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  1. #1
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    :banana Getting to Crawford Notch

    I'll be taking the Concord Coach from Boston Logan to New Hampshire on July 25th. I'm getting back on the trail at Crawford Notch. My question is, what's the best and cheapest way to get a ride to Crawford Notch. Should I get off the bus at North Conway and try and get a ride north to Crawford Notch, or take the bus to Gorham and get a ride south to the Notch?
    Or are there any other better approaches to get there? Any info would be helpful.
    I see where Rattle River will get you to Crawford Notch for $90, but I'm hoping to find something a little cheaper.
    AT LASH GA to VA 2016
    AT LASH VA to NY 2017
    AT LASH NY to NH 2019
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  2. #2

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    I think it is probably 6 one way half a dozen the other.....Just from looking at google maps, I think I would go with Conway and possibly even hitch up to CN. Its only 22 miles all on main roads. But even if you paid a shuttle, you should only be looking at max $2/ mile. So 40-50 bucks from either gorham or conway depending on where you can get a shuttle set up at. 90 bucks seems very high
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  3. #3

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    The AMC runs a shuttle with a stop in Gorham which will get you to Crawford. $30 for AMC members, $35 for non-members. Assuming it's running this summer. The only other option is the Rattle river shuttle or hitch hiking.

    Be advised that the bus doesn't get to Gorham until like 9:30 PM. It's always late due to traffic coming out of Boston in the afternoon. You will need to reserve a motel room for the night. DO NOT arrive on a weekend, ATVer's fill up all the motel rooms. Getting off at North Conway is worse as there is only one motel within walking distance (A hotel across the street) but rooms there are $$$$ and the end of July is prime time to hit up the tourists for all their worth.
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  4. #4

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    Assuming Covid restrictions are not in place this summer (AMC did not run the shuttle last summer at all), take the same Concord Trails bus headed to Gorham but get off at Pinkham Notch and book a bunk room space at Joe Dodge lodge. You can get breakfast there in the AM and get on the AMC Shuttle. Obviously Covid dependent. I think you get in too late for supper and no options nearby unless you hitch into Gorham and back (not a good idea at that time of night). You can catch the AMC shuttle in Gorham in the AM. "The Barn" in Gorham is more convenient than Rattle River hostel if you are arriving on a bus. Rattle River is a couple of mile walk down RT 2 east or a hitch. The Barn would not be of much interest to the ATV crowd as there is no onsite parking to speak of so its probably going to have space. It is a couple of blocks East of the official bus stop. A hitch from Gorham to Crawford is not easy, you probably end up having to connect up three hitches unless a local hiker happens to be going your way. If you are short on bucks, hikers do stealth in the woods on the island accessed by the walkway under the abandoned railroad trestle about a half mile north of the bus stop at the Irving Station. Note that island is usually crawling with wood ticks.

    The White Birches campground pre covid has a bare bones hostel. There usually is retiree that stays in the summer that will shuttle hikers. Its obviously a season by season thing. its a bit closer to Gorham than Rattle River but still a walk.

    Trail Angels in Berlin was running shuttles last summer. They are an option with a bit more flexibility than Rattle River at a higher cost). I am unaware of any North Conway based shuttles. Possibly Uber?

    As mentioned hitching 302 is possible but not easy. The North Conway bus stop has no cheap lodging options and its quite a distance to the split between RT 302 and RT 16. Odds are its double hitch. The Jackson NH flag stop is bit closer to the split but there are zero cheap overnight options. In both cases finding a spot to stealth in the woods require some walking. Nothing good in North Conway nearby but just south of Jackson Covered bridge flag stop there is a large restaurant on the right with big parking lot that accesses the woods where someone may be able to stealth. Hitch or walk down to the junction and there is Irving Gas station with pastries and junk food for breakfast then hitch north on Rt 302.

  5. #5

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    I guess I lost my edit privledges so need to reup, If you stay at Pinkham you catch the AMC shuttle at Pinkham not Gorham.

