Hut-to-Hut Hiking in the Presidential Range (Part 2)

In my previous article I started sharing with you my hut-to-hut hiking experience in the Presidential Range in the White Mountains, New H...

In my previous article I started sharing with you my hut-to-hut hiking experience in the Presidential Range in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. Today, I'm continuing my story and will cover the second and the third days of the hike. This part of the trip was much more relaxing overall comparing to the first day when we had to conquer the summit of Mount Washington. However a thick morning fog on the day two made us get lost on Mount Monroe. And that was a bit scary!

What I liked the most about the second and the third days of the trip was the fact we could enjoy the scenery without bumping into other fellow hikers. The popularity of Mount Washington brings hundreds and thousands of tourists per day, so the summit trails become very congested and you may even struggle to take a picture without other people being visible in a frame.
Other peaks in the Presidential Range are not terribly popular, especially with day-trippers who tend to stick to Mount Washington, so you almost get the mountains for yourself. 
The hut we stayed on the second night (Mizpah Spring) was smaller and less busy comparing to Lakes of the Clouds. We only had about 25 guests in total for that night. As a result, the atmosphere was much more intimate, and we were able to socialize with pretty much every other person staying in that hut. 
Our second day started with a nourishing breakfast and the AMC's traditional weather forecast. The Internet reception in the mountains is often poor or non-existent, so people rely on AMC staff to get a fresh weather forecast.
Did I tell you about one observation I've made - Americans in general are obsessed with weather? In almost every hotel I've stayed in the US, a TV at the breakfast area would broadcast a weather channel. Hurricanes, tornados, snow storms, floods, earthquakes - it does not matter what it is that is happening, Americans would be intently watching it. Also, I found that weather is a great ice-breaker when you want to start a conversation with an American. So keep it in your back pocket.
The forecast for that day seemed to be promising, however a thick layer of fog covered the area around the hut we were staying at.
It's hard to get lost in the White Mountains because trails are generally well marked. Nonetheless, we managed to do so. Remember those cairns with white quartz rocks I told you about in my previous article? They actually came handy as they are very well visible in the fog.
Our first mountain for that day was Mount Monroe (1,637 m / 5,370 ft). We didn't find the actual summit, not did we enjoy the view from the top as it was completely obstructed by the fog.
However, you know that weather changes very quickly in the mountains. So shortly after we started a descent from Mount Monroe, the fog cleared out and we were able to see a full grandeur of the valley lying in front of us.  
The only steam train that is still in operation at the Mount Washington Cog Railway departing at 9 am. 
Mount Franklin - on the right-hand side. Despite its height (1,525 m / 5,003 ft), it does not look that tall from Mount Monroe. Did you know that Franklin was never a President of the US even though he's at the 100 dollar bill?
Our route for the second day was generally flat and mostly above the tree line (that normally marks 1,220 m / 4,000 ft in the White Mountains). 
Because of that, it's not difficult to hike it, however it all can change with rain or a thunderstorm. In that case, you must seek a shelter (ideally find a forested area) and never stand up. 
Mount Eisenhower (1,457 m / 4,780 ft) appears to me as the most beautiful mountain peak in the Presidential Range. It has a nice shape and look.
A small swamp as you climb up Mount Eisenhower.
Mount Franklin as seen from the toe of Mount Eisenhower. Now it seems massive.
As you hike between Mount Eisenhower and Mount Pierce (1,314 m / 4,311 ft), you enter a forested area below the tree line.
Mount Eisenhower as seen from Mount Pierce.
Mount Pierce marks a transition between a forest and Alpine Tundra. As you hike further west toward Mizpah Spring hut, the trail takes a steep descent into what looks like an enchanted forest. Bright green moss suggests that water is in abundance here.
A short 10-minute walk from Mizpah Spring hut takes you to the swampy area with a nice view of Mount Washington. How do we know? Antennas.
The third day's hike was short and sweet, only about 4 km / 2.5 miles. The highlight of the day was Gibbs Falls.
This forest close to the parking lot did not look like the one up there in the mountains. Our tree-day trekking into the Presidential Range of the White Mountains came to an end, and it was time to drive home ("only" about 1,000 km / 620 miles).

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