Explorer | 31 pts
One of the benefits of Welch/Dickey has to be the fact that the drive to the trailhead is substantially shorter than many of the other hikes in the Whites. Probably best explored on a breezy fall day, the loop offers quick access to wilderness views and extensive ledge walking. After the first half hour, expect to be fully exposed to sun, heat, wind or rain. Not a lot of water (except a brook near the trailhead).
My first experience with this trail was on a partly sunny September afternoon. Perfect for foliage views contrasting the red brush along the ledges. I felt a spiritual boost and enjoyed the occasional vertical scramble. Worst part? Sharing the trail with a bus-load of school children, many of whom were very much challenged by the climb, proved a bit cramped at times. Still, despite the occasional crowd, I came home with a renewed energy, lots of great fall foliage photos, and that good ache of a physical work-out.