Mt. Isolation Hike

This past weekend we finally got some fall weather! My husband, Jon, and I celebrated the fantastic weather by heading up north to hike Mt. Isolation. This particular peak is just over 4000 feet at 4003 feet and is technically in the Presidential Range. I never considered it a part of the Presidential Range because it isn’t named after a president, but it is. Its also in the Dry River Wilderness, which means a couple things- any existing structures will be removed when maintenance is needed and not replaced, no bridges, some planks that are logs not lumber, signs aren’t painted, and not many blazes between signs. There was a shelter built on the trail that has been removed. There are some primitive camp sites up there though. Most people are not huge fans of the hike because it is very long, the river crossings can be treacherous, and the trail is usually muddy and gross. Right now, New Hampshire is in a drought though! So I guess the only good thing that can come from the drought is the pleasant trail I got to hike on?

We took the Rocky Branch Trail to the Isolation Trail to Davis Path up to the summit. That made a 14.5 mi, 9 hour trip. There is a shorter route in both time and mileage but it is harder up and down the Glen Boulder Trail. You gain elevation, lose it, and then gain it again. The crossings over the Rocky Branch were beautiful. Some foliage is starting to turn, mostly the leaves are green and yellow, very few red leaves.


Rocky Branch. These crossings can be tough in the spring and winter depending on the amount of precip the mountains get!
My pack and fleece are both from LLBean
The peak just to the left of center is Mt. Monroe. That ravine you can see there is Oak’s Gulf. Mt. Washington is hidden in the cloud in the right center.
Our boots are La Sportiva Pamirs. These are the boots I would grab if I had to take one pair of shoes for a zombie apocalypse. 
In this pic you can kinda tell how windy it was, it was crazy up there.


Mizpah stayed home for this hike because it was just soo long. Now I only have 4 peaks left to have hiked all 48 4000 footers in NH. I need to do the three Bonds and Owls Head. We want to do both of those hikes as overnights, so I probably won’t finish until next summer. It was cold up there, and the winds were gusting up to ~50 mph. The views were so worth is though. I was just a little bummed that Mt. Washington was in a cloud. From Mt. Isolation you can take trails over to Mt. Washington, Mt. Monroe, and to the Mizpah Spring Hut just below Mt. Pierce. I am looking forward to more fall hiking, bring on the leaf peepers!

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2 thoughts on “Mt. Isolation Hike

  1. Richard S. Field

    Dear Monica:
    I just read your blog on your hike up Mt. Moosilauke. I have always adored Moosilauke and spent many summers of my younger days there. I even spent the night in the Tip Top House twice….about eighty years ago. True. Do you own the lovely postcards of Moosilaukee Inn? I am still sentimental enough to wish to collect some reminders of the most wonderful days of my life. I come to New Hampshire each summer (Pea Porridge Pond in Madison (Conway) NH, but I am challenged to get to the top of Hedgehog via the UNH Trail. I was devastated when the 500 acres around the old Moosilauke Inn were given back to the forest…all the old trails into the woods are gone…all traces of old memories. I last climbed Moosilauke in 2006. So this is just to say hello and to thank you for your nice words. Richard S. Field, North Haven, CT 06473.


    1. Thank you for reading and for your comment Richard! I am glad you enjoyed it! Mt. Moosilauke is one of my favorite 4000 footers to hike. There is so much history on that mountain. I do not own the postcards, I wish! I found them through some googling. I am heading back up there this week actually to hike from the Ravine Lodge side. The Ravine Lodge was renovated this past year so I am looking forward to seeing it. I love hearing about the history of the White Mountains I love so much. Hello back and your welcome!


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