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Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Mt. Isolation, NH
Trails
Trails: Rocky Branch Trail, bushwhack, Isolation Trail, herd path, Davis Path, Isolation Spur
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, January 10, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Plenty of room at Rocky Branch trailhead at 6:30am. Only one other car there other than our two. A half dozen to a dozen more when we returned but still plenty of room. The lot was mostly clear of snow/ice and easily passable by any vehicle.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Significant, Slush 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: We took the Engine Hill Bushwhack and herd path thus avoided most of the tricky crossings (although the trail had seen traffic past the start of the bushwhack so it’s possible it’s well broken the entire way although a previous report said they just missed the start of the bushwhack and jumped off trail a little late). The one major crossing of the Rocky Branch we still had to do had a nice ice/snow bridge!  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: The lower section of Rocky Branch Trail (below the wilderness boundary) is blazed in yellow regularly but not frequently. The trails are well packed this easy to follow but I could see how they’d be hard to follow if you were breaking trail down low in the hardwoods with minimal blaze. The same two annoying little blowdowns that have been there for at least the past couple of months on Davis Path in the blowdown area as you approach the tentsite. Beyond those I don’t recall any blowdowns but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any more.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: This could be a long day for some dogs and I’d normally be weary of the water crossings but a good hiking dog probably would’ve done well Sunday :)  
Bugs
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
 
Comments
Comments: A nice Sunday hike with a friend to get Isolation for both of our January grids :) This was my 13th 4000 footer this month and my 23rd in total for the month of January.

We used microspikes the entire way except for partway through the engine Hill bushwhack to a point a short ways into Isolation Trail where we wore snowshoes as things could’ve been packed down more. Our snowshoes weren’t helping much, things were still too boney, and it really wasn’t that bad in the first place so in retrospect we wouldn’t have our them on or brought them. Obviously with Friday’s weather coming in, you’ll soon need them again! As of Sunday, everything was pretty well packed and no one other than us for that short stretch used snowshoes. Conditions for Iso were pretty good; minimal mud, running elevated, etc. What mud there was, was usually severe and needed to be avoided but that was pretty doable. Usually on the bushwhack.

The bushwhack is broken out a little lower than usual which may account for some of the muckiness. It also went through some “thicker” stuff although it really wasn’t thick, just less well trodden but I really didn’t think it was much to complain about at all.

I believe it was around 20F when we started at 7am and 33F when we finished at 1:30pm. The summit was windless, sunny, and warm. We were a little mad we weren’t in the Presidentials above tree line!! We saw about a half dozen other hikers out to Isolation and then one group of tourists down low.  
Name
Name: Liam Cooney 
E-Mail
E-Mail: liamcooney96@gmail.com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-01-13 
Link
Link: http:// 
Bookmark and Share Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.

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