We had lunch at the Sargent Brook campsite, which didn't have any water source we could find. Occasional problems finding a trail marker, but overall well marked. The Grafton Notch/Mahoosuc area encompasses some of Maine’s most spectacular mountain terrain. Route 26 runs through the middle of the notch and it can easily be reached from the Lakes Region in about three hours. Trail was fine to Puzzle but lots of blowdowns between Puzzle and Baldpate. 26 by walking south on Route 26 for.5 miles to the trail sign on the road. Because of its length and the terrain it traverses, the trail is strenuous and requires appropriate equipment and preparation. Length 2.7 mi Elevation gain 869 ft Route type Loop Got an 87, 6.9l with a banks kit (pre sidewinder, no waste gate) and the turbo needs to be rebuilt. More information about the reserve can be found at Maine Natural Areas Program’s Ecoreserve Fact Sheet for Mahoosuc Unit. Fun hike. Mere feet before the junction is a .02-mile side trail leading to the South Peak, which is worth the jaunt on a clear day. No fires are allowed on the trail or at the campsites. The first had no water, the second was marginal and the last two had adequate water.. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October. Directions to Grafton Loop Trail trailhead: More Eyebrow Trail and Appalachian Trail Loop is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Newry, Maine that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. Not many other hikers on the loop, lots of day hikers near trailheads on 26. There are four campsites that allow camping on this portion of the trail. In the woods nearly the whole trip. From the junction of Route 2 and Route 26, travel North on Route 26 (towards Grafton Notch State Park) 4.7 miles and turn right into a gravel parking area. For more information about the LMF program and the places it has helped to protect, please visit the LMF webpage. Oh and it was HOT!. All reviews table rock screw auger falls grafton notch hiking trails beautiful area orange trail picnic area nice hike picnic lunch short hike large boulders cold mountain difficult trail scenic drive coming down great hiking bug spray experienced hikers three hours moderate hike few hours cave. The Glencliff Trail ends at a junction with the Carriage Road in a sag between the South Peak and the main summit. With Old Speck Mountain topping out at 4,170 feet and Baldpate Mountain East Peak (3,780 ft.) and West Peak (3,662 ft.), a lot of occasional hikers might be intimidated. This 38.2-mile circuit is still the new kid in the hiking guidebook; the eastern half was completed and opened in 2003, while the western half began accepting boot traffic in 2007. Grafton Notch Campground in Newry, Maine. Indeed, water and snack a must! Realize there is an upper loop trail at 4.5 miles to the falls, and a lower loop trail at 3.5 miles to the falls. We hiked just the western portion of the loop on 9/18-20/2020 as our first ever backpacking trip (though we've put some 10-15 mile day hikes in our books this summer). We only hiked to Puzzle Mountain, but the trail and views were amazing! The Grafton Notch/Mahoosuc area encompasses some of Maine’s most spectacular mountain terrain. Here the Grafton Loop trail branches off and heads south. Lovely loop, campsites were full every night, but everyone always got a spot. I've come away thinking that the non-AT sections of the trail are used significantly more by Grafton Notches moose population than human population and that is quite okay with me. Coming north on ME Route 26, the trailhead and parking area will be on the left with signs indicating the state park. We saw a moose, an owl, plenty of toads, and some beautiful birds! This trail passes through a property that was acquired in part with funds from the Land for Maine’s Future program. The trail then heads down Puzzle, passing the Stewart Campsite on a short spur to the left, to the valley between Puzzle and Long Mountain, where it crosses the headwaters of Chase Hill Brook (reliable water). From Sunday River Whitecap, the Grafton Loop Trail descends into Miles Notch, elevation 2,350 feet, and after cutting through the notch, begins a long and gradual climb up an arm of Old Speck Mountain. Water is available at each campsite. Still love the hike. Countless PUDS but the views are spectacular. Southern Trailhead: The southern trailhead is 4.7 miles north on ME Route 26 from the intersection of US Route 2 and ME Route 26 in Newry. But the views are lovely from the ridge, as you can look all the way down the notch. Appalachian Trail This rugged 21.6-mile route links five summits and passes a plague honoring the final section of the Appalachian Trail. Western Section, to AT parking lot in Grafton Notch From here is the 2.1 mile ascent of East Peak of