  6. #6

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubblehead View Post
    I'll be taking the Concord Coach from Boston Logan to New Hampshire on July 25th. I'm getting back on the trail at Crawford Notch. My question is, what's the best and cheapest way to get a ride to Crawford Notch. Should I get off the bus at North Conway and try and get a ride north to Crawford Notch, or take the bus to Gorham and get a ride south to the Notch?
    Or are there any other better approaches to get there? Any info would be helpful.
    I see where Rattle River will get you to Crawford Notch for $90, but I'm hoping to find something a little cheaper.
    I live in the Concord area and always looking for an excuse to get up north as well as an opportunity to pay it forward/pay it back. Would be willing to pick you up at the bus station in Concord and get you to Crawford Notch or somewhere in the area if you're staying that night at a motel, hostel, etc. Let me know if you're interest with a PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shae View Post
    I live in the Concord area and always looking for an excuse to get up north as well as an opportunity to pay it forward/pay it back. Would be willing to pick you up at the bus station in Concord and get you to Crawford Notch or somewhere in the area if you're staying that night at a motel, hostel, etc. Let me know if you're interest with a PM.
    Man now that is a hookup right there!
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  9. #9
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    I feel like the dancing banana!OK, maybe two dancing banana's!
    AT LASH GA to VA 2016
    AT LASH VA to NY 2017
    AT LASH NY to NH 2019
    AT LASH NH to ME 2021 ???

  10. #10

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    I generally recommend to both parties that this type of arrangement be done via PM. Plans change and the two parties need to keep in touch. The driver is making a commitment for some point in the future and the hiker is depending on him to be available. I have been in this situation a few times where I block out a day and time to do a shuttle and the hiker has a last minute change in schedule that I can not accommodate as I have other plans out of the area.

    I also have experience that many folks who plan hikes in the whites tend to overestimate their ability to do the miles they planned. It may be bad weather or just optimistic planning. In my most recent case pre covid a person had a Mahoosuc traverse planned and had a car spotted at Grafton Notch. On the second day in his family mutinied and he decided that he needed to cut it short. I luckily was available that day to go pick him up and drive the hour one way so that he could pick up his car and was glad to do it. I was available that day but had he called the next day I was out of town for a couple of days.

  11. #11

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    And if you do get the ride to Crawford, you'll still arrive around dark, so you'll need reservations at the highland center, along with the other guy. Although there is a slim chance of finding an open campsite at the F.S. Dry River site. Last couple of weeks of July is prime time in these parts so everything fills up fast. Once again, avoid weekends at all costs. Weekdays you at least have a chance...
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  12. #12
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    And if you do get the ride to Crawford, you'll still arrive around dark, so you'll need reservations at the highland center, along with the other guy...
    Slo-goíen didnít mention it explicitly (itís on theHighland Center property) but if you take his advise, I think the Shapliegh Bunkhouse is reserved under its own name.

    Still AMC but cheaper and in some ways better, so worth a look.

    Not sure if it is still there, but if the Highland Center still has Bradford Washburnís photos on display they are worth the extra effort to find ó they were in a different building on the property. I know, photos, right? Laugh now but thank me later .

  13. #13
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    Me and Shae have already PMed..
    Drop off Concord bus station 1:30 PM. 90 MINUTES Concord to Crawford Notch via I-93, NH-3, NH-302. Arrive at Notch NLT 3:30 PM. Hike 2 miles up to Webster Cliffs and stealth camp. Plenty of time. If the weather is bad, I'll hotel up in Concord and wait for good weather.
    I am fully aware of the difficulty of the trail in the presidentials and southern Maine. I'm hiking 165 miles from Winding Stair Gap to Hot Springs to help get my legs in trail shape, catching a flight from Asheville to Boston, and going from there. I do realize hiking in North Carolina is not the same as hiking in NH and Maine...
    I wanted to hike the Smokies again hoping for better weather than I had back in April of 2016 when I hiked thru there...
    If the ride with Shae works out, great...if not, I'll find another way! It's all good...
    AT LASH GA to VA 2016
    AT LASH VA to NY 2017
    AT LASH NY to NH 2019
    AT LASH NH to ME 2021 ???

