Tags: Monadnock Mountain, Monadnock Trails, Monte Rosa, New Hampshire hiking, maps, New Hampshire trails, Jaffrey, Hiking New Hampshire, Mt Monadnock, NH, trails
Monte Rosa (elevation 2550 feet) is the most prominent bald crag on the southwest ridge
of Grand Monadnock. Monte Rosa offers fine views of the summit, Perkins Pond, Gap
Mt., Little Monadnock, the southern New England coastal plain, the
Berkshires and Green Mountains of Vermont from its bare ledges and various
viewpoints. To climb Monte Rosa; shortly beyond the Halfway House Site the
Monte Rosa Trail and Fairy Spring Trail head up Monte Rosa. From the summit
of Grand Monadnock, Monte Rosa is accessible by descending via the Smith
Summit Trail. The Cart Path, Mossy Brook Trail and up the Great Pasture Trail is a
scenic way up Monte Rosa. There is a web of Trails that cover Monte Rosa to
make for interesting hiking, away from the crowds of the main trails.
Hiking Trails; Update 2013: There start of the Fairy Spring Trail has changed. The Fairy Spring Trail now starts from the Monte Rosa Trail about 20 yards past Fassett Brook. The trail junction of the Monte Rosa Trail at the White Arrow Trail has no sign and may be missed, see below.
Monte Rosa Trail
leads west at the junction of the White Arrow and Royce Trail about 100
yards beyond the Half-way House Site. Watch for the junction which isn't well signed for ascending hikers. The Monte Rosa Trail bears left where the White Arrow Trail bears right shortly after leaving the Halfway House Site. The Monte Rosa Trails is marked with white tags and white paint blazes, is well beaten and generally easy to follow. The Monte Rosa Trail junction was the site of an old
picnic grove 100 feet beyond the Halfway House Site. The Monte Rosa Trail crosses Fassett Brook; a vernal stream, passes the Fairy Spring Trail junction, then up a steep
section climbing from a hardwood to a spruce forest then levels out for a short stretch. The Monte Rosa Trail crosses Fairy Brook another vernal stream. The trail then climbs up another step up the ridge passing Sweetwater spring, a stagnant water hole on left then ascends up to the Fairy Spring
trail junction, on right, then Smith bypass, 50 yards ahead on right. Monte Rosa Trail climbs up a few steep spots up to Monte Rosa. From Monte Rosa a sign marks Monte Rosa and Fairy Spring Trails. In winter Monte Rosa Trail may
be difficult to follow under a thick blanket of snow.
Fairy Spring Trail is marked with yellow paint blazes and yellow tags, is well beaten and is generally easy to follow. Just the start of the trail may be harder to find. The Fairy Spring Trail leads north, right from the Monte Rosa Trail (sign) after crossing a bridge just about 50 yards from the White Arrow junction. The Fairy Spring leads to some rock steps then passes Fassett's Mountain House Site, on left. The trail climbs up a steep spot as the forest turns from hardwoods to spruce, goes past a cascade on the left when there is good runoff then leads to Fairy Spring, the path continues on up a few steep spots to Monte Rosa Trail.
Smith Bypass diverges right from Monte Rosa trail 50 feet up from the Fairy Spring/Monte Rosa Trail junction and about .1 mile below Monte Rosa. The Smith Bypass heads through mixed forest to the Tooth and the Smith Summit Trail.
The Cart Path, Mossy Brook Trail
and Great Pasture Trail
is a round about scenic route to Monte Rosa. The Cart Path starts west,
left from the Old Toll Rd. (junction can be missed easily) 1 mile from 124 near a private residence known as
the Hermitage. In about 50 yards it crosses the Halfway House Trail then
the Metacomet-Monadnock/Royce Trail in 20 more yards then Cart Path crosses
Fassett brook and Fairy Brook and leads through a hardwood forest. The
forest turns to a spruce forest at the junction of the Mossy Brook Trail
(signs). The Mossy Brook Trail follows a pretty mossy brook, even the trail
is mossy. The brook can be a brook bed in a dry pattern. The path crosses
to follow the west bank of Mossy Brook then comes to the Marion/Great
Pasture junction. The Marion trail heads left or west and the Great Pasture
Trail heads right or east across Mossy Brook and the heads steeply uphill through a shady spruce forest. A short
distance up the Great Pasture Trail there's one steep spot that can be a green
slippery ledge in wet or icy conditions. The upper section of Great Pasture
Trail is on open ledge affording great views across to the distant Green
Mountains of Vermont and to the summit as it leads up to Monte Rosa.
To descend Great Pasture Trail: at the junction of the Great Pasture Trail on Monte Rosa there is no sign. The Smith Summit connecting to the summit is marked by white dots and at the height of land on Monte Rosa, the Great Pasture Trail follows west down open ledges marked by cairns. A short distance down there is a sign for the Great Pasture Trail.
Marian Trail is a little used mossy trail and care may be needed to follow from Mossy Brook/Great Pasture junction. The Marian Trail is marked with yellow disks. The Marian trail heads west about 30 yards to an open depression called the Bear Pit then turns north through mossy spruce woods toward the Marlboro Trail. Closer to the Marlboro Trail the Marion Trail crosses some bare ledge with some views. The Marian Trail reaches the Marlboro trail at an open ledgy section by the Rock House.
Smith Summit Trail connects Monte Rosa to the summit and is blazed with white dots painted on ledges. The Smith Summit Trail leads from Monte Rosa past the height of land northeast towards the summit heading to the Tooth then turns left along open ledges climbs up a short way up to the Amphitheater trail which leads right, east about 100 yards to Black Precipice and the White Arrow Trail beyond. The Smith Summit Trail enters spruce woods and continues uphill then on open sunny ledges by Cranberry Crag then shortly further heads above tree-line with superb views and is marked by cairns and white paint blazes on bare ledge to the summit. In winter Smith Summit may be difficult to follow in open ledgy areas.
Amphitheater Trail The Amphitheater Trail leads around the Amphitheater (large valley surrounding Halfway House Site) and is marked with yellow paint blazes. The Smith Summit Trail junction is marked with a sign and is painted on rock. Start through spruce woods for 15 yards then out onto open an open cliff with a steep drop off to Black Precipice a fine viewpoint. The Amphitheater Trail heads up the open ledge via a switchback and enters spruce woods then heads over open ledge then angling down into woods and to the White Arrow Trail. Crossing the White Arrow trail (no sign), painted in rock "to Sidefoot" heads out of woods in ten yards onto open ledge to the Sidefoot junction. Follow Amphitheater, painted in rock,"to Bald Rock," along open ledges with fine views up to Monadnock's prominent south false summit. The Amphitheater enters woods for about five yards before reaching Four Spots and the Smith Connecter Trail which can lead to the Cliff Walk and Bald Rock.
Monadnock Trails website: Author, Creator, and photos by Frederick Pitcher 2013
Use of the information on this site is the sole risk of the user. The author is not responsible for the trails or anyone's ability to follow them. In addition to the trails there are certain places in this website described that are off trail. Anyone exploring Monadnock does so at their own risk.
Tags:Monadnock Mountain, Monadnock Trails, Monte Rosa, New Hampshire hiking, maps, New Hampshire trails, Jaffrey, Hiking New Hampshire, Mt Monadnock, NH, trails