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Trip Report - Katahdin Maine


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I've been a little quiet on this board recently, still lurking, but I guess there hasn't been a lot going on other than the normal help me find this mark on geocaching questions. I'm pretty sure we all love benchmark trip reports, and I have a couple to make, so I hope you enjoy them.


My Wife's Grandfather lives in Millinocket Maine, right next to the Big Moose in and Trading Post. He's getting older in age, and its only a matter of time before he won't be able to live up there alone anymore. Over July 4th week my wife and I along with my brother in law and his wife went for a visit. It was a rather quickly planned trip, only a couple week's notice, and I had a bright idea, that this may be my last time to be up in Maine and climb the mountain... Katahdin.



Katahdin Panoramic - taken from Pamola Peak, 8:43am


I consulted with my parents, my mom had made the summit while my dad had to turn back, and with another friend who called it the best high peak on the eastern coast, and decided to give it a shot. Listed as an extensive hike, where the vaerage hiker should expect to spend 8-10 hours, I was a little apprehensive. I decided to follow Helon-Taylor trail up the Knife edge to the summit and down the saddle to wolf pond trail. That is supposed to be one of the most exciting trails, the knife edge. So named because of its narrow (5 foot) trail with steep 1,000+ feet drop offs on either side.



Knife Edge Trail - taken about 3 hours into the hike


I of course took with me my GPS and data sheets for all the summit marks, QG1447, QG1448, QG1449, QG1450, and QG1451. Left the camp for the baxter State park gate at 4:30am, after sleeping only for 1am to 3am the night before. I was first in line (there is limitted parking at each trail head and when it fills, that trail is closed for the day). Got in the park a little after 5am. On July 2nd, sunrise is actually around 4:46am in Maine, so it was quite light out that morning. Saw a moose, and drove to the trail head. Started up around 5:40am. Some of the trails just opened a week earlier, because of more than expected snow. There was still some on top when I made it, July 2nd.



QG1447 South Summit Peak Cairn - with Baxter Peak (Katahdin) in the background


It was a fantastic hike, and I made awesome time on the trail. I stopped for many pictures and still managed to summit around 9:30am. Sometimes I barely make it into work by 9:30am, and here I was on top of the high point of Maine, 5,267 FT. It was a warm beautiful day. I spent 1 hour on top, eating my lunch, enjoying the view, and scrambling around for the summit benchmarks. I was able to find RM no1 and no2, as well as a couple summit cairns. It is doubtful the actual summit cairn is original.



QG1450 Summit Cairn (possibly)






QG1451 KATAHDIN RM No2, and view to the lakes of Maine


After enjoying the summit, I made my way down via Saddle and Chimney trail. Met a few camp counselors around 12pm (1.5 hours after leaving the summit), they were escorting 40 girl scouts up the peak. With at least 3 hours of heavy hiking remaining, I hope they turned back, I doubt they would all make it. I returned to the parking lot after a really long 3 hour descent. Total time of the hike: 4 hrs up, 1 hr on top, 3 hours down. I actually made it back to camp by 2:30pm for a relaxing afternoon of swimming in Lake Millinocket. It was a great trip.


I have a lot of great pictures in my gallery, if you would like to see more, larger quality pictures.


Monkeykat's Katahdin Trip Photo Gallery


I also hit some geocaches in the area, and was pleasantly surprised to see some logs from none other than Harry Dolphin, of the benchmark forums fame!

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