According to the AMC White Mountain Guide, “Baldface Circle Trail is one of the most attractive trips in the White Mountains.” The forecast was for temperatures in the 80’s, so we got up early to get in a few hours before the sun baked us out on the open ledges. We left the trailhead parking lot at 8:20, headed up the Baldface Circle Trail and arrived at the South Baldface Shelter 2.8 miles later, at 11:20. We had a brief conversation with a backpacker and then continued up to the junction of the Baldface Knob Trail. This section of trail was a boulder scramble, often requiring use of arms instead of poles and mantling is a useful skill.
We at lunch at the giant cairn, looking across the lawn up to South Baldface.
After lunch we summited South Baldface, 3570 feet. The 360 degree views in all directions were spectacular. To the west we could see Wildcat and the Carter Range. The Meader Range loomed up to the north and to the east Kezar Lake glimmered in the distance. The overcast skies were good for hiking, but not for photography.
We absorbed the views trying to store as much chi as we could before heading back down to pick up the Baldface Knob Trail. After 0.7 miles we made a left onto Slippery Brook Trail. Contrary to its name, it was not slippery at all. It was a beautiful pine needle strewn path through a gorgeous forest with minimal understory. We passed a hiker coming up, only the second person we encountered on the trail that day.
We both agreed that it was one of the best hikes we had done and highly recommend it. Our version of the hike was 8.8 miles, 3000 vertical feet and took us 6 hours and 45 minutes.
This is the last training hike before we head off next week into the Great Gulf Wilderness for a 3 day backpacking trip!
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