June 28, 2010

Mount Monroe and Lake of the Clouds, Presidential Range, New Hampshire

We continued along the Crawford Path to the summit of Mount Monroe. Mount Monroe (5,372 feet) represented approximately the halfway point between Mount Eisenhower and Mount Washington. As a high point in the middle, it also offered some great views of the range.

Approaching the summit of Mount Monroe with Mount Washington poking up between the rocks

The landscape here was very stark, with lichen-covered rocks being the primary sight. Only the cracks between the rocks seemed to be sheltered enough and have enough soil for grasses and hardy shrubs.

Looking back at Mount Monroe on the way to Lake of the Clouds

The White Mountains to the east from Mount Monroe

Approaching Lake of the Clouds with Mount Washington in the distance

The "Alpine Garden" and Tuckerman's Ravine. It is a cirque carved out by an ancient glacier.

The Lake of the Clouds Hut is run by the Appalachian Trail Club. It is a spartan sleeping place for hikers doing the AT. It sits about 1,000 feet below the summit of Mount Washington.
The Lake of the Clouds is a glacial tarn left over from the Ice Age. It sits perched on a bench 2000 feet above the surrounding valleys.

We originally had only planned to go to Mount Monroe. Then, we decided to get all the way to the Lake of the Clouds. But, seeing the sight of Mount Washington just 1 mile away (and 1,000 feet further up), Linda convinced me to go for it. That will be the focus of the next post.

Lake of the Clouds Hut from the slopes of Mount Washington

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