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Sandwich Mountain (via Algonquin)

nh

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 12.0 miles


Ascent of Sandwich Mtn via Algonquin is a worthwhile, but strenuous hike. Views on a clear day are astounding. Trail had *much* evidence of moose passage, but none seen. Attention should be paid on descent so as not to mistakenly detour via Black Mtn Pond Trail
  • forest path
  • Algonquin Trail- slight incline
  • Algonquin Trail- steepening incline
  • south vista
  • Algonquin Trail- steepest section
  • View towards Black Mtn Pond
  • northern vista
  • Guinea Pond Trail

Conditions: sunny day, mid 70s, occasional cold wind.
Ascent: From Sandwich Notch Rd trailhead, the Algonquin trail to summit is a steep series of rock stairs, scrambles and even a few treacherous climbs.  Without paying attention and consulting a map, it is easy to blast past Black Mountain (your back is to it and eyes are usually to the ground on the steep trail sections).  When stopping, views are gorgeous and span a wide region to the south, including Squam Lake.
Summit: with no obvious marker or easy indication of the summit it is, again, easy to pass over what seems like yet another rise before you question why you are descending so steeply (overshooting the peak)
Descent: It's worth paying close attention to the sign marking the split for the Black Mountain Pond Trail, as it is easy to choose the wrong way and reward yourself with 3-4mi of extra trail.  BMPT can be steep in sections, with full hands and feet step-downs on sloped and jagged rock.
Return: Once past Black Mtn Pond, the decline is fairly even through forested area, with frequent spots of heavy muck (likely due to an unusual summer of frequent rain).  Guinea Pond Trail back to Sandwich Notch Rd is an open, flat easy road, often through fields.  After the strenuous ascent and descent, the last stretch of dirt on Sandwich Notch Rd seems to fly by, with only a few steep grades.

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