Mt Chocorua via Champney Falls Hike & Tailgate: Casual Pace

  • October 21, 2012 · 9:00 AM
  • Champney Falls Parking Lot

One of the most popular peaks in the White Mountains, Mount Chocorua,  elevation of 3,490 feet ascends along ledge and stone steps with views to the north, east, and south. Chocorua's summit is a picturesque rocky cone, and the mountain is purported to be one of the most photographed in the world. Once atop the summit you’ll be at the site where Sokosis Chief Chocorua—distraught over the death of his son—supposedly cursed the surrounding area and its settlers. Many strange and tragic happenings have been attributed to the curse.

Meet at Champney Falls parking lot on Route 112 in Passaconaway (I-93 to exit 32 in Lincoln).

The parking area is about 1.5 miles east of Bear Notch Road and about a half hour from downtown Lincoln.

The hike is 7.6 miles with a 2250' of elevation gain. It should take us about 7 hours round trip. Stronger hikers may want to add the three sister peaks to their trip for more great views

BYO tailgate after the hike. I'll bring a gas stove so we can roast some sausages or what ever you bring.

This hike has spectacular autumn 360 degree views with two waterfalls on the descent!

Dress for fall weather hiking with an exposed summit. 40% rain cancels. This hike is not recommended for wet weather. Dogs may find the summit cone challenging. The rest of the trail is dog friendly.

It is believed that Chocorua was a real Indian, although no authentic records of his life exist. About 1720 Chocorua was on friendly terms with settlers and, in particular, the Campbell family that had a home in the valley now called Tamworth. Chocorua was called away and left his son in the care of the Campbell family. The boy found and drank a poison that Mr. Campbell had made to eliminate troublesome foxes, and Chocorua returned to find his son had died. Chocorua, distraught with grief, pledged revenge on the family. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Campbell returned home one afternoon to find his wife and children had been slain. Campbell suspected Chocorua and pursued him up the mountain that today bears his name. Chocorua was wounded by a shot from Campbell's rifle. Before Campbell could reach Chocorua, he uttered a curse upon the white settlers and their homes, livestock, and crops, and leapt from the summit to his death. There are at least three other versions of the legend of Chocorua. One is that Chocorua simply fell from a high rock on the mountain while hunting. A second is the white men pursued Chocorua up the mountain after an Indian massacre, and he was not shot at all but simply leapt to his death. The third is that all the white men pursued him with guns, pitchforks, and torches. They collapsed of exhaustion as Chocorua reached the top, and the white men decided to torch the remaining trees up to the summit, and in doing so they burned and exposed the topsoil of the last 1270 feet. As the flames drew closer and closer to Chocorua, he cursed the white men and leapt to his death.

The east face of Mount Chocorua from Carter Ledge Although no one can know the exact words of Chocorua's curse (or even if there was a curse), it has been reported to be as follows. "May the Great Spirit curse you when he speaks in the clouds and his words are fire! Lightning blast your crops! Wind and fire destroy your homes! The Evil One breathe death on your cattle! Panthers howl and wolves fatten on your bones!" Another version of Chocorua's curse appears in the story 'Chocorua's Curse' (by the author of another famous Indian work, 'Hobomok'), contained in 'The Token' (1830): 'A curse upon ye, white men! May the Great Spirit curse ye when he speaks in the clouds, and his words are fire! Chocorua had a son — and ye killed him while the sky looked bright! Lightning, blast your crops! Wind and fire destroy your dwellings! The Evil Spirit breathe death upon your cattle! Your graves lie in the war path of the Indian! Panthers howl, and wolves fatten over your bones! Chocorua goes to the Great Spirit — his curse stays with the white men!'

For those of us that are less fit, hiking is fantastic conditioning, but that stress level is hit much faster so replacement drinks are advised. Nuun, Powerade Zero, and Gatorade all make a good sugar free version for those who are controlling their sugar.


The Trail map can be found ***HERE***

The directions from the MA/NH border on rt 93 can be found ***HERE***


Click for weather forecast

ALL CANCELLATIONS OR CHANGES TO RSVP'S SHOULD BE MADE BY 6 PM THE NIGHT BEFORE THE HIKE. We rely of the RSVP's to get a true headcount and the hikers rely on the leaders to communicate.

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  • Laura B

    I second that!! Martin, I think we should go mark the trail, ha ha. So come to find out when I unpacked my pack I had an extra headlamp!! I had forgotten I put two in there. I also had a bivowac shelter, so if we ended up staying the night we were all good. Now that its done, I think it was a great time and a super learning experience. Never agree to take an unknown trail in the future, ha ha

    October 24, 2012

  • Bill T.

    Well, it wasn't "casual". We added more miles to the hike over rough, ambiguous terrain, which is why I can only give it four stars. I suspect there were some in the group who would have elected not to attend.

    October 23, 2012

  • Martin

    Truly a real adventure. Actually in retrospect, I don't even mind the less-than-fun trip back to the parking lot. We all made it out, we all stretched our comfort zones and we all have a great story to tell. I am, however, seriously considering the option of putting up some signs!

