Zeacliff – June 23, 2014

Pano from Zeacliff

Pano from Zeacliff

We have a bonus day in the Whites, where to go, what to see? We’ve been itching to see the views from Zeacliff (and itch we will on top of Zeacliff)for a while now.  Today seemed like a prime day for this hike.

We parked at Zealand and hit the trail, knowing the first 2.8 miles would  be an easy jaunt in the woods.

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The path was level with a few small inclines and some parts were downright flat.

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The views opened up for a bit at the old beaver area.

 

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Beaver Lodge

Beaver Lodge

The U.S. Forest Service has installed some new bridges to go over the beaver damage.

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We were .5 mile from the hut and hit another section with views.

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As we neared the .2 mile marker, we could hear Zealand Falls and we caught a glimpse of it.

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Zealand Falls

 

Right before the hut the trail becomes steep.

right before the hut

right before the hut

We walked up the steps and emerged at the hut. We arrived at the hut an hour and 20 minutes after we started.

steps before hut

steps before hut

 

View across from hut

View across from hut

Zealand Hut

Zealand Hut

After seeing the hut and drooling over the chocolate ginger cake ($1 a slice), we went over to see the falls, before heading onto Zeacliff.

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View from the falls

View from the falls

Pano of the falls

Pano of the falls

After we cooled off at the falls, we continued our trek to Zeacliff.  This was an uphill excursion.

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We finally arrive after an hour and 10 minutes to this sign, bear left to the view.

I get giddy when I see the AT symbol

I get giddy when I see the AT symbol

When the view opened up, I teared up.  The panoramic vista was awe-inspiring.  For me,  this view was right up there with the Grand Canyon and the lookout on the first 2 miles of the Kalalau Trail.

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Mount Washington shined bright in all her glory.

Close up of Mt. Washington

Close up of Mt. Washington

We spent about 30 minutes up here, dodging mosquitoes, black flies, taking pictures and trying to eat a sandwich.  The views were so spectacular that we wished we hadn’t been attacked by the swarms of bugs, so we could have spent more time soaking in the views.

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We headed down, rock hopping streams, stopping to cool off at a stream or two and leaping rock to rock along the way.

Cooling off

Cooling off

After the hut, we stopped at the official view to the falls and snapped a few pictures, while battling the bugs.

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After finishing the last steep section, it was smooth sailing back to the car.

Last steep section to go and look I'm smiling.

Last steep section to go and look I’m smiling.

nice that most of the 2.8 miles back to the car is level.

nice that most of the 2.8 miles back to the car is level.

This was a perfect hike for a bluebird day.  We did 7.8 miles in 5 hours 30 minutes, including hanging out time at the hut, falls and Zeacliff.  I would easily repeat this hike again.