Welch-Dickey Loop, 4.4 miles
Now that Alex and Sage have both finished the NH4Ks, we're looking forward to exploring other, smaller, mountains. There are plenty of gorgeous peaks that aren't on the 4000-Footer list, and we plan on hiking quite a few of them over the coming years. We'll revisit the 4Ks often, of course -- especially this winter, when Alex continues her quest for the winter 4Ks. For now, however, we're going to check out a few 52 With a View (52WAV) summits.
We ascended Welch and Dickey on a beautiful day. We had clear skies and comfortably crisp autumn temperatures. As a bonus, we did NOT have get up at the crack of dawn, as these two mountains stand fairly close to our home.
It's hunting season, which means everyone -- even Max -- had to wear an orange vest.
The water crossing wasn't an issue.
We went up the rock steps...
...through the gorgeous woods...
...and into the "don't step on the vegetation" zone.
We arrived at the first viewing ledges...
...and enjoyed the scenery.
The summit of Welch...
One has to climb up some slabs to get there...
Views on the way up...
A teensy bit of rock scrambling...
The summit itself!
This part of the summit makes me think of a big eagle's nest.
Alex dwarfed by the massive slab...
Views of Dickey's ledges...
The temperature fell about ten degrees during the fifteen minutes we were lounging about. I bundled us up and moved us on when I noticed the sky turning grey.
Down we went toward the col...
We stopped to take a picture of the big 'ole cairn...
Back into the woods...
Going up once more (that's Welch in the background)...
The temperature was plummeting, so we kept moving down Dickey's many ledges.
The trail goes along the very top of this, on the edge to the right. I imagine this is tricky to descend in rain or on ice. Falling to the left means reaching the bottom of the mountain a little faster than you'd like...
We were back in the woods in short order.
This was a nice, easy jaunt; there's a lot of bang for the buck on this one. If you're looking for a three to four hour hike with outstanding views and fun ledge scrambles, then this is the hike for you. Just be sure to do it in dry weather.
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