Overnight on Goose Eye Mountain

The New England 100 Highest list brought my dad and I to a new mountain, and we decided that we could change it up for once. Instead of climbing the mountain for a day trip, we stayed overnight on the East Peak of Goose Eye Mountain, to see both the sunrise and sunset. The hike also happened to be our dog Lucy's first hike. The views from both peaks were amazing, as we witnessed the sun's journey through the sky.

The sunset from the East Peak of Goose Eye Mountain.

We ascended the Wright Trail, which is much easier than the way other people describe the trail. It runs flat along Goose Eye Brook until it reaches some tentsites. It then climbs up the side of a ridge with limited views out to Sunday River Whitecap and Old Speck. Once we reached the top of the ridge, the trail weaves in and out of alpine meadows with grand views in all directions. There was an especially good view of Mt.Washington.

Looking north from Wright Trail. The tallest mountain slightly to the left is Old Speck, the next peak to the right is Balpate Mountain, and all the way to the right, is Sunday River Whitecap.

The Wright Trail soon reached the Appalachian Trail between the East Peak and Goose Eye Mountain. Goose Eye Mountain (3,870) is part of the New England 100 Highest list while the East Peak (3,794) is not, because it doesn't have enough prominence. The first day, we decided not to go to the true summit, and we headed up to the East Peak, which offered a grand view looking west, and good views to the east.

Looking at the Presidential Range with Goose Eye Mountain to the right.

From here we could make out Mt.Washington, Mt.Success, Goose Eye Mountain, the Percy Peaks, Dixville Peak, Old Speck, Baldpate Mountain, Puzzle Mountain, the Baldfaces, and more. Below, I've included a labeled photo looking south from the East Peak.

Looking south from the East Peak.

We set up the tent near the summit, careful not to crush any fragile vegetation. Camping here would give us a great view of the sunrise and sunset. We headed up the mountain late, so we didn't have to wait long until the sun began to set behind the Percy Peaks and Long Mountain in the distance.

The sun setting behind Nash Stream Forest with the Percy Peaks just to the left.

As the sun slowly set, we watched in amazement. It was giving the ridgeline of the northern Mahoosuc Range a pleasant orange tint. It was a very beautiful sight to behold, as barely any clouds were in the sky either. The Presidential Range was also developed in a delightful purplish tint. Lucy was also a bit tired since it was her first hike.

The purple-hazed Presidential Range.
The glowing ridgeline of the Mahoosuc Range.

We stayed in the tent for a while, and since we were camping on a rock, it wasn't the most comfortable night. Another convenience about camping in the open was that we could look right out the door to see the sky. We awoke early to see the sunrise as well.

The sunrise from the East Peak, with Lucy to the right.

Now that it was the next day, we had to head over to Goose Eye, so we could say we bagged the true summit. The trail was steep as it descended the East Peak, but we soon met back up with the Wright Trail, only to pass it and head south down the Appalachian Trail. We branched off onto the Goose Eye Trail, which heads to the summit. This trail was amazing, as it passed through short trees and over ledges as it climbed to the peak.

The summit of Goose Eye from the trail.

We reached the summit, where views could be had in every direction, including a better view of the mountains behind the East Peak. We also got a better view of the peaks along the Pilot Range. This peak is definitely one of the better mountains on the New England 100 Highest list, as only a few other peaks on the list have views like it.

The view from Goose Eye Mountain.

From here, we could also see Saddleback Mountain and Mt.Abraham all the way in the Rangeley Lakes region. We could also see the East Peak, and the exact spot we camped on. The distinct conical shape of Mt.Blue in the Weld area can also be seen clearly.

Looking back at the East Peak.

We headed back down the Wright Trail, and not a cloud was in the sky. Once we finished the hike, we visited Frenchman's Hole, a large pothole and 10 foot waterfall on the Bull Branch of the Sunday River. Apparently, this spot is a popular swimming area, but it was way too cold for us.

Lucy wearing her backpack on the Wright Trail.
Looking out from the Wright Trail, with Old Speck to the left.
Looking up at the East Peak.
The rest of the Mahoosuc Range just before sunset.
Lucy, and the setting sun.
Old Speck from the Appalachian Trail on the East Peak.
Looking west once again.
The sun over Nash Stream Forest.
Our tent beneath the moon.
The night time sky, with lights in the towns below.
The sunrise in the distance.
Old Speck and the sunrise.
Goose Eye Mountain and the Presidentials during sunrise.
The sun over the trees.
The Presidentials, with Mt.Success in front of them.
Old Speck and Success Pond from Goose Eye Mountain.
Goose Eye Mountain from Wright Trail, on the second day.

This trip made for a great way to start the summer, and also a good way to introduce our dog, Lucy, into hiking. Staying up there to watch the sun's journey around the Earth was amazing, and I would recommend it. This peak is also on my 42 With a View list, which is basically 52 With a View for Maine. That list can be found on the top of my blog. Anyway, I only have 23 of the 100 Highest list left, and I'm hoping to finish them soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment