This was a nice hike. I wasn’t sure how far I was going to go, but prepared for a full day. While planned to reach at least Belknap Mountain from Gunstock Resort, I thought about going to the pond area and Mt Klem. I felt pretty good and decided to go all the way to Mt Major.
I started at the Gunstock Resort and following the BRT, Belknap Range Trail. The trail follows an access road, which is fairly steep/constant up to Mt Rowe. The BRT is well marked, but occasional confusion at trail junctions led me the wrong way a couple times.
After Mt Rowe it is a nice wooded climb aside the ski trails up to Gunstock. It was low cloud cover so my views were very limited. The trail to Belknap Mountain was
The highlight of this trip, given the cloudy weather, was Round Pond. It’s secluded and very clean. Seems a place you could linger and spend some time enjoying.
After the pond, there is a mild climb to viewless Mt Klem. It was here I had a decision point. I could turn back or continue to Mt Major. If I went on to Mt Major, I would either need to return hike the 12.2 miles or try to bum a ride. The clouds and patchy rain made the decision. I shot a quick text to family to see if they were in the area or could be in the area of Mt Major. I was in luck as my parents were willing to provide a lift at Mt Major. I pushed on.
After Mt Klem drop down some very nice ledge where you could see remnant of water run off worn through the stone. Once you reach Mt Mack, you descend and descend down the red blazed trail. This seems to go on forever, at least to me, this was the longest part of the trip. After an eternity, begin to bounce up Mt Anna. From Anna, took the blue blazed trail the rest of the way.
The ascent of Straightback Mountain was mild and quickly arrived at this giant ledge clearing. Has there been an option for magnificent views, this would be the place, I suspect. Randomly placed erratics dotted the space.
It wasn’t long before I met up with Brook Trail on the way to Major. By this time the rain was intermittently windblown down pour. Felt like ice pellets at times. It stopped for a few minutes at the summit of Mt Major and thought I could sit for a quick bite and hope the winds would dry the upper ledges down the Mt Major trail. I took a couple quick photos and sat near the stone hut remnants. The wind gusts and rain started up again and chilled me. Good decision not to hike back, would have been somewhat miserable.
The descent down wasn’t too bad, the trail was mostly dry as the rain was blown in such a direction to not affect this part of the trail. I made quick time down to the lot for my ride back to my car.