Unlike hiking in the snow, this time it was a summer hike. In the hopes of getting a campsite in the woods, we left early on a Saturday. White Mountain campgrounds are first come first serve so we had done our homework and shortlisted the campgrounds we preferred. At the visitor center we were told all the sites were full the previous night but worth giving a shot is anyone is leaving. So we headed to the Hancock campground. (The other options were Wildwoods, Big Rock and Campton grounds)
One couple was leaving in few minutes, so one of us stayed there while we looked for other open spots. We saw one more free spot, beautifully located in the woods with a trail going towards the river. Campsite 47.. we claimed the site, put up a chair there and started setting up the temp. After setting up the tent and paying camping fees, we embarked our hike to the lonesome lake.
We decided to take the Cascade Brook trail, which is around 7 miles out and back and goes alongside a brook. There was a place where we had to cross the brook to go on the other side, which we missed conveniently. In no time, we ended up in think dense forest, with no trail markings and wet/marshy ground beneath us. Dodging the dirt, taking hold of roots and trunks of trees, we kept marching slowly, to finally reach the place where we found the trail again.
Then it was easy. Clean waters, white mountains at the backdrop and hot beverage were waiting for us at the lonesome lake summit. Time was well spent at the lake, chilling, swimming and chatting on various topics with fellow hikers!
We descended down by dusk and headed to our tent. After an unsuccessful attempt to cook food on the camp fire, we decided to eat sandwiches and call it a day.
- It takes around 2.5 hrs from Boston to reach the trail head
- White mountain state campsites are first come first serve. So reach there early. Weekends are usually tough days to find a campsite. Call the visitor center ahead of time to see the real-time availability
- Lonesome lake can be reached via the Cascade brook trail from the Basin parking lot (longer, but less steep) or the Lonesome lake trail from Lafayette campground (short, but steep). You can lso descend to the lake from Canon mountain
- Lonesome lake has AMC hut where you can buy food and drinks during season (June-Oct).
- Swimming is allowed in the lake, so keep your swim wear with you.
- Wrap your food in aluminum foil and put it in the campfire to cook