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 around 8:30 AM and drove to the mountain, as always really nice and serene.
Once I reached the parking lot, at Hancock Overlook I took all the necessary items for my hike, paid the parking fee and, started my hike crossing Kancamagus Highway. I entered the trail and it was already feeling wonderful. This was the first trail with wider path and light forest.
I kept walking/running and reached an intersection where I had to cross a small stream but instead took the wrong path and got lost. After thinking for a bit, traced my steps back. Then crossed the stream and got on 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. I was getting drained a bit due to a heavy backpack but I kept going on.
After hiking/walking/running for around 4 miles I reached an intersection where I had to decide if was going to hike North Peak (0.7 miles) or South Peak (0.5 miles) first. I thought about the distance and started towards the South Peak first. After walking for about 800 ft the trail was getting steeper and with 4 liters of water in my backpack and other stuff it was getting strenuous but I kept climbing. I was taking some breathers along the way but the feeling of being so close to the summit was a driving force to reach the top. After hiking for 0.47 miles I heard a group of people chatting and a sigh of relief, I was closer to Summit. Pushed myself a bit harder and I was there!!! South Peak of Mt. Hancock !!!!
Once, I reached the summit I wasn’t able to see views and then read the USFS board indicating an outlook just 10 steps away. I walked to the outlook and was once again amazed with the sight of green, mist, fog, mountains, valleys and it felt super natural. Snapped some pictures and chat with a fellow hiker. Then started hiking towards North Peak (1.4 miles from South Peak) and mostly flat hike. After running the entire stretch towards North Peak of Mt. Hancock and I walked to the outlook and the views from the North Peak were stellar. Had my lunch and was just sitting down and looking at the marvelous site in front of my eyes.
After being on the North Peak for about half an hour I started my way back. I had was careful for the initial descent as it was a dirt trail making it a bit slippery. After the initial 0.7 miles descent I reached an intersection and from there it was an easy. The return trip was way better and faster. I was talking with a fellow hiker and got some important hiking tips.
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)