Solo Hiking the White Mountains – Backpacking the Presicat Loop

Join me for 3 days of hiking, backpacking, and stealth camping in the White Mountains.

For this late Summer trip (August), I’ll be going for the full range of White Mountains backpacking and hiking experiences. From the seclusion of rugged wilderness areas, to the tourist laded summit of Mount Washington. Encompassing both the western and eastern sides of Rt 16, the goal is to complete a 3 day loop comprised of the Presidential Range, Tuckerman Ravine, Wildcat Range, and the Carter-Moriah Range before returning to the car.

If you’re interested in the gear, you can check out my full Ultralight Backpacking Gear List Video

The 11lb base weight system seen in that video is identical to my system for this trip with the exception of the following changes which increased the base weight by about 2.5 lbs:

Fleece Sleeping bag (21oz) replaced with Suisse Sport 30 degree mummy bag. (3lbs)
Mont-bell Ultralight Down Parka (9oz) was brought for additional warmth.

I carried around 7lbs food and water (usually only 1 liter), so total pack weight was still around 20 lbs or so.

GPS Tracking Data for Entire Trip is Available for download on the Trip Data page.
**Tracks for each day end on the trail prior to picking a specific campsite. Recording is resumed on the beginning of each day, back on the trail from night before.

Parking: Imp Trail head 44°19’23.40″N 71°13’0.99″W
(**not starting on Imp trail, this will be the finish)

Trails Used (in order):

Day 1
Road Hike to Dolly Copp Campground
Begin on Daniel Webster-Scout Trail
Osgood Trail
Gulfside Trail (passing Madison Spring Hut on descent)
Mt Jefferson Loop Trail
Return to Gulfside Trail
Sphinx Trail
Stealth Camp towards bottom of Sphinx Trail in the Great Gulf Wilderness
Daily Totals: 11.40 Miles, 6,008 feet elevation gain

Day2
Back up Sphinx Trail
Gulfside Trail
Trinity Heights Connector (to Mt Washington Summit)
Tuckerman Ravine Trail
Lions Head Trail
Alpine Garden Trail
Tuckerman Ravine Trail
Grab a drink at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center and cross Rt 16 to
Lost Pond Trail
Wildcat Ridge Trail
Stealth Camp before getting to Carter Notch Hut
Daily Totals: 13.80 Miles , 6,755 feet elevation gain

Day 3
Carter-Moriah Trail
Carter Dome Trail
Nineteen Mile Brook Trail
Totals: 8.77 miles, 2,471 feet elevation gain

Trip Grand Totals: 34 Miles, 15,234 feet elevation gain.


Summit’s for this Trip in order:
Mt Madison, Mt Jefferson, Mt Washington, Wildcat D, Wildcat C, Wildcat B, Wildcat Mountain, Carter Dome, Mt Hight

Camera Used: Samsung H-300

2 thoughts on “Solo Hiking the White Mountains – Backpacking the Presicat Loop

  1. Hi Sintax77 …. enjoy all of your work and was very interested in this one (Presicat Loop) as I have hiked several of the trails on your route years ago. I was a bit nervous when I watched the part around the intersection of the Lion Head & Alpine Garden Trails. Sure enough you ended up at the Tuckerman Ravine Trl and discussed your unintended turn. I was relieved that you did not end up going down the Huntington Ravine Trl as your original plan entailed. You would have been in a world of HURT if you tried to go down that trail; let alone with a full pack. It is the consensus that this is the most difficult trail in the Whites and as my old AMC Guidebook puts it; “Descent by this trail is strongly discouraged”.
    Good Luck in your future endeavors. I look forward to following you further.
    Dave

    • Dave, great advice. Ive been researching this loop hoping to complete it this spring. With your advice I’ll descend Tuckerman instead of Huntington. Thank you.

Leave a Reply