A Look Back at Our NH48 Journey

We did it! We completed all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-footers. With this goal done, I thought I’d give a review of our journey from start to end.

5 years, 1 month, 25 days
That’s the amount of time it took for us to complete the NH48. The first was Mount Washington on July 23, 2011 and the last one was Wildcat Mountain, A Peak on September 17, 2016.


Mount Washington


Wildcat, A Peak

A breakdown of how many mountains we hiked each year:

  • 2011 = 1
  • 2012 = 1
  • 2013 = 11
  • 2014 = 5
  • 2015 = 23
  • 2016 = 7

We didn’t initially set out to complete the NH48.

Our first goal (and one that has yet to be completed) was to hike all the highest natural points in the United States. We began highpointing in college and continued sporadically post-graduation. Mount Washington was our first 4,000-footer but it was hiked with the intention of checking it off the highpoint list. We slowed down as the combination of mountains being located further away and full-time jobs took our attention. We decided that we should focus closer to home and came up with our second goal of completing the NH48.

We failed to hike/summit four times.

I’m going to officially say it was four as we did set foot on the trails leading up to the mountains but there were a few times in the beginning of our journey where we drove, encountered torrential downpours, and didn’t want to hike in such weather, or simply wanted to sleep in.

The hikes we failed to complete the first time around but eventually got to were:

  • Mount Passaconaway
  • Wildcat Mountain, D Peak
  • Mount Cabot (failed twice)

A photo from our failed Passaconaway hike.

We’ve had one family member, eight friends, and three dogs join us on our hikes.

The one family member, Chris’ father, is no stranger to the White Mountains and has hiked many of the 4,000 footers himself. One friend completed the Appalachian Trail a few years back. However, many of our friends have never hiked the White Mountains before so what better way to hang out with them and pop their White Mountain’s cherry than to invite them on a hike? Plus, we told them that was the only way they could hang out with us during the summers.

Abby joined us on a few NH48 hikes.


Father and son hanging out near the Carters.


Kim and I on Mount Hale.


Molly with us on Mount Garfield.


The UMass gang on Mount Moriah.


The boys on Mount Monroe.

Milo hasn’t completed the NH48.

Though Milo has been on a majority of the NH48 hikes with us, he is still eight shy. Why? He didn’t come into our lives until 2012 and we waited until he fully developed before we brought him in tow. Add to that times where he had hot spots or wounded pads where we didn’t want them to get worse or infected. And, a hike or two where we thought it would be teeming with dogs – we like to sometimes say that Milo has a Napoleon complex.


One of the many naps Milo took on our hikes.

We’ve camped 9 times.

We only camped when it made sense for mileage and peak bagging. Other than that, it was the good old routine of waking up at the crack of dawn, driving the 2 – 3 hours to the Whites, hiking for the day, and driving the 2 – 3 hours home.

2015-07-25 20.16.25

Camping it out on our Garfield/Galehead hike.

There were two night hikes.

There were two times where we didn’t complete the hikes in the expected time. The first, Mount Jefferson and Mount Adams, had tough terrain. The second, Owl’s Head, well…enough said on that one.


A photo from our Jefferson-Adams day turned night hike.

Our favorite hike is…

My favorite hike is Mount Moosilauke. It was a difficult hike as the Beaver Brook Trail is steep but it was great hiking next to the Beaver Brooke Cascades.


Trying not to get blown away on Moosilauke.

Chris’ favorite hike is Mount Lafayette and Mount Lincoln as it includes the Franconia Ridge Trail (also part of the Appalachian Trail) which has great 360-degree views of the surrounding White Mountains.


Look at that Franconia Ridge Trail.

Our least favorite hike is…

Owl’s Head. Honestly, I think it’s about 99% of everyone’s least favorite hike for those who are accomplishing the NH48. It’s just a long hike for a view-less summit. Many times it’s not included in the Flags over the 48 on 9/11. Chris jokes that it should be called Flags over the 47 because of that.


Don’t let this smile fool you. Behind it lies disappointment in a lack of summit view.

What’s next?

There are a lot goals on our ever growing list. There’s still our first, the 50 U.S. highpoints, which I foresee will take us years to finish. Ideally, our next goals would be to round out the NH48 by completing the New England 4,000-footers, or attempting the Adirondack 46ers, or Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway. Who knows where the adventure will take us next but I’ll be sure to keep you updated.


Written by ettran in: NH48,White Mountains | Tags: , ,

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© Elizabeth Tran 2011-2017