We decided we needed to do at least one epic hike during our New England trip and settled on summiting Mount Webster via the Webster Cliffs Loop. We took the steep incline up the mountain, at times climbing up rocks. It’s also where I learned that while most trails on the west coast use switchbacks to traverse steep sections, on the east coast, the trails simply go straight up. We began the hike under the fall foliage cover of the trees:
And enjoyed a brief rest at the first plateau with breathtaking views of the valley, peppered in rolling hills of orange and red trees.
There’s something peaceful about sitting on the edge of a cliff, while the wind blows softly by and the horizon is so vast, its end cannot be found.
We continued to climb, getting closer to the alpine region while sunlight streamed in through several clouds, revealing a valley of colors below.
We pushed it more than usual to make sure we got down the mountain in time, but our friends and their kids here were simply unstoppable. I hope I have the stamina they have one day!
Here’s a view of my husband and our friends climbing up the trail with the valley below us:
We hit two summits on the trail, the final one in the view below:
We snapped a few, quick photos along the way, but it was simply so beautiful the photos couldn’t really do it justice. Here we are near the first summit overlooking the valley:
We scrambled to the final summit, more sweaty than we’ve ever been, but so happy at the same time.
And took it all in…
At the very top, we were greeted by these birds who didn’t seem afraid of us at all. We were able to get some close up photos, perhaps the closest I’ve ever been to a bird in the wild. We later learned they’re called Gray Jays who frequently look to hikers for food.
We descended down on a more gradual trail than the ascent, but because several patches were wet from rain the previous days, we ended up hiking a good portion in the dark with our phones. The trees continued to get taller until we finished the trail. As the final trees parted, we looked up to see the sky draped in stars and the Milky Way clearly visible, glittering in the jet black night. We parted ways with half our party here, wistful of all the good memories we’ve made.