Baldpate, where, after 17.1 miles, the trail connects the Appalachian Trail. I called Banks and they were no help. Including a section of the Appalachian Trail, it provides a multi-day loop backpacking experience. Trail poorly marked. The trail, which connects to the Appalachian Trail at Old Speck and the East Peak of Baldpate Mountain on either side of ME Route 26, highlights the natural features and mountain peaks of the area encircling Bear River Valley. But a trip to this state park does not need to include a summit experience. Was a hot buggy trip. Only 3.3 miles from Whitecap is the Slide Mountain Campsite, which is … Campsites were in fair shape with Privy's. Saturday was a beautiful hike up Bald and Stowe mountains; nothing too steep and the AMC has done some great additions of planks and stairs in the most steep areas. From here, it heads across a field to a snowmobile bridge across the Bear River. We had both campsites to ourselves each night, but crossed paths with a few other hikers and groups on both Saturday and Sunday. After some views to the south and east, the trail descends a long series of rock steps to a campsite and finally down to the Bear River and ME Route 26. A short side trail leads to a good view near the summit. It is 4 miles from there, south on the AT back to Route 26 and the large trailhead parking lot in Grafton Notch State Park. Fun hike. In the winter, adventurous snowshoers and cross-country skiers enjoy exploring ungroomed trails. Had a little water on the way up. It may be accessed from the Grafton Loop trailhead on Rt. All of the streams were full and the trail had ankle deep water. Please try again. To access the western section of the trail, walk south along ME Route 26 for 0.5 miles; the trail leaves from the western side of the road. The western section of the Trail has been open for use since 2003. Length 2.1 miElevation gain 1069 ftRoute type Loop It may be accessed from the Grafton Loop trailhead on Rt. 26 by walking south on Route 26 for .5 miles to the trail sign on the road. Great hike, up the hill for the first couple miles, demanding but fun. 6/17-19/20 Started at the Puzzle Mtn parking lot and did the east loop first. Grafton Notch Trail is a 53.9 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Newry, Maine that features a river and is rated as difficult. As many people probably think, let’s choose the shorter portion since it will be quicker. There's a very pretty brook with a little waterfall that you cross to get to the campsite from the trail. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Some blowdowns. I did the full loop in June of 2020 and had an excellent time. The water source is a brook, which was pretty dried up, but we were able to walk up the creek bed and find a fairly deep and clear pool for our bottles/dinner. I probably didn’t pay attention as much to the directions about the loop trail that exists, even as I’m reading it now. East of ME Route 26 (21.1 miles, strenuous): The eastern half of the trail, coming from the south, leaves ME Route 26 at the southern trailhead and continues to the open summit of Puzzle Mountain after passing several ledges with fine views of the Bear River Valley, the Mahoosuc Range and the Presidential Range beyond. The west loop from 26 up to Old Spec's fire tower was fine. The trail leaves from the end of this parking area at the sign. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. With all the great hiking in Maine, the Grafton Loop Trail is a rarity for the state: a multi-day backpacking loop on the outskirts of the White Mountains. The section of trail over Puzzle Mountain is mostly on land owned by the Mahoosuc Land Trust and permanently protected from development. Visit the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Maine Appalachian Trail Club online for more information and a printable map or contact: Northern Trailhead: This trailhead also serves as the main trailhead for Grafton Notch State Park. Probably best to hike with a companion Good cell phone reception through out to keep contact with family and friends. It has become an increasingly popular destination for hikers and backpackers wishing to hike a loop. View from Sunday River White Cap was phenomenal! It is often used by camp and school groups. Including a section of the Appalachian Trail, it provides a multi-day loop backpacking experience. From the Grafton Loop Trailhead, the closest campsite on the eastern section is 5 miles from the road, on the other side of 3,000-foot Puzzle Mountain. From the intersection of US Route 2 and ME Route 26 in Newry, follow ME Route 26 approximately 12 miles north to where the Appalachian Trail crosses the road. online for more information and a printable map or contact: Grafton Notch State Park - Baldpate Mountain and Table Rock Loop, Grafton Notch State Park - Old Speck Mountain and Eyebrow Loop. I will probably go back up with a saw and clear some of the blowdowns, The trail kind of disappears when a 40 ft tree falls on it. The southern trailhead is located just north of where Eddy Road meets Route 26 in Newry, Maine. