Mt Carrigain Loop - 3D

Mt Carrigain (WMNF)

Livermore, New Hampshire

New Hampshire Atlas and Gazetteer
Map 44 G3
USGS map
7.5' Mt. Carrigain

To get there:
Sawyer River Road, off US Rt 302 in Crawford Notch
Daniell, Eugene and Jon Burroughs White Mountain Guide, Boston, Massachusettes: Appalachian Mountain Club Books, 1998.
Doan, Daniel Fifty Hikes in the White Mountains, Woodstock, Vermont: Backcountry Publications, 1990.
Scofield, Bruce High Peaks of the Northeast, North Amherst, Massachusettes: New England Cartographics, 1994.
Last Visited
September 2000
Mt. Carrigain 4680 ft.
Mt. Carrigain is located in a ridge that seperates the White Mountains National Forest from the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

Mt. Carrigain Loop (Most Difficult)

Mt Carrigain Loop - Profile

This is a Hike adapted from Hike 48 of Daniel Doan's Fifty Hikes in the White Mountains.

The Mt. Carrigain Loop described in Daniel Doan's 50 hikes book (see References) does not have updated information about the Desolation Shelter having been dismantled. The way Daniel describes how to find the small tributary to get drinking water from is confusing. This tributary is the stream that the Carragain Notch trail crosses, located at the 'T' intersection where Desolation Trail heads North.

Indian Pipes

The rules for the Pemigewasset Wilderness prohibit camping within 200 feet of water. Near where the Desolation Shelter used to be, there are many places marked with no camping, no fire signs.

Also, The road shown on DeLorme Maps, extending from Sawyer River Road, is not a serviceable road. It is just an overgrown path. So, you will need to start at the Sawyer River parking lot to hike to the summit. You can't actually cut out 1.7 miles of the hike by driving ahead, as it appears on the maps.

This trail begins at the Sawyer River Road. The Parking lot is near the trailhead. This is part of the White Mountain National Forest, and requires a parking pass. If you do not have a pass, the area is also a self-service pay-station. You place your parking fee in an envelope and place the envelope in the deposit slot. There is a tab that you tear off and place on your dashboard of your car. If you do not have a valid parking pass, you can be ticketted by the USFS.

Lush Groundcover

Begin by following the Signal Ridge trail north for 1.7 miles to the junction with Carrigain Notch Trail. At this point follow the Carrigain Notch Trail over Carrigain Notch. There can be great views of the cliffs on Mt. Lowell, and of Vose Spur. You will descend from Carrigain Notch, eventually reaching an intersection with Nancy Pond Trail, which goes North.

Follow Carrigain Notch trail West, along an old path that used to be a railroad bed for logging. You will come to a stream where Desolation Trail heads North. Continue to Carrigain Summit. The two miles to the summit are very STEEP. It took us 2.5 hours with full packs to complete the ascent to the summit.

At the summit is an open fire tower and a USGS survey marker.

To return to the parking lot, take the Signal Ridge trail down. You will cross an open ridge, and eventually begin the descent steeply down the South East side of the ridge.

At the junction with Carrigain Notch trail, stay on Signal Ridge trail to finish at the parking lot where you started.

Mt Carrigain Loop - 2D
Click the image for a larger view of the hiking region.