52 With a View: Mt. Potash
After not being able to make it up to New Hampshire for the last 2 months I was itching to get back hiking in the White Mountains. At first we weren’t sure if Dad was going to make it so it was up to me to pick a hike to bring my friends on. I didn’t want to do anything too far from our base in Waterville Valley and I couldn’t do anything too technical. I pulled up www.nhmountainhiking.com and checked out their 52 With a View map. With only brief research I settled on Mt. Potash.
One of the things that I read is that Mt. Potash isn’t usually all that crowded because at only 2680 feet it is surrounded by much larger, better known mountains. The weather was beautiful on Saturday and sure enough the parking lot was overflowing. The trail was pretty easy to start. We had to be careful due to the blanket of leaves covering up roots and rocks along the way. Our first challenge was a water crossing. Water levels weren’t very high so this only slowed us down a little bit.
After crossing the water the trail heads uphill more and gets a bit rougher. There are a lot more exposed roots and wet rock along with it being steeper. The good thing about this hike is that it is only 4.4 miles round trip so you don’t have too long of a hike up. Around a mile and a half in to the hike you come out to the first exposed rock section. Here you are rewarded with views of the Sandwich Range. The day was mostly sunny so the exposed rocks were nice and dry. More rock slabs greeted us in our final push.
At the summit we found out why the parking lot was so crowded, there was a sailing club from the Boston area that was also hiking. Luckily, there are a bunch of places with exposed rock where you can sit, have some food, and take in a good view. There were 30+ people at the summit, not what I was expecting for a little mountain. Though little, Mt. Potash has some pretty big views. We were able to look out along the Kancamagus Highway and up north to Mt. Washington.
We waited around for the sailing club to leave before taking in the best view and playing around on the summit. Jumping up and down, making silly poses is a great way to test the flexibility of the Marmot Surge Pants and Power Stretch Jacket. Finally dad decided it was time to head back and he high tailed it down the trail. The rest of us were trying to play catch up all the while leap frogging all of the other hikers.
Usually I am the one going fast down the trail, but things were slippery and I would be in a world of hurt if I fell on my already injured right shoulder. I needed to take things slower and my friends seemed to prefer my pace. We were very happy to reach the water crossing again and be on the drier side of things. Even though it is relatively short compared to its neighbors, Mt. Potash is still a moderate hike. You will gain approximately 1500 feet in elevation over the 2.2 miles up the mountain.