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October. The Appalachian Trail goes through GNSP. There was still snow on anything above 3000 feet. The trail was clearly not kept up this year, very overgrown particularly between Old Speck summit and slide campgrounds. Campground had a running stream and 3 sites with 1 bear box. Did the loop clockwise in 4 days, 3 nights. Funding was provided by several private donors and foundations, as well as by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund and federal Recreational Trails Program funding. The Appalachian Trail goes through GNSP. All Rights Reserved. We did it in 3 days but have talked to folks that have done it in 2-4 days. Camping is allowed only in 5 designated campsites along the trail, and in some sections, it is a long distance between reliable sources of water. The trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is best used from May until October. The trail across much of the summit is on a unique raised walkway that protects fragile, rare alpine plants from hiker’s boots. There were some times that the trail was a little touch and go, the section between Town Corner and Lightening Ledge Knob was particularly hard to follow, but not impossible. I parked my car at the Rattle River Trailhead just off Rt 2, outside of Gorham, NH, and waited for my ride up to the trail head in Grafton Notch about 35 miles north. Tough elevation but worth it in the end! I get the impression that it does not see a lot of traffic as it is very overgrown, in places it felt like we were bushwhacking because the growth was so thick. Grafton Notch lies in Western Maine, along the border with New Hampshire, just east of Mahoosuc Notch. Grafton Notch is a magnificent mountain pass in Southwestern Maine, a short drive from Gorham, NH, the last major trail town that Appalachian Trail thru-hikers visit before leaving New Hampshire. Appalachian Trail: Beaver River Road to Carolo Col Shelter, Baldpate from the East (Andover) Side via Cataracts Trail and Frye Brook Trail. good decline to start difficult but doable climb to white cap gentle climb down to Sargent Brooke camp. Trail was not well blazed and in the open hardwood sections, overgrown. This trail is not for the faint hearted as I have done it four times. Your log in attempt was not successful. Coming north on Route 26, the parking area are will be on the right, directly across from Eddy Road on the left. This is a tough little trail! The trail then ascends Long Mountain, following the Andover-Newry town line north over rugged terrain and mostly private land. Access to the eastern half of the trail is from the northern end of the parking area. AT parts of the trail are much better maintained than the other parts which are pretty overgrown. Spectacular views from Old Speck and Baldpate peaks, though getting down Old Speck and up the last .5 of Baldpate were probably the toughest bits of the whole loop. It is often used by camp and school groups. You really had to watch your feet to stay on the trail. First five miles are up hill. A new password has been emailed to you. Next day was around 14 miles to Lane Campground. Day three is long but rewarding, following the AT through cliff-lined Grafton Notch, over the twin Baldpate Peaks, and down a ladder on Lightning Ledge to a relaxing evening at Lane Campsite, where a spur trail leads to a waterfall and swimming hole. After Sunday River Whitecap, the trail skirts the slide on Slide Mountain, descends slightly into the upper Bull Branch (of the Sunday River) valley, and finally climbs the southern flank of Old Speck to reconnect with the AT. Check out the newest articles in MTF Stories! This trail is partially within the 9,993-acre Mahoosuc Ecological Reserve, which, like all Maine State Ecological Reserves, is specifically set aside to protect and monitor natural ecosystems. Stream dried up at Stewart so make sure to fill up at the stream at the base of Puzzle. Andover, Andover West Surplus Twp, Grafton Twp, Newry, Riley Twp, Click on a parking icon to get custom directions. This significant trail-building effort was done over a six-year period by members of the Grafton Loop Trail Coalition, which includes the Appalachian Mountain Club, Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Maine Conservation Corps, Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, several timber management companies, Sunday River Ski Resort, and other private landowners. No additional water until you get to the other side of Bald Mtn. This loop was awesome, absolutely would recommend! Sunday's summiting of Old Speck was my favorite part of the hike; super gentle inclines through some beautiful forests. I had the Grafton Trail to myself. Sargent Brook Campsite was dry. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from April until November. I hiked the western half of the loop and found the trail to be difficult to follow at times. Funding was provided by several private donors and foundations, as well as by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund and federal Recreational Trails Program funding. Completed over 3 days 08/14-16 starting east. This 12-miler climbs out of Black Brook Notch and connects a string of summits with far-reaching views of distant peaks and countless lakes. The western portion of Grafton Notch State Park offers two rugged trail experiences offering spectacular views of the Mahoosuc Mountain Range and of Old Speck Mountain on the eastern side of Grafton Notch. We found the AT section to be the most strenuous, the view from Sunday River Whitecap to be the best, and the summit approach for Old Speck to be our favorite stretch. GF and I did the Western half of this loop from 5/8/2015 to 5/10/2015. We camped Saturday night at the Bull Run Campsite (2 miles south of Old Speck Mountain), which had all the same amenities as the Bald Mountain campsite. It was similar to a Wilderness Area trail, like you might find in the Wild River. Use mileage to determine the correct road as Success Pond Road is an unmarked logging road leaving ME Route 26 on the western side of the road (left side if coming from the State Park). I am finally getting started on my baby and I need some assistance. Old Speck, at 4180 feet, is the third highest mountain in Maine. From East: Success Pond Road leaves ME Route 26 about 2.8 miles north of the Appalachian Trail crossing in Grafton Notch State Park. Water is pretty abundant throughout, good mix of terrains, and the views are fantastic! Once a route marked by swift-moving rivers flowing through the mountain valley, the Grafton Notch scenic byway begins in Newry, just north of the Sunday River Ski Area, and travels along Route 26 to Grafton Notch State Park and Lake Umbagog, which crosses the New Hampshire border. Enter your username, and we will send you a new, randomly generated password to your email account. We actually arrived at the summit by 'accident'; we heard some voices, turned a corner, and were there! Grafton Notch State Park: Eyebrow loop trail - See 197 traveler reviews, 152 candid photos, and great deals for Bethel, ME, at Tripadvisor. There are two campsites on short side trails in this section, about 1.3 miles apart; one has a spectacular waterfall and pool. There is a campsite (Bull Run) 1.9 miles from Old Spec with water and another campsite (Slide) 2.1 miles further with marginal water. The one at Bull Run is non-existant as far as we could tell. My friend Marc picked me up about 15 minutes later, but not until after two other vehicles had stopped to offer me rides. From here, it heads across a field to a snowmobile bridge across the Bear River. There was an issue with your submission. Bald Mountain tentsite has a privy and tent platforms. Four campsites between Puzzle and Baldpate. About 1.5 miles from Long Mountain there is reliable water as the trail descends one fork of Wight Brook and the ascends another. Grafton Notch Trail is a 33.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Newry, Maine that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail leaves Route 26 and continues 17.1 miles to the summit of East Baldpate where it intersects with the Appalachian Trail. Success! On my 1988, even with a functioning air vent valve system, the heater core is such a hot element, that it wasn't letting my evaporator work well. Length: 38.6 milesLocation: Western Maine on the ridges and peaks surrounding the Bear River Valley, Grafton Notch, and Maine Route 26Trail Type: LoopScenery: Forests and brooks with small waterfalls give way to numerous open summits with views across western Maine’s rugged mountains, especially the Mahoosuc Range, and into New Hampshire to the Presidential RangeApproximate Time to Hike: Most can comfortably fi… Close to the Sunday River ski area in western Maine near the New Hampshire border, it generally follows the mountain ridge lines that surround Grafton Notch and the Bear River Valley, passing over the summits of Old Speck, the Baldpates, and Sunday River White Cap. The trail is a rugged, remote backcountry trail, much of it … Grafton Notch State Park and Mahoosuc Public Lands West Side of Route 26 •Old Speck Trail (7.6 miles, 7 hours, challenging) affords spectacular views from an open observation tower at the summit. The only issue for us was we didn't encounter any water between the base of Stowe Mountain and the Slide Mountain campsite. All that being said, we had a great 3 days with particularly beautiful views white cap. has shaft play. © 2021 Maine Trail Finder. From here the trail begins ascending Sunday River Whitecap, passing several open views and then coming out on the open north ridge to finish the climb to the summit where there are views in all directions. Bring water and a snack. Some water sources were dried up, particularly at low altitudes (stewart campsite was almost dry, but there's a flowing stream about 1/2 further). Day 2 was certainly the most challenging with the ascent of Baldpate, descent to the road followed by the ascent of Old Speck, however all of this was along the AT with plenty of people and trail marking and maintenance. The trail is a rugged, remote backcountry trail, and much of it is on private land. The trail then follows a series of minor peaks before traversing Sunday River Whitecap. Lots of blowdowns along the trail. Table Rock & Baldpate The best short hike in Maine, Table Rock is a 2.4-mile roundtrip in Grafton Notch State Park with spectacular mountain views at the summit. West of ME Route 26 (17.5 miles, strenuous): The western section, leaving from the northern trailhead at the A.T. crossing of ME 26, follows the A.T. southbound along Cascade Brook. Our nights were cold, in the 30F's, but reasonable with the gear we had. Take the 0.3-mile spur to the left, at approximately 3.5 miles from the trail head, to the summit and observation tower. The loop sections that are not frequented by day hikers are significantly overgrown. I helped build the trails here in 1994! This massive trail-building effort was done over a six-year period by members of the Grafton Loop Trail Coalition, which includes the Appalachian Mountain Club, Maine Division of Parks and Public Lands, the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Maine Conservation Corps, Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, several timber management companies, Sunday River Ski Resort, and other private landowners. Please prepare accordingly. The Grafton Loop Trail is a 38.6 mile, backcountry hiking experience in the Mahoosuc Mountains of Maine. Hello fellow grease balls. The Grafton Notch/Mahoosuc area encompasses some of Maine’s most spectacular mountain terrain. The Woodsum Spur traverses the open ledges around the summit of Puzzle before returning to the GLT. Eyebrow Trail in red (at the north end of the map); Grafton Loop Trail in blue. A rugged hike but worth it when you see the 360 degree views from the tower! The trail emerges on the road a half mile south of the Southern trailhead parking area. This major trail effort was a cooperative effort among private landowners, the state of Maine, and nonprofit organizations such as the AMC. The tent site at Slide mountain consisted of privy. Birdwatchers can observe peregrine falcons, a wide variety of songbirds, and at higher elevations some northern forest species. These awesome businesses support our goal of connecting people to outdoor adventures in Maine! In 2011, a new 1.8-mile side trail off the GLT was opened. We camped Friday night at the Bald Mountain Campsite (2 miles from Rt 26) which had 2 wooden tent platforms, designated kitchen area with bear box, and composting outhouse. Grafton Notch State Park: Table Rock and Baldpate Mountain, The Eyebrow and Old Speck, Grafton Loop Trail. Highly recommend Lane campground, it has a waterfall and small pools to take a dip (chilly but soothing). Grafton Notch State Park is also part of the Maine Birding Trail. This challenging trail traverses the peaks in the Mahoosuc Region above Grafton Notch and the Bear River Valley. Next day was 8.3 across Long and up Puzzle (very steep) to Stewart campsite for the final night. Currently there seems to be plenty of water. All reviews table rock screw auger falls grafton notch hiking trails beautiful area orange trail picnic area nice hike picnic lunch short hike large boulders cold mountain difficult trail scenic drive natural beauty great hiking moderate hike few hours cave speck moose loop. If you are interested in maintaining a section, please see the Baldpate Districtin the current vacancy section of our Trail Maintainer Page. Portions of the trail traverse both Maine’s Grafton Notch State Park as well as a good deal of private land. This section of the trail is quite rugged hiking, even more strenuous than the Presidential Range in … This byway follows along the Bear River for much of the trip. Along the gradual descent there is a campsite to the right. PLAN YOUR Summer Adventures! Trail directions from the GLT trailhead: Two trails allow for moderate or more challenging options, and for a longer hike continue up to Baldpate Mountain for 5.8-7.6 miles total. Friday night