Hiking Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park of Maine, USA

Millinocket Travel Blog

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A friend and I hiked part of Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park of Maine on June 30th, 2007Baxter Peak is the highest point in Maine at about 5,200 feet.  Mt. Katahdin is also the start (or finish) of the Appalachian Trail

It was an awesome hike.  We got up around 3:30am to get to the gate by 4:30am.  They open the gate to the park at 5am, and we were told to get there a little early because cars line up since they only let in a finite number of hikers per day.

  We were the second car there.

We started hiking at 5:30am.  The views were beautiful on the way up to the first peak.  It was cloudy, with sprinkles here and there.  Luckily we had brought ponchos.  But, when we started getting near the first peak we realized we were in trouble.

The wind was gusting at over 50mph with cold rain mixed in.  We had not carried gloves or hats with us, and the temperature was about 45 with the wind chill...or lower.  My friend's hands went numb, and she couldn't feel anything.  We were about 4.2 miles into the hike that was supposed to be 11.4, but we had to turn back.  The way up ahead looked even worse with the clouds flying over the peak right in front of us, and the wind whipping around. 

As we passed other hikers coming up as we were going back down, we told them about the extreme conditions.  But, they continued on up.  Soon after we started downhill my friend's knee started causing her a lot of pain.  She could barely walk after another hour, and so our pace slowed to almost a halt.  All the groups we had told about the weather as they were going up were now passing us on the way down.  They all told us that they agreed with us about the weather and were headed down too.  One pair of hikers even said they experienced hail and sleet.  Yuck.

Eventually we made our way down.  We still hiked a good 8 miles that day, and I took some breath-taking photographs.  And, I got within 3 feet of a moose that was eating a bush right on the trail!  I would definitely hike up there again.

Sunflower300 says:
Fantastic. Was your friend ok?
Posted on: Aug 11, 2007
CrazyLisa says:
Wow that sounds like a really great time
Posted on: Jul 10, 2007
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photo by: vances