Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks West Royce, NH
Trails: Route 113, East Royce Trail, Royce Connector, Royce Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, December 31, 2022
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Just before the State Line gate on Rte 113 the entrance to the Basin Pond Campground is plowed for parking. There is no cell service here. No cars when I began but two others when I returned at 3 pm. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Wet Trail, Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction, Skis 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Water running strong but icy rocks poking up just enough to scoot across at the East Royce Trailhead and above. Standing water under the snow on Royce Trail from connector to Burnt Mill Brook, I often walked along the side of the trail like where the moose went. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Route 113 from the gate at the State Line is used as a snowmobile trail and had seen recent use so stinky snow was packed. There are a couple of duck under trees just above the East Royce Trailhead. Blazes thru the open hardwoods difficult to follow. Trails surprisingly free of blowdowns 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Unless your pup has mastered using snowshoes it would be terrible thing to do taking them out in this rotting mess of snow.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Long drive to get to the south end of Evans Notch! I was glad to see that snowmobiles had been on Rte 113 so I didn't sink far into the snow on my cross country skis, perfect kick but snow a tad sticky so the glide part wasn't as fast as I'd prefer. From my car to the East Royce Trailhead is about 3 miles. The noise of the crashing ice falling off of the ledges where the Laughing Lion lives was something else to hear! I chose this longer route because it isn't as steep and I could ski to the trailhead. I ditched my skis and changed into my hiking boots and snowshoes. I found a good place to rock hop across the brook. Down low rock steps had melted out and I tried to stay on snow off the trail to save my snowshoes. At the upper brook crossing I chose to just go straight up through the open hardwood forest and skip the trail's switchbacks. Snow was about 1.5 feet and my snowshoes postholed all the way. It was tiring work and not too pleased when I punched down into standing water. Lots of Moose activity! From the Burnt Mill Trail intersection up the Royce Trail the side hill proved to be even more difficult, the wet snow liked to slide like a wet avalanche under my feet. Thank goodness for hiking poles and trees. I walked around many of the more difficult rock scrambles. Low clouds but some nice views from the open ledges. I visited the fire tower footings of course. I retraced my steps and when I wasn't sliding it felt great not to sink ten inches each step. Moose had crossed my tracks. I didn't have the time to visit East Royce because of my New Years Eve plans, I was pushing it as it was... As I was putting on my skis I saw two snowmobiles go by but they didn't see me. Their fresh tracks improved the speed of my skis going back down. Funny how Evans Notch seems so much steeper driving it in my car than skiing down it, I had to double pole in many places. Ice still was crashing off the cliff. Route tracked out to be 11.3 miles.  
Name: Nordic_gal 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-01-01 
Link: https:// 
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