2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Backpacker Magazine – January 2009

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.

by: Steve Johnson

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (Tom Bol)
Rocky 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.

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: Star Star Star Star Star


Jeff Z
Jan 17, 2010

How about Mt. San Antonio,or Old Baldy in SoCal. you can take the metrolink from downtown LA to about a mile from the base of the mountain and it's over 10,000'? it's a real mountaineering experience that gets overlooked everywhere. i can hardly find anything about it on the internet, why has Backpacker forsaken this mountain?

Jan 16, 2010

hey Oregon hiker, I to got the Cali boys back an I didn't click on anything. Backpacker, show some love... every one knows the left coast is the best coast!

Jan 07, 2010

Varlo, there is plenty of steeper terrain that you can't skin up on skis that snowshoes work fine with. In addition, not everyone has the $$ that an AT setup costs and so snowshoes provide a low cost alternative

Jan 07, 2010

Snowshoeing??? Really??? C'mon you guys, snowshowing is for people from Boston anyway. Get yourself some backcountry skis and learn how to use them and you'll likely (hopefully) never have do use snowshoes again!

Mar 14, 2009

I snowshoed Pharaoh Wilderness 7-11 March 09 under springlike conditions, with one day of continuous snowfall. My route took me in from Crane Pond Rd TH via Oxshoe Pond LT overnight, then on to Pharaoh Lake LT4 at Split Rock Bay via the swing trail (not the Pharaoh Mt peak trail). The upper portion of the Swing Trail, before the pass into Pharaoh Lake, was a morass of melting beaver ponds with deep drifts. I was unable to follow the yellow DEC blazes there( the beavers take down the trees with the markers), and had to bushwhack in by GPS in a snowstorm. Although most trails had been packed before, rain and new snow tended to obscure them. I did not meet anyone in the Wilderness in the course of 4 days; at the trail head parking, I talked with two parties experienced with Pharoah. One had spent an unplanned overnight on Pharaoh Mt in a leaf heap in October after the trail became a bushwhack; the second got lost in the same beaver pond area I did and bushwhacked through by GPS. I had a great time.

Oregon hiker
Feb 14, 2009

Hey LLCoolJ, if you want to read about Cali so much, why did you click on the Pacific Northwest link. Try the other link that actually includes the California area. And maybe take a geography class...

Feb 13, 2009

The pharoah lake area is well marked by the DEC. The trails are heavily used. GPS waypoints seem like overkill but each to their own.

Goin back to Cali to Cali to Cal
Feb 13, 2009

And California being a giant state, with many mountain - not on your list? Why not? oh yes... its because you don't have any permanent reporters in southern california.... You're a northeast Boston NY newspaper, and that is why I cancelled my subscription.

Goin back to Cali to Cali to Cal
Feb 13, 2009

And California being a giant state, with many mountain - not on your list? Why not? oh yes... its because you don't have any permanent reporters in southern california.... You're a northeast Boston NY newspaper, and that is why I cancelled my subscription.

Jim Larsen
Feb 12, 2009

SE Wyoming offers some spectacular snow shoeing opportunities on short runs (morning/afternoon or 1 day)

Get lost in Medicine Bow Forest either at Happy Jack or over by the Snowy Range Ski Resort. a bonus keep your eye out for kimberlite as the area is said to have many opportunities for diamonds!

Walt/ narbowalt
Feb 10, 2009

The link is a very general reference indeed. Why isn't there a reference to a hike with GPS waypoints? Winter hikers need backup data, as it is easy to lose a trail under snow conditions. See and search Pharoah for recent trip reports and trail conditions.


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Burger King moving headquarters to Canada
Posted On: Aug 27, 2014
Submitted By: star
Pacific Northwest
Posted On: Aug 27, 2014
Submitted By: NicholasBell
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions