Preplanned Hike for Mt. Isolation: Rocky Branch Trail
Hikers who venture out to remote Mt. Isolation will be rewarded with a new perspective on Mt. Washington and the southern Presidential Range. Isolation offers a view of these mountains that many hikers - who have gazed upon Washington from the familiar vantage points of the Presidentials themselves or from the Carters or Franconia Range - will not have seen before. Isolation is located south of Mt. Washington on the Montalban Ridge with the southern Presidential Range extending along its western flank. Isolation is aptly named as it is remote and there is no fast way to reach it. Many hikers choose to hike it in two days but it can be tackled as a long day-hike (click on the preplanned hike to the left for more information). Isolation is one of the 48 designated 4,000 Footers in New Hampshire.
Rocky Branch Trail > Isolation Trail > Davis Path > Mt. Isolation summit path > Mt. Isolation
0 mi. Rocky Branch parking lot, NH 16
The trailhead is located at the north
end of the parking lot. There are no blazes or tree markers. There
is plenty of water in rivers for refilling water bottles all along the
way. This hike offers diverse experiences: flat sections, rock
hopping, river crossings, an enchanted forest, and a rocky bald at the
end. The Rocky Branch Trail starts as an old logging road that
is easy hike. It soon comes to a junction with a ski trail where
the Rocky Branch Trail veers left and narrows and steepens. At
almost 3 miles from the start, you come to a flat, pleasant stretch
of land that lasts a good mile. Then it's a short, easy up to
a tricky section where the trail is located in a stream with big rocks
that you must hop from one to the other. Just before reaching
the Rocky Branch River, there is a campsite on the left. It is
a beautiful spot with a fire pit, views through the coniferous trees,
open, airy, and very nice.
To Rocky Branch parking area on NH 16:
From the north:
4 mi. from Pinkham Notch
7.5 mi. from junction NH 302 & NH 16
Submitted by: Mark, MountainSummits.com, age 30, athletic, male.
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