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.
The path was level with a few small inclines and some parts were downright flat.
The views opened up for a bit at the old beaver area.
The U.S. Forest Service has installed some new bridges to go over the beaver damage.
We were .5 mile from the hut and hit another section with views.
As we neared the .2 mile marker, we could hear Zealand Falls and we caught a glimpse of it.
Right before the hut the trail becomes steep.
We walked up the steps and emerged at the hut. We arrived at the hut an hour and 20 minutes after we started.
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.
After we cooled off at the falls, we continued our trek to Zeacliff. This was an uphill excursion.
We finally arrive after an hour and 10 minutes to this sign, bear left to the view.
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.
Mount Washington shined bright in all her glory.
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.
We headed down, rock hopping streams, stopping to cool off at a stream or two and leaping rock to rock along the way.
After the hut, we stopped at the official view to the falls and snapped a few pictures, while battling the bugs.
After finishing the last steep section, it was smooth sailing back to the car.
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.
One the few nicer things than a day wandering in Zealand valley is winding up at Zeacliff. I wonder how many hikers walk past the little “View->” sign and don’t bother to go out there. They’ll never know what they’re missing! When you return (and I know you will) I highly recommend continuing out Ethan Pond trail and then up the Zeacliff trail and over to Zeacliff Pond and then looping back down to Zeacliff and the hut. We did that on a beautiful October day a few years ago and it was one of the nicest days we’ve spent in the Whites!
Mark thanks for your comments and suggestions. We would love to do that loop, maybe this fall when we return up here. We’ve also decided we want to hike out to Shoal Pond and look up at Zeacliff. We met one of the croo, coming from Galehead hut to Zealand and he said he missed the view, has never seen it. We insisted he go to the viewing spot.