Hike Stats & Info
Distance: 10.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,420'
Total Duration: 7 hrs. 10 min.
Trails Used: Davis Path, Mt. Parker Trail, Mt Langdon Trail
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Water Availability: There are a few water sources during the first mile or so of the Davis Path and around the last mile on the Mt. Langdon Trail. In between, it's dry as a bone. You'll need to carry whatever water you need for the entire trip. Note: Some say that there is a water source about 2.2 miles before the end of our chosen route, if heading towards the shelter on the Mt. Stanton trail (we did not confirm this).
Driving Directions: The trailhead at the start of the Davis Path is well marked and easy to find on the side of Route 302 where there is a huge parking lot (directly across from the Notchland Inn). At the other end, where you'll need to spot a car if you follow the same route we did, you'll find the Mt. Langdon Trailhead. That parking area can only hold 4-5 cars however, across the street there is a large dirt parking area overlooking the Saco River which could be used. To locate the Mt. Langdon Trailhead use your GPS to find River Street in Bartlett, NH (directly across from Bear Notch Road) and follow it until it crosses the river. Look ahead and slightly left and you'll see the small parking area.
About The Hike: During this 7 hour hike we never saw another person on the trail. At one point, after we had passed around the dome of Mt. Crawford, we did look back and saw someone on the summit but he/she was a long distance from us. Short of that we did not see anyone else during the entire hike.
Beyond the benefit of the peacefulness of this low traffic route, there are many views to be enjoyed so this trip is, to my thinking, very worthwhile. It is however a long haul. An alternative would be to do the two mountains on separate hikes.
The Mt. Parker Trail between Mt. Resolution and Mt. Parker is very underutilized and as a result is overgrown in a number of places. There are also dozens of blowdowns.
Prior to this trip we had read that the Mt. Langdon Trail was poorly marked and difficult to follow. No doubt the blazes are few and far between and those that do exist are badly faded but we did not find this trail hard to follow at all. There was one particular stand of beech trees that would make a short section difficult to follow in the fall after the leaves had fallen but the rest of the trail was fine as long as you followed the trodden path. Someone had recently done maintenance on the waterbars on the Mt. Langdon Trail, of which there are many! Clearly there is a trail adopter working on this trail. Thanks to that person or team!
There is not much else to say about this hike. We had perfect weather today with temps in the mid-70's and very low humidity. That made the air clear and one could see for miles and miles and miles; wait, isn't that a song?
Maybe there is one more thing to say. The two trailheads are 7 miles apart by road so you must spot a car. We live nearly 2 hours away and it is a pain to drive two cars up just for this purpose. So we did a little digging around and found a taxi service that would transport us between the two trailheads. We had arranged for the taxi to pick us up at 8:30 at the Mt. Langdon trailhead where we had parked our car. The driver actually arrived just before 9:00. That was irritating enough but then we were charged $60 to drive the 7 miles to the Davis Path trailhead. In fairness, I expected to pay more than the meter rate because of how far out we were but that price seemed a little over the top. I take responsibility for not having asked for a price estimate. Lesson learned I guess.
Even though we had just paid $60 for a 7-mile cab ride we were still smiling.
We used our WMG Online tool (www.wmgonline.org) to plan this hike. This program is so worth the small cost of $12/yr. for AMC members and $15/yr for non-members. If you hike, you should get this tool!
About 2 miles in on the Davis Path you reach the first of several ledges with great views.
Here we've hiked around the dome of Mt. Crawford and are looking back up to it. We had been to this summit before so we decided not to take the spur to the summit. Our planned route already covered 10.5 miles so adding another .6 miles to that was not an exciting prospect. We took a vote and it was 2-0 to skip the summit and move on.
Crawford Notch in the distance.
Here is number 51, the summit of Mt. Resolution.
Just before the actual summit of Mt. Resolution (some 50-100 yards) you'll reach this great open lookout. It was a perfect place to have lunch and enjoy the views. And what a day it was!
Goal Achieved!! This is number 52, the summit of Mt. Parker.
Mt. Washington in the distance.
Near the very end of our hike we were treated to this pretty little cascade.