Trails: Zealand Trail, Twinway, Bondcliff Trail, West Bond Spur, Bondcliff Trail, Wilderness Trail, Lincoln Woods Trail
Start/Finish Time: 6/7 9:20AM/ 6/8 1:00PM
Total miles: 20
Weather: Scattered clouds Saturday. Clear and Sunny on Sunday
Comments: There are a few trips that I have done that can epitomize the White Mountain experience. This is definitely one of them. Right from the start we all had a feeling that this was going to be a great trip. With a hearty group of 5 and 2 dogs we made our way to Lincoln woods for a car spot before we all crammed into a single vehicle on the way to Zealand Parking lot. The spirits were high as Eric, Jay, Jason, Abby, and I with our dogs Shyla, and General Patton poured out of the vehicle and grabbed our bags. This trip was to be Jason’s completion of the 48 and we were all there to support and partake in this amazing achievement.
The parking lot was alive with activity as there was a hut night at the Zealand hut and there were many folks making there way along the trail. Once we had made our adjustments and got into stride we made great time. We stopped at the busy Zealand hut only for a moment before making our way to Zealand cliffs where we would get our first grand view of the day as we all sat together to take in the beauty of the day from the face of the cliffs. Patton complaining only lasted a moment as we soaked in the sunlit views before us.
After that we had a 1.6 mile hike to the summit of Zealand mountain. Though there are a lack of views on the top I feel it always feels good to bag a peak especially one like Zealand. Now on the Twinway I made my way for the first time to the summit of Guyot on the way to the camp site we had all planned on staying at for the evening. The views from here are breath taking and the rocks make a long winding roadway in front of you that can be seen running along the ridge, it is really nice to see in the light of a late spring day.
After crossing the Twinway/Bondcliff junction we made our way to Guyot campsite to set up camp and have dinner. We Were on of the last groups to get a tent platform and many folks were making dinner. We all had a moment to eat and pack light day packs in order to make our way to West Bond for the sunset. We invited a trail friend to join, and made our way down the .7 mile walk to the summit for sunset. A few Beers and a shot of whiskey made it even more special at the altitude. It was an amazing end to an amazing day.
We went back to camp and were quickly to sleep as 3AM and sunrise come quickly in the mountains…
Eric’s alarm might have been heard on the summit on Mount Bond as it stirred our whole camp awake. Well all except for Jay who said he slept right through it…(unimaginable) We woke with tired groans and lack of sleep to break down camp and make for the summits of the Bonds. Due to time constraints Eric and Jason made out early and Abby and I were behind them as they made their way to Bondcliff and the sunrise. Abby and I made slower pace with Patton and we met with Jay and Shyla on Mount Bond to enjoy the sunrise and have breakfast. Coffee is amazing at 4000 feet adoring the sunrise of a new day!
Once we had our fill of oatmeal and freeze dried scrambled eggs and bacon we packed up and mad our way down the ridge to the Bondcliff in the early morning sunshine. I would say we go to Bondcliff at 7AM and Jason was there to great us on the last summit of our trip, his 48th high peak!
Once you are a top of something like Bondcliff it is likely you would not want to be anywhere else or leave anytime soon for that matter. For hours we sat on that mountain and had conversations and moments to be enjoyed for many years to come in thoughts looking back. Patton was occupied with a laser pointer that Jay brought and we all laughed heartily. It was easily one of the best mornings I had ever had.
Like all things in life good or bad they must end and so did our time on the Bondcliff. We packed away and made our way down the trail to the cars we had spotted in Lincoln woods. There are many wonderful spots to stop along the trail from the summit. Water spots are all along the rivers and streams that the trail wanders beside. One can even find great places to make camp just make sure you pack out all your trash as I noticed others lacked in doing so. Though the walk was long it went by well and we were away by about 2 PM making our way back to Lincoln and a quick stop at Black Mountain Burger Co. where we all had burgers and beers that could not be beat. Congratulations once again To Jason Morse on the completion of his 48! It was an honor to share it with you!
Trail Cautions: This time of year everything was ship shape. Only thing I can warn you about is the negligence of other hikers and their bowel movements right off trail off the bondcliff trail. Nature should take care of it in a few days… Disgusting!
Dog Notes: Our dogs had a blast and your will too. Just pack some water from Guyot to the Bonds if you plan on doing this hike as there are few spot to gather water in between the peeks. Patton and Shyla made great friends and I can not wait to have them hike together again soon!
Difficulty: Moderate due to length of the trip
View Rating: 10/10 Definitely some of the best I have ever seen! More Pictures Here.