Percival and Morgan

Mt.Percival and Mt.Morgan are both well known for the great views that can be had from the summit, and the technical trails that ascend them. Both the upper portions of the Mt.Percival Trail and Mt.Morgan Trail are part of the Terrifying 25 list (a list of 25 trails in the White Mountains that are technical/exciting), and there is good reason for this. They both may be short mountains, but the climb and views are like no other in the state!

Mt.Morgan seen from Mt.Percival.

We decided to use the Mt.Morgan Trail for our ascent. The trail is flat, with a slight incline for most of the way up. It gets steep right before you reach the Crawford-Ridgepole Trail. From here, the trail runs flat to the base of the cliffs on Mt.Morgan. Once we arrived here, we could tell why this trail is on the Terrifying 25 list.

The three ladders add up to a total of 20 feet.

Yeah, three ladders! A bypass trail does go around them, but we wanted a real thrill! My dad, the hero that he is, guided me up the ladders, as the top one was a little bit technical for me to reach. Once we reached the top of the ladders, the trail actually climbs through a boulder cave. This trail is quite unique!

The boulder cave atop the ladders.

After that, the trail climbs up the ledges to the summit. The summit itself has no views, but a large ledge above the cliffs offers a grand view overlooking the lakes. Mountains that can be seen include Mt.Belknap, Red Hill, Mt.Kearsarge, Mt.Prospect, Mt.Webster and Mt.Shaw.

The Ossipee Range can be seen to the left, with Red Hill and the Rattlesnakes in the middle. The Belknap Range is all the way to the right.
Mt.Webster is in the foreground, with Mt.Kearsarge in the far back, right to the right of it.

It was time to leave the summit, and the trail in between Mt.Percival and Mt.Morgan was pleasant. It passes over many enclosed ledges. Some of these ledges offered a nice view looking over to Sandwich Dome and Jennings Peak in the Sandwich Range.

Sandwich Dome from the Crawford-Ridgepole Trail.

Once we arrived at the summit of Mt.Percival, we found a summit sign and cairn, something that the summit of Mt.Morgan lacks. From here, the view is much grander, and some of the peaks that can be seen include Sandwich Dome, Mt.Whiteface, Mt.Paugus, Mt.Chocorua, Mt.Shaw, Mt.Roberts, Mt.Belknap, The Rattlesnakes, and Mt.Morgan.

Sandwich Dome is to the left, with Mt.Whiteface to the right of it. Mt.Chocorua can be seen behind  tree, and Mt.Israel is poking out from behind Mt.Squam to the far right.
The Ossipee range and Red Hill from Mt.Percival.

From here, both the bypass and technical trail leave the summit. From the cairn, you want to take the trail to the right if you want to go through the caves. Yup, this section includes some intense boulder caves! The trail crawls down the rocks of Mt.Percival into a ravine, then into an extremely large boulder cave.

This is where the trail enters the boulder cave.

This cave is quite impressive, and it was formed by some pretty large rocks that broke off from above. To get the Terrifying 25 credit, you must take the ladder route and cave route of both of these trails, and I say, it's worth it!

And this is where the trail leaves the boulder cave.

Descending the Mt.Percival trail involves much more descent then the Mt.Morgan Trail would. The trail meets many brooks along the way down. Instead of walking the road, we hooked onto the Morse Trail, which connects the lower portion of both the trails. Its a nice, gentle walk, and it passes through a few stonewalls and over a bridge.

This is where you rise out of the cave on Mt.Morgan.
Mt.Prospect with Mt.Cardigan to the right of it.
Squam Lake from Mt.Morgan.
This marks the summit of Mt.Percival.
Looking down the cave route.
Mt.Whiteface, Mt.Paugus, Mt.Chocorua, Mt.Israel, and Mt.Squam from the summit.
Mt.Whiteface with Flat Mountain in the front. East Sleeper can be seen to the far left.
One of the crawlspaces in the cave.
The Rattlesnakes and Red Hill from the trail.

Mt.Percival and Mt.Morgan are peaks like no other, as the views from them are so, so unique. The two mountains lie in the center of New Hampshire, and the view of the lakes, both Squam Lake and Lake Winnipesaukee, are nice. The trails are also quite the experience, as nobody could expect such a technical trail on such short mountains. I might want to do a traverse of the Crawford-Ridgepole Trail one day too.

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