On the summit of mile-high Katahdin; 5280 feet. (aka. Baxter Peak) Highest point in Maine; and Northern end of the 2000 mile Appalachian trail. First ascent of 'K' for me, but we all have gone back many times since. Knife Edge trail in the background. We did KnifeEdge round trip, to summit of Pamola and back, then to Baxter Peak, Northwest peaks, and down Hamlin Ridge. Very long day, 12 hours on the trail. Perfect weather. Summer solstice and full moon weekend. Stayed at Chimney Pond campsite for three nights! (Tim, Ricky, and Dann)
Cow moose and two young'uns on the trail near Chimney Pond campsite at Baxter. She almost mauled Dann the night before! Never seen Dann so scared in all my life!!
Summit of Pamola, five minutes before lightning almost killed us all! Everyone's hair was standing strait up! A bolt a hundred meters away lifted us into the air. We nearly bought the farm.
First part of "Knife Edge" trail (2000 foot drop on both sides; trail 3 feet wide in places!) Pamola summit in background, halfway between Ricky and Dann. Next day we climbed up Dudley Ridge to Pamola summit (up left ridge line), almost blasted by lightning in big thunder/hailstorm during lunch on summit. (Rick was constipated the whole weekend; that is why he has that funny look on his face!)
We built a huge blazer our last night! We hiked everything we had planned from the upper base camp at Chimney Pond in our first three days, so we decided to move down lower for our last night since rain was predicted. It did rain, so we went around and invited the entire campground to join us. We used the Jeep to drag many many down and dead logs back to camp. Very wild night! (Rick at right (in the fire trying to dry out), he eventually tried to sleep in the rain on the picnic table!)
Check out the moose checking me out!
Moose are everywhere here.
Check out Sandy Stream Pond in the early morning, and you might see several around the pond.
You'll need reservations to stay in the park overnight, and you will need to mail in your requests to headquarters in early January to have the best chance of getting your first choices. We used to always book two four-day weekends, one nearest the solstice and/or full moon in June, and the other nearest the full moon and peak fall colors in September.
The year I hiked the 200 mile Long Trail in Vermont, I decided to head up to Baxter for two weeks afterwards. Those two weeks were wonderful, and I was able to hike all the trails and peaks I had ever dreamed of. I climbed Kahtadin three times from three different trails, plus all of the other high peaks! One of the climbs was up the AT, along the final 5 miles of the 2000-mile Appalachian Trail. Sure enough, I encountered six different thru-hikers finishing up their journey. We shared tears and hugs and champagne and lunch at the summit. It was a magical day! Someday I'd love to do that 6-month hike!
The Appalachian Trail - State by State
March '98 (enhanced and updated, 03/16/2002) bsp.htm