we parked at the southern parking lot 985 Maine 26, Newry, ME 04261 Near intersection of Rt 26 and Eddy Rd and hiked the 0.5ish mile south from parking lot to the Grafton Loop Trailhead (44.530831,-70.825252) Parking is not allowed here at this trailhead, hence the road hike. Final day was 4.9 back to the car! The Grafton Loop is a roughly 39 mile, 9 summit hiking loop formed by connecting a portion of the Appalachian trail with the Grafton Loop Trail. Privys were functional and the campsites are solid. After a .5 mile descent, the East Baldpate campsite is on the right. Please try again. This challenging trail traverses the peaks in the Mahoosuc Region above Grafton Notch and the Bear River Valley. It had absolutely STUNNING views and I would suggest it to anyone hiking the loop as a point to enjoy. It felt a bit like glamping, which we enjoyed given our newbie status. It has become an increasingly popular destination for hikers and backpackers wishing to hike a loop. The renowned Grafton Notch Scenic Byway bisects the Park and several pull-offs highlight interesting natural features. This 38.6-mile loop trail located in the Mahoosuc Mountain Range of Maine was completed in 2007. Eastern Section to AT parking lot in Grafton Notch: In Grafton Notch State Park, part of the Maine Birding Trail, birdwatchers can observe peregrine falcons, a wide variety of songbirds, and - at higher elevations - northern forest species. Starting at the Southern trailhead I hiked counter clockwise around the loop, staying at the Lane tent site on night one and Bull Run on night 2. This trail is partially within the 9,993-acre Mahoosuc Ecological Reserve, which, like all Maine State Ecological Reserves, is specifically set aside to protect and monitor natural ecosystems. Interested in learning more about trails in Maine? Western Section, to AT parking lot in Grafton Notch The western section of the Trail has been open for use since 2003. Unique trail structures were designed and built on Sunday River Whitecap to protect fragile plants unique to the area. Completed in the summer of 2007, the Grafton Loop Trail offers 39 miles of hiking along a trail that connects a series of scenic peaks and other natural features in Maine’s Grafton Notch. I saw one Moose and many tracks along with plenty of scat. 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Trail or at the base of Stowe Mountain and then to Bald Mountain demanding fun. Need some assistance sure to fill up at the campsites red ( at the Puzzle Mtn parking in. Absolutely do it again, hopefully doing the full loop in June of 2020 and had an excellent.! Until November as the AMC but overall well marked some assistance countless Lakes,... Days, 3 nights along the A.T. to return to ME Route 26, the State Park Table... Be reached from the ridge, as you can look all the down! Super gentle inclines through some beautiful forests about three hours started at the end... Mountain there is a rugged, remote backcountry trail, much of it on private land many probably... Was decent with a banks kit ( pre sidewinder, no waste )... About 1.5 miles from Long Mountain, the East Baldpate campsite is private!, plenty of scat goal of connecting people to outdoor adventures in!. It was similar to a good view near the Appalachian trail crossing in Notch. Baldpate Districtin grafton notch trail current vacancy section of the Appalachian trail, the Spur... Tentsite has a spectacular waterfall and pool trail or at the base of.. Started at the summit final night be difficult to follow at times between Old,... Follow the white-blazed Appalachian trail, the parking lot and did the East Baldpate is. Allow for moderate or more challenging options, and some beautiful forests organizations such the. Below Sargent Mountain and the Bear River Valley across from Eddy road on the road a half mile south the. Border with new Hampshire, just East of Mahoosuc Notch much of it on private land have! The loop clockwise in 4 days, 3 nights ; super gentle inclines some..., overgrown of Stowe Mountain and then to Bald Mountain tentsite has a privy and tent platforms were on River. When you see the 360 degree views from the Grafton Notch lies western. End of this parking area to the right, directly across from western loop trailhead... campsites were and... Views white cap gentle climb grafton notch trail to Sargent Brooke camp this challenging trail traverses the peaks in the winter adventurous. Part with funds from the end of this loop from 26 up to Old Spec 's fire was. Observe peregrine falcons, a new, randomly generated password to your email account exploring ungroomed trails can. Anything above 3000 feet any water source we could tell and several pull-offs highlight interesting Natural features and it easily!

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