Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Crystal Mountain - Northwest Peak, NH
Trails: Road, bushwhack
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, July 31, 2022
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: From Rt 145 just south of Rt 3 and Pittsburg, I drove in Cedar Stream Rd for about 9mi. It’s a wide road but was a little rougher than I imagined with potholes and such after the first 3mi though it did get a little better after the initial rough spot around 3.5mi. Low clearance could still probably do the whole thing though it would be a pain at times. Easier in mid clearance. I then turned right (south) on a road shown on Gaia for 0.6mi. I then bore left and followed this fork of the road for an additional 2.5mi or so. This road was a grassy centerline sort of road and though it was generally in good shape, it did get quite rough with some washout as it climbed steeply up a drainage. It was iffy in my car which is FWD and supposedly has 9in of clearance. At 2.5mi or so I reached the road that turns left and climbs easterly toward the peak. This road is no longer drivable unfortunately :(  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: None 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: N/A 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Sure  
Bugs: At this point in the day they had gotten bad; at least while I was at the summit. As others reports note, it’s the nasty biting flies. Nothing else really.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: Day 273, Peak 264. 3rd hike/peak of the day after Whipple Ridge and Dead Water Ridge - North Peak.

I followed the road east uphill at east and moderate grades for about a mile. The road is becoming overgrown. The road ends in a clearing that was a bit wet. Stand of tight fir trees here hindering you from starting your whack. Though off my bearing, I turned right (south) and followed a path through the trees, ascending slightly to beyond the fir trees to a flat area in the woods where I could now get on my bearing to the peak. I headed SE here, soon picking up game paths which I followed. Others had reported that following the ridge between the nearly 3100ft bump and the summit wasn’t nice so I took a more direct line and slabbed directly up toward the peak. The game paths were contouring a bit too much though they were in great woods so I soon jumped off the path and headed more due east. I picked up some more paths as I gently slabbed up. Passed some blazes in here which must’ve been a boundary marker. Unfortunately the woods also seemed to get tighter as I got closer to the ridge. Nothing terrible though. Found some more paths and some pink flagging in here. The woods opened some as I made my way into the sag just south of the minor col between the 3100ft knoll and the summit. Lots and lots of ferns in here. On the far side, I began ascending again in tighter woods once more. Again, not terrible but I thought I’d reached the summit when upon checking Gaia I was on a knob (not shown on Gaia) just south of the true summit. Getting from here to the actual summit got pretty nasty. Not just thick but some blowdowns and steep at times too. Not fun.

I was happy to finally see the canister. There appears to be a memorial for someone practically right next to it. If you come to that first as I did, know that the canister is very close by! The canister went back a ways and I enjoyed reading all the sign ins, feeling a bit better that I wasn’t the only one that encountered some nasty stuff. That said, I took a direct bearing down, heading due west off the summit, and found MUCH better going. Hardly any blowdowns and though thick for a bit, it didn’t last long, and I soon came to only semi-thick woods ;) Beyond this, I pretty much followed the same track out though I’d say I was able to stay in good woods for longer than I did on my ascent. At the very end, I swung to the north side of the end of the road this time rather than the south side in the flat area. I found the footing a bit more wet going out this way but no big deal. Walked the road back to the car.

All in all, I kind of liked this peak and it wasn’t as bad as some make it to be. It had varied woods that I’d say are relatively typical of the 3000 footers in the north country. Nice herd paths down low. Compared to the other approach from the road to the north, this is now technically longer given the road walk BUT it sounds more pleasant to me IF you slab up instead of hitting the 3100ft knob and following the ridge AND you make sure you hit the summit dead on and don’t end up south of it like I did. The hike was about 3.5mi with around 800ft of gain. It took me nearly 2.5hrs. Would’ve probably been closer to 2 if I hadn’t wound up south of the summit and hit that nasty section others had. If you avoid that, though the woods may be thick at times, you really shouldn’t have any real bad going. 92 more days and 101 more peaks to go…  
Name: Liam Cooney 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2022-08-04 
Link: https:// 
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