Friday we hiked East and West Royce. Since East is located in Maine and West in New Hampshire, you can say you hiked in 2 states in just one day 🙂
We parked at the Brickett Place, took the Royce Trail (very well marked with yellow blazes) and headed to East Royce. The trail is beautiful and follows water for a couple of miles – be ready to cross it a few times! The water was pretty high in some spots so, instead of trying our luck with our waterproof boots, we took shoes and socks off, rolled pants up and there we went (the water was really cold… Good thing I keep a couple of extra shirts in my pack that we used to dry our feet).
The trail will bring you by Mad River Falls – take a moment to enjoy the beautiful waterfall and take a breather for the climb. It’s not the highest mountain nor the longest trail, but the climb is steep!!
The summit is not really marked (nor is the West Royce one)… You’ll find a sign where the biggest opening is, but there’s a little more to explore – you’ll have to look for it!
From there we went back to the Royce Connector and headed to West Royce (1.4miles from the Connector). As this is not a loop, you’ll have to turn around and descend through the same trail…and it will be tough! It’s steep and a lot of it through uneven, rocky, muddy terrain. (If you don’t have hiking poles you may want to consider getting some before you go. They’ll be handy! Ours are Leki. Yes, they are pricy regardless of brand, but if you are going to make Hiking a hobby, it is a piece of equipment that you may want to consider. I started hiking without them, but they are now a constant presence on the trail!)
FYI, to park at any White Mountain National Forest trailheads and parking areas you will need a permit. You can purchase a WMNF permit from the forest service, certain vendors and online or you can also buy a day one using self-service kiosks located in many parking areas (day pass is $3; the annual one is $20 – this is the one we get).