- Distance: 6.2 miles
- Terrain: Easy to moderate
- Time: 4 leisurely hours
- Elevation Gain: 850 feet
Monday was the day we finally got to see Evans Notch. We have been to its more well-known neighbors, Franconia, Crawford and Pinkham many times. But Evans Notch, the most easterly of the four notches, is closed in winter so we had never managed to get there
The goal was to hike Little Deer Hill and Deer Hill on the eastern side of the White Mountains. Driving south on Route 113, we soon came upon this gorgeous view of Evans Notch.
At the trailhead parking lot there was only one other car in addition to ours, so the rumors about Evans being less crowded than the others seemed true. We set off for Little Deer Hill and soon arrived at something we had never seen before. It was a combination dam and bridge. It held back some water of the Cold River to create a small swimming area, but it had regular grooves cut in the crest so it could be traversed.
We remarked to each other as we crossed that it would be a great area to cool off on the way back. Shortly after crossing the dam/bridge we encountered the New Hampshire/Maine state line monument – and spent the rest of the day in Maine.
Little Deer Hill
Little Deer Hill and Deer Hill both had amazing views. At lunch we remarked how deserted the trail was – we had seen no one all day.
Deer Hill Spring
Neither of us were tired so we decided to visit Deer Hill Spring, based on the guidebook calling it a “must see,” making the total trip 6.2 miles. Deer Hill Spring is a small area where water bubbles to the surface, creating small pools of “quick sand.” Interesting but no comparison to Yellowstone and I would skip it.
Naked but not afraid
We headed back to the trail head and encountered no other people the whole way. Arriving at the Cold River dam we threw off our clothes, jumped in and within 5 minutes three hikers came along. I hereby postulate a corollary to Murphy’s Law: the longer its been since you’ve seen anyone, the quicker someone will show up when you take off your clothes. They stood on the other side of the dam reading the trail signs and looking at the dam while we huddled behind a clear poncho and a pack towel. The woman pointed at the dam and indicated that they should cross, but the two guys with her seemed reluctant. Around that time it started to rain, they went back the way they came and we were able to get our clothes on and finish the hike.
There are multiple trails here, all with the word “deer” in them and all blazed yellow. Its sometimes confusing but it really doesn’t matter. They all loop about and you can do many combinations, from a 1.6 mile trip to a 6.2 mile trip.
It was a fun hike and I would recommend it. Bring or download a map, there is no cell service. Mosquitoes and deer flies were around but a hat and bug spray takes care of them. There was some other annoying little gnat that didn’t bite, but flew all around your head and into your eyes, so a head net would be a good idea.