  14. #14

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    It can not be emphasized enough to folks how important it is to not over plan in the whites. Hike the entire trail how you wish, but when you get to Moosilauke really take your planning more serious from a mileage perspective. I really took this serious and it paid off. My easy to get 20's all along the AT turned into hard to get 12's. I was determined to get a 20 in the whites and I did but I had to work hard for it.
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  15. #15

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    Great, looks like you have a plan together. One caveat is Webster Cliff is not stealth friendly until you get to the top of the cliffs. Once you are up there you can find plenty of spots near the trail. You are near but not in the Dry River Wilderness so the 200 foot off trail rule does not apply. That said this is busy trail so you may have a few day hikers and trail runners heading by. The cliffs are great place for stargazing. Once you head into the woods after the summit of Webster stealth spots are far less available or inviting. There is no reliable water sources of water between the point where you start climbing steeply up from RT 302 to Mitzpah Spring Hut. There are seasonal muck holes from Webster to Mizpah but they are nasty spots to get water as they are in the footbed of the trail. So make sure you lug up enough water for overnight and a half day of water. There are more reliable water heading down, the Webster trail but the days hike is rolling ridge walk so you should be able to just grunt up what you need in the 2000 foot climb up Webster cliff the nigh before.

  16. #16

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    I forgot the bus runs to Concord more frequently then the once a day to Gorham.

    Hike 2 miles and stealth camp? No, that is not going to happen. If you get dropped off at the AT crossing, you start climbing up the cliffs right away. You are not going to camp on the side of the cliff. Sorry, it just isn't possible. You could possibly camp at the bottom of the cliffs, but that is totally illegal as your still in the state park (no camping allowed) and within 1/4 mile of the road (no camping allowed) and on a heavily trafficked trail. This is a popular day hike.

    If you don't want to hike all the way to the Nauman tent site, you could hike south 2.5 miles to the Ethan pond tent sites. You are not going to stealth camp anywhere between Crawford notch and Maine. Plan accordingly and give the AMC the big bucks or stay home.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  17. #17
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    I totally agree Gambit. When I hiked Moosilauke, Franconia Ridge, Wolf, Garfield, the Kinsmans etc. back in 2019, I was only doing 9-10 miles a day. It's a totally different ball game once you hit Moosilauke NOBO. I'm 59 years old; I'm not expecting to hike big miles thru the Presidentials and southern Maine...I don't have a timetable to finish once I leave Crawford Notch NOBO...
    AT LASH GA to VA 2016
    AT LASH VA to NY 2017
    AT LASH NY to NH 2019
    AT LASH NH to ME 2021 ???

  18. #18

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    I don't remember seeing any stealth spots at the top of the cliffs. But if there are any, what's the chances of finding one not being used by a thru hiker or someone else late in the day in July? Pretty slim. If you get that far, might as well continue on to Nauman and sleep on a comfortable tent platform.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I don't remember seeing any stealth spots at the top of the cliffs. But if there are any, what's the chances of finding one not being used by a thru hiker or someone else late in the day in July? Pretty slim. If you get that far, might as well continue on to Nauman and sleep on a comfortable tent platform.
    There are a surprising amount of tent sites at the top of the climb, I dont think they would be considered legal though
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  20. #20
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for all the good info....if I do get a ride from Concord, might be a good idea to spend the night there, and get an early start the next morning so I'll have enough time to get to Mitzpah on the first hiking day...
    If the ride from Concord doesn't work out, I'll take the bus to North Conway, Gorham, or Pinkham Notch and try and get to Crawford Notch from there...
    AT LASH GA to VA 2016
    AT LASH VA to NY 2017
    AT LASH NY to NH 2019
    AT LASH NH to ME 2021 ???

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