Gulf Hagas Trail

Onawa, Maine

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Stand-carefully-on the rim of Gulf Hagas, and you’ll know why it’s called the “Grand Canyon of the East." Steep, sheer slate walls plunge to the riverbed, creating a deep, narrow chasm. The walls shine like crystal in the winter, coated with layers of ice, Impossibly long icicles hang from jagged rocks. On the way to the rim, you’ll pass a series of impressive waterfalls, frozen in midair on their tumble down the river basin. Thick layers of icy cascades hang on snow-covered rocks. The colors are amazing; a rainbow of deep blue, green, black, and white. Many make the trek in summer to visit this spectacular area, now a Registered National Landmark; few make it in winter. If you’re looking for a multi-day trek into ruggedly beautiful country, and don’t mind a little logistical hassle, look no further. An added benefit to this trip is the opportunity to stay in one of the cabins at heated, full-service Little Lyford Pond Camps, operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club. There are seven cabins, each sleeping one to six people. Each cabin has a woodstove and gas and kerosene lamps.
Snowshoe Routes: New England

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Snowshoe Routes: New England

by Diane Bair & Pamela Wright (The Mountaineers Books)

Stand-carefully-on the rim of Gulf Hagas, and you’ll know why it’s called the “Grand Canyon of the East." Steep, sheer slate walls plunge to the riverbed, creating a deep, narrow chasm. The walls shine like crystal in the winter, coated with layers of ice, Impossibly long icicles hang from jagged rocks. On the way to the rim, you’ll pass a series of impressive waterfalls, frozen in midair on their tumble down the river basin. Thick layers of icy cascades hang on snow-covered rocks. The colors are amazing; a rainbow of deep blue, green, black, and white.

Many make the trek in summer to visit this spectacular area, now a Registered National Landmark; few make it in winter. If you’re looking for a multi-day trek into ruggedly beautiful country, and don’t mind a little logistical hassle, look no further. An added benefit to this trip is the opportunity to stay in one of the cabins at heated, full-service Little Lyford Pond Camps, operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club. There are seven cabins, each sleeping one to six people. Each cabin has a woodstove and gas and kerosene lamps.

©  Diane Bair & Pamela Wright/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Snowshoeing
Nearby City: Onawa
Distance: 21
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 6-8 hours a day over three days
Season: Winter
Local Contacts: Appalachian Mountain Club, Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
Driving Directions: Directions to Gulf Hagas Trail

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Apr 2018