Ascent of Bald Mountain on 2019-09-16

Climber: Map Man

Date:Monday, September 16, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bald Mountain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:2204 ft / 671 m

Ascent Trip Report

After hiking Mt. Prospect in Holderness earlier in the day, we moved onto another short hike nearby, Campton's Bald Mountain, which, like most "Bald Mountains", isn't really bald. Like Prospect, Bald has an unofficial trail which loops over its summit. To get to the trailhead, get off I-93 at exit 28 and follow Rt. 49 to its west end at Rt. 3. Turn left (south) and immediately bear right onto Dan Web Road to Ellsworth Hill Road. Soon turn right onto Ellsworth Hill Road and drive 1.5 miles (passing a scenic overlook) and turn left onto Mason Road. Continue 1.1 miles over dirt, then pavement, then dirt again, to a T-junction. Turn right onto the rougher, hilly Cook Road and drive 0.9 miles to the end of the road. Near the end, the road turns sharply left and ends at a gate that is marked private property. Fear not, the property is only restricted for hunting. The property is actually a Forest Society conservation easement. Continue past the gate on foot and arrive at a logging landing. This is where the loop splits, although there is nothing indicating that it is a hiking trail. We followed the loop clockwise, which seems to be the better way to do it. Bear left and head to the back of the clearing (not the road continuing straight; that is where you will return from the loop). Turn left and walk uphill, following the edge of the clearing. As you enter the woods, you will find the trail. It is an obvious and wide path that is easy to follow for the rest of the way. The trail heads uphill at moderate grades through open forest for 0.3 miles, then swings right and climbs gently near the top of a ridge for another 0.3 before cutting through some spruce forest that is surprisingly dense for 2000 feet. It then drops into a small col, making an unnecessarily long switchback before starting the final climb to the summit. It heads directly uphill for 0.2 miles, climbing up through some beautiful ferny ledges. The summit is at the top of a long, sloping ledge where trees have been cleared to open up a viewpoint. The view is decent here, but nothing compared to the spectacular view you will have much further down on the descent. It's still nice at this spot though, and there are views of Tenney Mountain and the Baker River Valley. We stopped here for a lunch break, not realizing that much better scenery awaited further down the trail. The trail past the summit heads down the ridge for 0.4 miles, then crosses a large logged clearcut. On our visit, several pieces of surveyor's tape were placed to guide you across to the trail on the other side. Continue descending for 0.1 miles to an area with four large stone foundations. Look for a herd path on the left and follow it out to a huge logged clearing where you will find the best view of the entire loop. This clearing has one of the best southern profiles of the White Mountains ever! The panorama stretches from Franconia Notch to the Sandwich Range. We brought binoculars and they were awesome to help view all the different summits. We were really happy with our discovery; it would have been easy to walk right by without noticing. Past this, it's an easy half-mile walk back to the trailhead. Continue on the path, which is now an old road and follow it down to the logging road you started on. Bear right, cross a clearing, and you are back at the start.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:744 ft / 225 m
    Total Elevation Loss:744 ft / 226 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:574 ft / 174 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 534 ft / 162 m; Extra: 40 ft / 12m
    Loss on way in:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Route:unnamed trails
    Start Trailhead:Cook Hill Road  1670 ft / 509 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:704 ft / 214 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 534 ft / 162 m; Extra: 170 ft / 51m
    Gain on way out:170 ft / 51 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:unnamed trails
    End Trailhead:Cook Hill Road  1670 ft / 509 m
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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