Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mt. Percival & Mt. Morgan - Fall Hiking

Mt. Percival
Elevation: 2,212ft


Mt. Morgan
Elevation: 2,220ft
 

Trails: Percival, Crawford-Ridgepole and Morgan Trails
Elevation Gain: 1,500ft
Distance: 4.8 miles roundtrip
Duration: 5.0 hrs

Difficulty: Moderate
The Terrifying Twenty Five List:  Mt. Percival Trail (Boulder Caves Route)
Danger: High (caves, ledges, cliffs on trail) 
Rock Scrambles: Boulder caves and rock scrambling - Class II

Caves, ledges and ladders, oh my!!! Mt. Hale was originally the planned hike of the day, but when I met up with Sue and her son Nick, she said that Lisa wouldn't be able to make the hike due to illness. So we decided to hike to Percival & Morgan instead and headed out to the Squam Lake area. 

I had hiked these two back in 2011 with the New England Over 50 Meetup group. But we hiked the looped trail in the opposite direction. We hiked it during the winter and we bypassed the Boulder Caves. I was eager to see what this hike was like during the mild season and I also needed to hike the Boulder Caves route. Actually, I was eager to do some rock scrambling along the ledges and through the cave leading up to the Percival summit. So here are my photos taken starting with the fun Boulder Caves section of the hike.

Most of my photos were taken with my iPhone, so I apologize for the blurry photos! \m/ 


Much of the trail near the ledges looked like this! :)
Which way do we go? ;-D
Two options to choose from. You can choose to go
through the boulder caves or the trail along the ledge.
A bit of scrambling making certain to follow the yellow blazes....

The blazes lead us to the entrance of a small cave
Notice how small the opening is? It's easier to squeeze through
if you take your backpack off and pass it through the opening.
Then we squeezed through another small opening.
(that's Nick going thru)
Coming out of the cave there's a yellow blaze!!
We just followed the yellow blazes.




Finally, the summit! We spent an hour at the summit
eating our lunches, posing and snapping photos! :)
 
 
The lookout ledge at Mt. Morgan
We only spent enough time at the Mt. Morgan summit
and its lookout ledge to snap a couple of photos.

 
 Then we headed down the trail to another boulder cave!
There were folks coming up the "trail" so we had to wait for our turn.
At the end of the cave are fun rickety ladders to descend!!
Oops, the first ladder is missing a couple of rungs!
No worries, lots of good foot/hand holds in the rock! :)
You don't have to ascend/descend using the ladders.
You can choose to use the ladders along the cliffs or just stay on the trail.
During our hike I kept saying how glad I was that we decided to do this hike instead of Mt. Hale. It certainly was such a beautiful day with beautiful views of the Squam Lake!