Ascent of Owls Head on 2014-06-20

Climber: Wayne Snyder

Date:Friday, June 20, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Owls Head
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4025 ft / 1226 m

Ascent Trip Report

Sugar and I pulled into the Lincoln Woods parking lot at 6:00 and were on the trail by 6:20. The first 6 miles of the trail are very easy. We arrived at the Franconia Falls sign at 7:15am. We arrived at the Lincoln Brook Trail at 7:58am. We made good time. You have to cross 5 streams on this hike. We made it to the first stream crossing at 8:14am. The first one is the largest and hardest to find a good way across. I slipped on a rock crossing the first stream and got my foot soaked. The other four crossings were easier. You find a good place to cross walking up and down the bank about 100 plus feet. We arrived at the Owls Head path at 9:32am. There is no sign marking the trail up Owls Head. There is a 3 foot high cairn up against a tree marking the path. You can see a couple downed trees lining the path as well. I started up the path and the first .5 mile is brutal. It is very rocky. The rocks are loose and move under your feet. About half way through the rocky section you find a stream coming down through the rocks. This hike was worse for me due to very high winds coming down through the valley. After you make it through the rocky section the top half of the trail is very easy. We made it to the top at 10:19 am. We passed one hiker going up who was on his way down. He said he left the parking lot at 5:15am. Once you get on top of Owls Head it is totally wooded. There are multiple cairns. I hiked about a half mile along the top of Owls Head to the largest cairn which had a scrap of paper on it stating NH high point. I arrived at 10:35am. Along this trail on top there are a lot of downed trees across the trail which makes your hike slower. I took some pictures and started back down. The rocky section was way easier on the way down (most likely due to the lack of high winds). The only good views from Owls Head are in the rocky sections as you can see all of the Lafayette ridge line from Flume to Lafayette. I arrived at the bottom of the trail at 11:30 am. I did pass one hiker when I was coming down. One the way back to Lincoln Woods I passed a hiking couple at the second main stream crossing and had a nice chat with them about what to expect on top of Owls Head. I did not see anyone else till I got back to the main Lincoln Woods trail around Franconia Falls. I passed number hikers, families and fisherman after that point. I arrived at the parking lot right at 2:10pm. It was a great hike. Sugar was very tried and just wanted in the car. Over 18 miles but we bagged the most remote NH high peak!
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Cairn on top of Owls Head (2014-06-20). Photo by Wayne Snyder.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2860 ft / 871 m
    Distance:17.8 mi / 28.6 km
    Route:Lincoln Brook Trail
    Trailhead:Lincoln Woods Parking Lot  1165 ft / 355 m
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear

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