vistas when it was in operation. In its current state, only the steel frame and some rotting wooden landings remain. We decided to get adventurous and climbed up to the first landing using the few remaining metal supports for the steps. There was a much better view through the trees from up there; we could see the Third Connecticut Lake and some of the Boundary Mountains. It appeared that the full view could have been seen from the third landing, but that seemed too risky to climb to, and the wood up there was in really bad shape. Overall, this hike was a pleasant surprise. The trail was nicely built, it had some delightful northern forest scenery, and the tower remains were pretty cool. We completed the whole hike in about 2 hours. Since we had started early, we had plenty of time to drive over to Northwest Crystal for #97 before heading home. That one, unfortunately, was not as nice.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1084 ft / 330 m
    Extra Gain:70 ft / 21 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.2 mi / 6.8 km
    Route:Deer Man Fire Tower Tr
    Trailhead:Sophie's Lane  2050 ft / 624 m
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Map Man
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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