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Ascent of Dixville Peak on 2019-07-27

Climber: Map Man

Date:Saturday, July 27, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Dixville Peak
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:3480 ft / 1060 m

Ascent Trip Report

#93 on the NH Fire Tower list. I was worried about this one because both the Cohos Trail guidebook and White Mountain Guide said that the summit was not open to public access. However, we found an easy route to the summit with no access issues. We started at the western trailhead for the Table Rock Trail (we opted not to take the "Terrifying 25" route this time). Even the easy side was pretty steep, but it was a well-built trail. It is only 0.8 miles to Table Rock from this side, much shorter than the Three Brothers Trail, which we took the first time we went to Table Rock. The spur path out to Table Rock is actually not clearly marked. Basically, when you intersect the Mt. Gloriette Trail, go a little further and then turn left on a path that drops quite steeply over rocks. Table Rock has quite dramatic views; Dixville Notch is probably the most rugged of all New Hampshire's famous mountain passes. The cliffs are the most exciting feature of the view. The rock wasn't as frightening as I remember it. I was able to walk all the way to the end and beyond, where there is a nice seating ledge right below the edge. It's actually only a straight drop on the left side; the right side has a stepped descent. The view straight down from the end is amazing looking down on the castle-like rock formations. After a brief break at Table Rock, we went back up and continued on the Mt. Gloriette Trail (the southbound Cohos Trail). I had heard that this entire trail is a swamp in the spring, but fortunately it was mostly dry this late July. The entire link to the ski area is just an old overgrown woods road. It's flat for a while, then there is a slight descent followed by a moderate climb to the ski trails. It follows one of the former ski trails for the last 0.1 miles to the summit of the insignificant Mt. Gloriette. There were some nice views over the ski trails and the ski lifts looked in good condition. We could also see the wind turbines on Dixville. Two of them were under construction and had the blades removed. We continued following the furthest ski trail to the left until we saw the Cohos Trail turn into the woods. There were some more wet areas along the 60-foot, half-mile descent to the col with Dixville. That's where the Cohos Trail intersects and joins a major ATV trail. We saw groups of ATVs riding on the way up and on the way down. It was quite steep and rocky. When the Cohos Trail turned off into the woods to bypass the summit, we stayed straight and continued on the ATV trail. About 3100' in elevation is where you'll want to turn off it. It swings to the right (south) and starts running flat across the slope. At the turn, look for an overgrown road heading to the left, uphill, with a sign that prohibits snowmobiles and an orange fence across it. We were able to follow it for just over 0.1 miles out to the base of one of the turbines. From this point, it was an easy half-mile road walk up to the summit. There were nice views of the north country, Canada, and Maine from the road. We couldn't see too far out because it was hazy today. There was lots of construction activity all over the summit. There were trucks parked all around, large tents, and turbine blades laid out horizontally. We took a lunch break at the new highpoint around the former summit, where there were more nice views. On the way down, we followed the same route, but found a useful bushwhack shortcut from the Mt. Gloriette Trail to the Table Rock trail to bypass a very long turn to get out to Table Rock.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2240 ft / 682 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2240 ft / 681 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2010 ft / 612 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1610 ft / 491 m; Extra: 400 ft / 121m
    Loss on way in:400 ft / 121 m
    Distance:3.8 mi / 6.1 km
    Route:Table Rock Tr/Mt. Gloriette Tr/access roads
    Start Trailhead:Rt. 26  1870 ft / 569 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1840 ft / 560 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1610 ft / 491 m; Extra: 230 ft / 70m
    Gain on way out:230 ft / 70 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:access roads/Mt. Gloriette Tr/Table Rock Tr
    End Trailhead:Rt. 26  1870 ft / 569 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Dixville Peak

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Table Rock2019-07-27 a 
2Mount Gloriette2019-07-27 b 
3Dixville Peak2019-07-27 c2240 ft / 683 m
Total Trip Gain: 2240 ft / 683 m    Total Trip Loss: 2240 ft / 683 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


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