Morning Colors from Mt.Jackson

It's December, and the snow is certainly coming down. The only thing that can break through the drab whites and grays of the winter are the colors of a sunrise, which takes work to achieve around this time of year, at least in New Hampshire. It can be done of course, people do it all the time, and it's much different than a sunrise in the summer. For our first winter sunrise, we chose Mt.Jackson, and it gave us a descent reward.

The fragile colors of the sunrise breaking through the clouds.

We got to the trailhead at three in the morning. Crawford Notch was beyond dim, and the sky was peppered with stars. Far across the field we could see the lights of Highland Center. We found the trailhead, and began up the trail.

This photo was taken after the hike, with sun drenched Mt.Tom as the backdrop.

The trail is packed well, but we still wore snowshoes. It was packed down all the way up Mt.Jackson, and it  looks like it was packed down going over to Mt.Webster as well. Everything was dark, so I have no good pictures. It was so dark and calming as we peered through the dark forest.

A piece of the packed-down path. The entire trail is like this.

We passed the spur trails to Elephant's Head and Bugle Cliff, two nice viewpoints that look into Crawford Notch. We stopped at Bugle Cliff on the way back down, and the view from the crag was delightful.

Crawford Notch from Bugle Cliff.

The path meanders up to the junction, and we continued up to Mt.Jackson. The snow got deeper and deeper, and there were several blow-downs. Just below the summit, the trail briefly disappeared due to snow drifts, as it was snowing the entire time we were out there. The summit was completely covered in snow, and the wind was monstrously strong.

The frozen summit of Mt.Jackson.

We were there to see a sunrise, but we got up there an hour early. We waited just below the summit on the Appalachian Trail, watching the sky get brighter and brighter as I nearly froze to death. After rushing back up to the windy summit, we viewed the somewhat cloudy view of the sunrise and it's vibrant colors.

The colors of the sunrise with a ridge in the foreground.

We didn't get any view toward Mt.Washington or Mt.Pierce, but we were able to see the ridges below the sun's colors. We could also briefly see the ridge over to Mt.Webster and the cliffs of Crawford Notch and Mt.Willard.

The cliffs of Crawford Notch can be seen through the clouds.

We didn't stay for long on the cold peak of Mt.Jackson. It was so cold it felt like the wind was whipping through my coat. The descent was tiring, as neither of us slept the previous night, but we still finished the hike. As a side note, I will have at least one sunrise hike every month until next November. This is because my dad is turning fifty next November, so I promised him we would do a sunrise every month until then. Not only will we enjoy the hikes, but you can as well through the blog. If you have any recommendations for a sunrise, leave it below, or just comment anyway. Also, be sure to check out my last two blogs, as I really enjoyed them, and I think you will too!


  1. Pretty awesome 😎 experience that most people never have. Good plan to do a 🌞 rise hike every month with your Dad! Go for it!

    1. Thank you Steve! This was certainly an experience like no other I've had. My dad came up with the idea of doing sunrises, and I thought it was a good idea as well. Thank you again!

  2. WOW!!!... such mind-bendingly captivating pics. Love the snow covered trees leaning into each other under the early morning sunlight. The sky & trees look so mysterious.

    That must have been quite the challenge heading up so early, with little sleep, a biting cold wind and extra winter gear piled on...

    Looks & sounds like a very rewarding hike!

  3. Nice . Enjoyed reading and the pics. I have been contemplating a night hike and a sunrise view. Thanks for re energizing my desire.Happy trails

    1. Thank you! Any sunrise hike is worth the effort!

  4. I love reading all your adventures with Dad and living vicariously through you my son.

  5. Great job Evan. Even better that you have it all written down and photographed. Memories you'll never forget.

  6. Awesome photos, Evan! And, as you might have already discovered, the first photo in your blog is so spectacular that it’s currently being used as the cover photo for the website!


    1. Thanks for reading as always John. has been using my blog as a source for some months now. I can't thank them enough!