Ascent of The Rattlesnakes on 2011-07-25

Climber: Ryan Aschbrenner

Date:Monday, July 25, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:The Rattlesnakes
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:1289 ft / 392 m

Ascent Trip Report

I approached this area from the south on Rte. 113, and pulled into a trailhead parking lot a bit north of Pinehurst Road. I did a trail run out and back over the west and east hilltops, totaling 3.5 miles. This run was a nice little workout, since it was almost all ascent or descent, but never too steep.

The Old Bridle Path up West Rattlesnake is wide, stepped and remarkably well-maintained. This would be an easy hike and it looks accessible to a wide range of abilities. From West Rattlesnake (well, East Rattlesnake too) you get a superb view to the south of Squam Lake, with all its islands and channels. You can also see Red Hill, and some of the Belknap Range.

I continued down through the col along the Ridge Trail and then up East Rattlesnake. This section of trail is narrower and not as developed as the Old Bridle Trail, but it still appears to get maintenance and frequent use.

I took in a similar view from the ledges on East Rattlesnake. I was able to see some of Lake Winnipesaukee from this vantage point. Coincidently, at both the East and West ledges, a single woman was sitting down, taking in the view, with no one else in sight. In each case, she was so mesmerized by the view that she didn't even seem to notice me as I stopped briefly and stood nearby to take it all in.

The East Rattlesnake ledges are a bit below the summit. I followed the trail uphill and after a minute or so of running I reached the viewless highest point.

I retraced my steps back over the West Rattlesnake hilltop (taking a peek at the view again, of course) and back to the car. The Rattlesnakes far exceeded my expectations. This would be a good hike for anyone looking for views with relatively little hiking required.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:339 ft / 103 m
    Route:Ridge Trail
    Trailhead:West Rattlesnake  950 ft / 289 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Overcast

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