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Weekend Snow Climbs in the Pacific Northwest, Rockies, and Northeast

Pack snowshoes for these nine epic treks to snowy solitude in the Pacific Northwest, Rockies, and Northeast.
0109_tripfindsnowhikes_445x260Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (Tom Bol)

Pacific Northwest | Rockies | Northeast


2 Days
Grafton Notch State Park, ME

Grafton Notch boasts 3,112 acres of the Mahoosuc Range’s sky-high scenery. Get a taste on the eight-mile Baldpate Mountain out-and-back on the Appalachian Trail. Head east to the krummholz-covered West Peak of Baldpate (3,680 feet), with big views of eastern Maine and the White Mountains to the west. It’s only a mile through the berry shrubs to East Peak (3,790 feet). Backtrack to Baldpate lean-to, then the trailhead in the morning.

3 Days
White Mountain National Forest, NH

The Whites aren’t truly in season until winter. For evidence, hike this 23-miler from the Nancy Pond trailhead. Climb along riffling Nancy Brook to tent sites at Norcross Pond. Begin day two with four miles on the steep (and technical if icy) Desolation Trail to 4,680-foot Mt. Carrigain. Descend to Carrigain Brook to camp. Follow Sawyer River Road to Sawyer Pond Trail on day three’s downhill cruise to NH 112.

4 Days
Pharaoh Lake Wilderness, NY

Pharaoh Lake is the largest body of water in the Adirondacks unreachable by road, and this 23-mile snowshoe loop takes you up and over the wilderness’s highest point to get there. Start at Crane Pond Road trailhead and trek southeast toward Crane Pond, where red blazes lead up progressively steeper terrain through spruce-fir forest to the Pharaoh Mountain summit (2,556 feet). Ogle wind-whipped views of the High Peaks to the north. Descend the summit’s southeast flank to end the six-mile day at a lakeside lean-to. Explore the upper bulb of Pharaoh Lake on day two, working steadily northwest to your camp at Crab Pond. Go light after breakfast on an eight-mile round-trip to the upper Crane Pond drainage on day three. Return to camp; then enjoy an easy three-mile hike out on day four.

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