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Lonesome Lake Hut, Coppermine Col
December 20, 2006

Route: Basin-Cascades Trail, Cascade Brook Trail, Around Lonesome Lake Trail, Lonesome Lake Trail, Franconia Notch Bike Path


Lonesome Lake Hut - 2760 ft
Coppermine Col - 3400 ft

Vertical Climb:

2155 ft


7.2 miles

Who Went:

Paul, Muffin

I wanted to get in one last hike in the White Mountains before the end of the year. It didn't have to be a 4000-footer, but I did want to try out a new trail for at least part of the hike. I hadn't been to Lonesome Lake Hut for 2 or 3 years, so I decided to head there via the Basin-Cascades and Cascade Brook Trails, neither of which I had ever been on. From there, if I felt like it, I thought I might climb up to the Northeast Cannonball.

The Basin-Cascades Trail was nice, very scenic, but the none of falls along the trail were quite as spectacular as they might have been in the spring or early summer. Icicles hung in profusion from the rocks around Kinsman Falls, and at Rocky Glen Falls, the water tumbled over an ice-encrusted rockway.

About halfway up to the Cascade Brook Trail, the Basin-Cascades Trail crossed Cascade Brook over a number of extremely slippery rocks. Although the brook wasn't high by springtime standards, it was still a rather difficult crossing due to the ice. I managed to carefully pick my way over to a large flattish boulder about a quarter of the way across, and was waiting for Muffin to follow me before continuing on. She tried several different paths but seemed reluctant to commit to any of them, so I retraced my route back to the bank, grabbed her leash and guided her across to where I had been.

This time, however, my foot slipped and ended up in the frigid water. Luckily, it wasn't over ankle height and the Goretex in my boots kept my foot dry. The bad part was that, once both of us made it back to the flattish rock, Muffin turned around and went all the way back to shore again. When I called her to come back, she just trotted off down the trail the way we came. Cursing, I leapt back over to the rocks, wetting both boots this time, and took off after her. Finally, a good 100 vertical feet lower, I caught up with her and grabbed her leash. Back up the trail we plodded again, I at least huffing and puffing from the recent wild chase. Returning to the crossing, I scouted around and found a slightly better route, and we made it across without any more incidents.

Finally on the other side, I breathed a sigh of relief, and decided to put on my snowshoes, as the trail was becoming a bit more slippery and I wasn't up to any more little misfortunes. Just after passing Rocky Glen Falls, we met up with the Cascade Brook Trail and re-crossed the brook on nice safe and stable bridge.

Basin-Cascades Trailhead at the Flume. I parked the car on the east side of the notch, and we took the tunnel under the parkway.

Muffin at the Trailhead. There wasn't much snow down low (or up high for that matter), but there were a number of icy patches.

One of the flumes at The Basin. This small series of flumes and large granite pothole is one of only a few interesting formations that you can reach by car.

Kinsman Falls. This 20-foot waterfall in Cascade Brook is about a half-mile up the Basin-Cascades Trail.

Muffin at Kinsman Falls. As usual, Muffin was happy when we were out hiking in the mountains.

Rocky Glen Falls. Another half-mile up the trail past Kinsman Falls, these falls would make a more interesting visit during the early summer.

The Cascade Brook Trail. This trail seemed to have gotten a little more use than the Basin-Cascades Trail.

Muffin crossing Cascade Brook. This rather new-looking bridge crosses the brook just past the junction with the Basin-Cascades Trail.


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