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Hancock Campground, Franconia Falls
February 15-17, 2002

Route: Wilderness Trail, Franconia Falls Trail
Maps: hancock map.jpg (49635 bytes) map.jpg (78062 bytes)


1500 ft

Vertical Climb:

681 ft


6.6 miles

Who Went:

Paul, Holly, Muffin

Day 1

I picked up Holly after school on Friday, and we drove up to the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) Hancock Campground on the Kancamagus Highway just east of Loon Mountain Ski Resort. This is the same place we camped at last year when we climbed Bald Mtn. We quickly found a nice site, and began setting up camp.

We usually stayed along the loop portion of the campground which has drive-in sites, but this time we decided to stay in the walk-in sites closer to the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River. Besides having a nicer view and more room, the walk-in sites were further away from other campers and were quieter. Someone had begun to make a nice igloo in our site, but had only gotten the walls up about three feet.

The snowpack was extremely hard and crusty with a slight dusting of new snow on top. It was also very slippery, so we had to be careful walking down the hill from the car to the campsite. The river was partially frozen with a narrow stream of water flowing near the middle. Just upstream, we could see the Kancamagus Highway bridge and the suspension bridge at the beginning of the Wilderness Trail (Lincoln Woods Trail) behind it. The Forest Service renamed the portion of the Wilderness Trail up to the Pemigewasset Wilderness border as the Lincoln Woods Trail, but many hikers, including myself, refer to the whole thing as the Wilderness Trail.

After setting up camp, we drove to town to call home and get some supplies, then returned to make supper in the vestibule of the tent. We both had "Instant Lunch" soups, some crackers, and power bars for dessert.

Our campsite. The snowpack was hard and crusty, and a bit slippery, so we had to be careful walking down the trail that led to our site.

campsite.jpg (59890 bytes)

Our tent, a 4-person Jack Wolfskin  mountaineering tent that I got on sale at Campmor in 1999. As usual, my side of the tent sloped slightly toward the middle, so I ended up sliding away from the edge during the night.

tent.jpg (35980 bytes)

The igloo. Someone had begun to build this nice igloo in our site but had only gotten the walls about 3 feet high.

igloo.jpg (32708 bytes)

Looking upstream on the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River by our campsite. The Kancamagus Highway bridge is visible a short distance away.

pemigewasset.jpg (46179 bytes)


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