No matter the time of year there is usually some water along the Mt. Osceola trail. For the last day of June though this was a lot of water. I had debated wearing trail runners instead of hiking boots, but was very happy I stuck with my Gore-Tex Salomons. The trail was wet, muddy, and the humidity kind of made it feel like you were hiking in a rain forest.
Except for my one winter ascent of Mt. Osceola I always start from the parking lot at the top of Tripoli Rd. and take the Mt. Osceola Trail. My first trip up a friend dropped my dad and me off at the trailhead and then we just walked back to our condo in Waterville Valley after hitting up East Osceola and Greely Ponds. Normally though I just do an up and back.
When people ask for recommendations of 4000 footers to start with Osceola is my go to answer. If you are just doing the up and back from the parking lot on Tripoli then it is just about a 6 mile round trip hike. You also only gain a little over 2000 feet in elevation. While Mt. Osceola is not the easiest of the 4000 footers it has the best view of the easier summits.
On a clear day you can see all the way to Mt. Washington and the Presidentials to the north. To the south you can see the Lakes Region. It is always nice to get to the top, take your boots off, and just sit and enjoy the view. Unfortunately, with all of the recent rain and mud there were a fair amount of biting insects. Before enjoying our lunch we put on more Ben’s 30 Bug Spray. That didn’t seem to help and we eventually caved and put the Ben’s 100 on.
If it wasn’t for the bugs I would have taken a nap. There were other people coming on to the summit and taking in the view, but there was more than enough room for everyone. For whatever reason there also seem to be many dogs out hiking that day. They were all very well behaved and appeared happy to be out and about between rain storms.
Check out our video from the summit: