Hike the Valley
Surrounded by 4000 foot mountains, Waterville Valley is a hiker's paradise. With hikes from easy to expert the area provides hikes for all ability levels. Waterville Valley has five 4000 footers, more than any other town in New England. Popular mountains like Tecumseh, Osceola, Tripyramid, Welch & Dickey are all minutes away and easy hikes like Goodrich Rock and the Scaur are accessible from the Valley floor. If you want to get away into the mountains and hike, let Waterville Valley be your base camp. Check out our Denali Challenge weekend August 14-16, 2014. Hike 20,000 feet (or the equivalent of Mt. Denali) in one weekend.
Trail head is located off Tripoli Road in Waterville Valley. There is a fairly large parking lot and overflow parking is available along Tripoli Road. The trail begins very rocky and resembles a dried riverbed. It ascends the ridge, crossing a spring 2/3rds of the way up. It then climbs by short rather steep switchbacks to the summit, the site of an old fire tower. From the summit, the trail descends steeply into the col. At one point, you have the option to "chimney" down a short rock face, or take an easier route around. There are lookouts to the north as you ascend East Peak. The hiking is steep and rocky. Leave an hour for this, one way. East Peak is a wooded summit marked by a small cairn. Considerable time should be allowed in descending the East Peak. It's a steep trail of loose rock and ledge as it leaves the summit along a narrow ridge. As it descends toward Greeley Ponds, it enters the Greeley Ponds Scenic Area, where camping and fires are prohibited. The trail ends at a junction with the Greeley Ponds Trail, 10 minutes from the beach at the upper pond.
The trail begins off the Livermore Trail. As you hike up from the valley, there are two trailheads for Mount Tripyramid. The first, leads to the South Slide. You want the second, half an hour later, at a hairpin turn. It immediately descends down to Avalanche Brook, crosses it, and continues on a long traverse parallel to the brook to the bottom of the North Slide. Once on the Slide, the trail is straight up and very steep on slabs and ledge rock. The easiest route is to begin on the left-hand side, and angle toward the center and eventually end at the upper right-hand corner of the slide, where the trail re-enters the woods. The views are best before the slide narrows at the end. Once in the woods, there's a short steep section through thick conifers to the summit. Hiking across the summits is a beautiful undulating route, passing the Sabbaday Brook Trail junction on the left about half way across. Coming down from the South Peak is a short steep section through thick conifers. When descending the South Slide, which is steep, but not so precipitous as the North Slide, the Kate Sleeper Trail diverges to the left almost immediately. The Mount Tripyramid trail re-enters the woods at the bottom right of the slide. From there, it descends the steep mountainside on a long traverse, eventually joining an old logging road grade running parallel to the Slide Brook, before crossing Avalanche Brook [difficult in high water], just before it ends at the Livermore Trail.
The trail begins at the north end of the Waterville Valley Ski Area parking lot, and gradually ascends the southern side of Tecumseh Brook for about 15 minutes, then crosses the brook and climbs up the northern foothills with the ski slopes on the left. Eventually, it descends a small ravine and crosses Tecumseh Brook again. Shortly after that, there's a short spur path on the left that takes you out to the ski slope for a view. The next mile is straight up and rough and rocky and generally slow-going. The Sosman Trail diverges left not far from the summit. This short trail traverses the ridge past a great lookout that gives excellent views to the east, before continuing on to the cell tower at the summit of the High Country chair lift. The Mount Tecumseh Trail, as it continues past the Sosman trail and approaches the summit cone, divides in two, with a southern route to the summit diverging left. Continuing straight, and the trail curls around the northern side to the summit. Once on top, the trail descends fairly steeply down the other side toward Tripoli Road, through thick walls of conifers, into a col. It then climbs again to the crest of the northern ridge, turns west along the ridge, and not long after that there's a spur path on the left with very nice views to the west. Below this point, the trail joins a logging grade and descends moderately down to Tripoli Road.