    October 23, 2012

    • Bill T.

      I know there were some nervous moment but I thank you for trusting me to find the way forward. Not to brag but I wasn't concerned for our safety or ability to get out. I've done this enough times to know how to read the woods, keep a compass on our destination and evaluate the washouts. I was very impressed with the group ahead of us who found their way out collaboratively.

      October 23, 2012

    • Bill T.

      I do have a lot of adventures like this. You have to confront your fears and deal with it. Of course you don't make stupid decision. Next time, I bring my reading glasses. I regret that we climbed an additional thousand feet and I'm proud of what you accomplished. You truly should be proud of yourselves. I sincerely hope that none of you were left with a bad taste in your mouths about an "easy going" hike. If I had known how bad a shape the trail was in, I wouldn't have gone. Be proud.

      October 23, 2012

  • Karen Washington 4.

    Looks like I missed an adventure. I regret missing it more now :(

    October 23, 2012

  • Jane T.

    It was wonderful--a real adventure with great people.
    Everyone was so helpful and friendly

    October 23, 2012

  • Laura B

    What an adventure!! So glad I got to use some of the equipment I keep with me, like a headlamp, flashlight and whistle. Thanks to all who helped us get down the mountain.

    1 · October 22, 2012

    • Jane T.

      Hi Laura, it was great to have shared this adventure with you!!

      October 23, 2012

  • Bill T.

    Thank you all for sticking it out. I had full confidence that we would make it out. You can chalk this one up as your first "bushwhack". But rest assured I thought it was enough of a pain in the $$$$ as you probably did. Next time it will be shorter and an easier, more planful route.

    October 22, 2012

  • Gloria

    I had the wrong time. I thought it was at 800 at the trail head. Now I am really sorry! My fault!

    October 21, 2012

  • Gloria

    I am not sure where to post this. I waited at LLBean till 720 and did not see anybody. When I started the drive to Lincoln after that, I realized I would not make it for 800am. I missed the hike!!

    October 21, 2012

  • Gloria

    I will be there at seven. Thank you

    October 20, 2012

    • Bill T.

      Look for a silver audi sedan

      October 20, 2012

    • Gloria

      I was there till 820 but did not see anybody. I tried to start the drive to Lincoln, but I realized I would not make it by 800. I was looking towards hiking with a group so much today! I will have to be another day.

      October 21, 2012

  • Karen Washington 4.

    Although I feel a little icky, I plan to hike tomorrow. It may be a wake up decision though. Mountain air cures everything.

    October 20, 2012

    • Karen Washington 4.

      I will try not to overcaffeinate. I am slow too. Well I am slower than most.

      October 20, 2012

    • Karen Washington 4.

      Even 5hr wouldn't work. Time to Lysol the classroom...again.

      October 21, 2012

  • Ethan S.

    If anyone wants to carpool with me, I'm driving by myself and would welcome the company - any point from Arlington MA along route 93!! Give me a call at[masked] - thanks, Ethan

    October 20, 2012

  • Ethan S.

    It turns out my wife is coming, so either we can join a carpool or give someone else a ride. We live in Arlington, so we can pick someone up on Route 93 or Route 3 or elsewhere.

    October 18, 2012

    • Bill T.

      Sorry Ethan, I'm full.

      October 20, 2012

    • Bill T.

      show up at concord nh llbean at 7am. there are often others who are looking too.

      October 20, 2012

  • Bill T.

    Guys and Gals,
    We have been talking about doing a post-hike informal dinner. I am thinking about Woodstock Inn, Station & Brewery, Woodstock NH. We can discuss tomorrow and see if there is any interest.

    October 20, 2012

  • Gloria

    Anybody carpooling from Concord? By LL Bean?

    October 20, 2012

    • Bill T.

      i can take one from llbean. I will be there at 7am

      October 20, 2012

  • steve b

    Q

    October 19, 2012

  • Diane M.

    I have to stay home on Sunday. Too many things to take care of. Trail is easy to follow- have fun and hike safe.

    October 18, 2012

  • Ethan S.

    Bill - Do you still have a spot left? Are you the only person carpooling? I live in Arlington, so could easily drive to your house.

    October 17, 2012

  • Karen Washington 4.

    Not liking forecast so far. Alternatives? I don't recommend Sunapee, but anything is fine.

    October 14, 2012

    • Bill T.

      It's too early to be concerned about the weather.

      October 16, 2012

  • Jane T.

    I'm looking forward to the hike!!

    October 15, 2012

  • Bill T.

    I have one seat left in my carpool. Anywhere along Rte 93 from Massachusetts.

    October 14, 2012

  • Karen Washington 4.

    Some people might be interesting in the Return of the Pumpkin People. There are lots of fun situations around Jackson the general area. I highly suggest it, even if you just see a few. http://www.jacksonnh.com/Press-releases/2012-Map.pdf

    October 13, 2012

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