On Aug 24th 2013, It was a really great day and getting up was refreshing and I decided to go for a good hike and looked up Mt. Hancock in White Mountain National Forest. I started from my place around 8:30 AM and the drive to the mountain was as always really nice and traffic free.
Once I reached the parking lot which is located at Hancock Overlook I took all the necessary items for my hike, pay the fees and, started my hike by initially crossing Kancamagus Highway. I entered the trail it was already feeling serene and wonderful. This was the first trail where trail was wider and less dense forest.
I kept walking and reached an intersection where I had to cross a small stream but instead went the other way and kind of got lost and then traced my steps back then thought of trying out the trail which I could see across the stream and I was back on the right path. The hike was going on really well and trail was mostly flat and I had no trouble until 3.5 miles and then I was getting drained a bit but I kept going on which did help me a lot and also taught me not to give up.
After hiking for around 4 miles I reached the intersection where I had to decide if was going to hike North Peak (0.7 miles) first or South Peak (0.5 miles) first and I looked at the distance and started towards South Peak first. After walking for around 800 ft the trail was getting steeper and with 4 liter water in my backpack and other stuff it was getting bit strenuous for me but I kept on going. I was taking some breathers along the way but the feeling of being so close to the summit was a driving force to get to the top. After hiking for more than 0.47 miles I heard a group of people chatting and that was an indicator that I was too closer to peak and pushed myself a little bit harder and I was there!!! I got on the South Peak of Mt. Hancock.
Once I reached the summit I wasn’t able to see any views and at that point in time I didn’t read the USFS board indicating an outlook just 10 steps away and then I walked those 10 steps and was awed again with the sight of greenery, mist, fog, mountains, valleys and as always it felt super natural and soothing.
After taking some really beautiful pictures and some chat with a fellow hiker I started my hike for North Peak which is 1.4 miles from South Peak and mostly flat hike. After walking the entire stretch of the hike I reached North Peak of Mt. Hancock and I walked to the outlook and the views from the North Peak are stellar and yes of course I took couple more pictures here and the had my lunch and was just sitting down and looking at the marvelous sight in front of my eyes.
After being on the Peak for about half an hour I started my way back and I had to be careful for at least the initial descent as the trail had a lot of small rocks and dirt which was making it a bit slippery and which I did for a couple of times. I did the 0.7 miles descent I reached the intersection and from there on it was an easy hike down to the parking lot. The descent was way better as I was talking with a hiker and getting some important information and some social chat on my way back. After reaching the parking lot I took some pictures from the overlook and finished my hike with a cool iced coffee.
Have fun and Happy Hiking
The following are the details of my hike.
Distance (Round Trip) : 9.8 miles
Time (Approximate): 4.45 hrs
Altitude : North Peak—4,380 feet (1,335 meters), South Peak —-4,278 feet (1,304 meters)