Mt Moriah is a 4,000 footer with a full, 360-degree view from its summit. The trail from Gorham, New Hampshire also has a surprisingly large number of views on the way up too. This is a great 9-mile day hike.
Carter-Moriah Trail
Its that awkward time of year again when the cold weather is here but there is no snow. All of us snowshoers, cross-country skiers, snowboarders, mountaineers and ice climbers are on the edge of our seats waiting for some glorious precipitation. But no snow is not a reason to not go out for a hike, especially when its on Thanksgiving! 

I'm at the point in my pursuit to climb all of the White Mountain 4,000-Footers that I have several "odds and ends" to tie up and a few of the bigger single day ascents like Owl's Head and Isolation. I didn't bag Moriah when I did the Carter Ridge and Wildcat so today would be a great day for it! After all, the trail would be clear and quiet and I've heard the views are fantastic.

I came up over Pinkam Notch and down over to Gorham, New Hampshire to do this hike. There was still now snow up in the Great Gulf, Huntington Ravine or Pinnacle Gully yet so I was glad I wasn't missing out. The hike actually begins at the end of a residential road and the parking situation was confusing- there's really no parking lot and its not really a cul-de-sac either... so I just pulled slightly off the road and the trailhead was at the end of the road.

The trail meanders along a ridgeline that eventually leads to Mt Moriah. What made this trail special was that there were multiple lookouts on the way up. Most hikes I've done in New Hampshire stay in the dense boreal forests and with only fleeting views. I was delighted to see that there was plenty to take my mind off the steep hike.

At about halfway up, I stopped for lunch and noticed something very unique; there was complete and utter silence on the trail. There was no wind, no birds, no bugs, no other hikers and no noise. Usually hiking here is such a social affair; today there was nobody! I enjoyed the quietude. 
Its quite icy this time of year
Summit views from the top of Mt Moriah
If you are one who hates "false summits", then this mountain is probably not for you! The ridgeline hike plays all kinds of tricks with you and there were probably some 15 false summits along the way. Also, it was very, very icy in most parts of the trail. I mean, this was expected when hiking in late November, but there wasn't enough ice to don the crampons or micro-spikes, yet. 

When the real summit finally came in to view, it was certainly worth the trip. There was a full panorama of views! The best was probably the view into the Dry River Wilderness and Valley, just to the East. You could also see most of the Carter Ridge and well into the Presidentials and Northern White Mountains. Way off in the distance I spied a pyramid-like mountain that was barely visible. It could have been Sugarloaf in Maine, almost 60 miles away! Regardless, it was a million-dollar view.
The Presidential Range from Carter-Moriah Trail
Well, I hope there's some real snow soon and that my next post is about some ice climbing or mountaineering!

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