Wild River Wilderness, June 2018

Spent four days in New Hampshire’s Wild River Wilderness with Jema. This is the drainage valley on the east side of the Wildcats-Carters-Moriahs in the White Mountains, which in turn are just east of and have great views of the Presidentials. More photos are in the Flickr gallery.

Entering the Wilderness proper.
Gettin’ steep and rocky.
Into the tree tops.

Some challenges along the way. Serious nausea, presumably from food poisoning, driving up. Slipped off a loft bunk ladder immediately pre-departure and likely broke a rib. Then it turned out an entire trail we were planning to take effectively doesn’t exist anymore, eaten by a storm-swollen river. But a really great adventure, in large part from being truly out in a wilderness apart from people and civilization. Could have done without the rib thing though…

(update: the injury took a moderately dramatic downturn about a week later, prompting an ER trip, and it turned out I had fractured my sternum)

Long lines of bog bridges, the majority of which were not nearly in as good shape as these.
Cliffside collapse where the trail should be.

First day from the Rattle River was steep, rocky climbing over Mt Shelburne-Moriah, through intensely mosquito-filled treeline bogs, and then down overgrown, unused trails to the Wild River. Next day started following the Highwater Trail along the Wild River only to have it repeatedly lead off soft 20′ cliffs and drop into the river below, disappearing. An entire afternoon of bushwacking in light rain trying to follow the remains of the trail eventually petered out and left us retreating back almost to where we started for the day. Previously prominent crossings turned out to be unpassable, and we saw and heard more boulders and full grown trees right near us fall into the river as the rain softened the undercut banks even more. The next day though we were able to take a beautiful trail up along a boulder brook to the ridgeline and Imp Shelter. Only moderate deadfalls and bogs near the top, trail crew not having worked anything in that area yet this season except the main Appalachian Trail line. Final day going over Mt Moriah and back down to the Rattle River we were treated to clear blue skies for panoramic views of Maine, the Presidentials, and surrounding countryside.

Out of the woods…
Soaking in the last of the day.

So, some ruggedness, but lucky on the weather, some really nice spots and views along the way, and the neglected and destroyed trails meant we didn’t see any sign of people for a solid two and a half days, which was fantastic.

More photos are in the Flickr gallery.

Climbing toward the summit of Mt Moriah.
Summit of Mt Moriah.
First order of business post-trip.