The Other White Mountains
|Tunnel Brook Notch (#63)|
The massive bald dome of Mt. Moosilauke dominates the landscape in the southwestern region of the White Mountains. Moosilauke has a long tradition of hiking and skiing, much of it associated with Dartmouth College (which owns the summit and eastern slopes) and the Dartmouth Outing Club. A variety of interesting trails converge on the summit plateau, an expanse of windswept grassy tundra. There are also attractive valley walks at the base of the mountain.
The views from the top of Moosilauke are justly famous: most of the White Mountain high peaks to the northeast, the Lakes Region to the southeast, and the Connecticut River Valley and Green Mountains to the west. On a clear day, even New York's Adirondacks can be seen. Although the exposure on Moosilauke is less than that encountered on the Presidentials or Franconia Ridge, this is still a big mountain that should be treated with respect. The summit is no place to be in stormy weather. On a nice day, this is one of the best climbs in the Whites. Please stay on the marked trails above treeline to protect the fragile vegetation.
Tunnel Brook Notch
Moderate (4 hrs.)
6 miles (9.7 km) out and back
Elevation gain 900 feet (274 m)
Tunnel Brook Notch, the deep ravine between Moosilauke and its western neighbor, Mt. Clough, is a fascinating area of beaver ponds and landslides. From the south trailhead for Tunnel Brook Trail on North and South Road (FR 19), cross Jeffers Brook and ascend moderately along Slide Brook, passing a reservoir at 1.1 mile and crossing the stream twice. Reach the height-of-land at 2.1 miles and the shore of Mud Pond at 2.2 miles. Here there are views up to the slide-scarred west side of Moosilauke and its South Peak. Continue north along the nearly level trail past more beaver ponds. Cross Tunnel Brook between two ponds/meadows at 2.8 miles and explore several more beaver flowages to the north, with views across to the slides on Mt. Clough. Reach the last pond at 3 miles; from here retrace your steps to the trailhead.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication