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East Osceola

Length: 8.4 miles out-and-back

Difficulty (click for info): Very Hard

Elevation Gain: 2400 feet (-550 feet)

Rating (click for info): 8/10

Elevation: 4156'

Prominence: 336'

Best Time to Visit:
See notes on best time to visit for Mt. Osceola.

Driving Directions:
See directions for Mt. Osceola.

About the Hike:
East Osceola has a bad reputation among 4000-footer climbers as being a boring, viewless mountain. For this reason, it is usually only ascended by pursuers of that list. However, that is simply untrue. East Osceola has two spectacular viewpoints near its summit, both in different directions. It is a fine destination for any hiker who has the energy to get there. It is usually climbed along with Mt. Osceola. The easiest way to access it is to climb over Mt. Osceola first. For the trail description up to the Mt. Osceola viewpoint ledge, see the Mt. Osceola page.

From the northeast corner of the ledge, the trail descends quickly, passing views north through the trees. It becomes very steep in places, but flat in others. Soon, it emerges in a rocky area with wide views over Waterville Valley and ahead to East Osceola. The trail then makes a dangerously steep descent through a walled-in scramble known as "The Chimney". Fortunately, a herd path leads around the side of The Chimney for an easier (but still very steep) climb down. Just below the Chimney, at 0.6 miles from Mt. Osceola, the trail crosses the col between the Osceolas and begins to climb. After a moderate 0.2 mile ascent, it reaches a trailside rock which provides a very good view of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. To the far left, you can look back to Mt. Osceola. To the northwest is the Kinsman Range; next over is the much higher Franconia Range. In the center of the view is Owl's Head Mountain with Mt. Garfield above. Further to the northeast is the Twin Range, and all the way to the right is Mt. Hancock. This rock is the best viewpoint on East Osceola. You will want to spend some time here, although there is not much room on the ledge.

Another 0.2 miles of climbing gets you to the wooded summit. Pass the large cairn and head out to a blowdown patch on the right for the second view. This view looks east. To the far left is bumpy Mt. Tremont, with triangular Mt. Kearsarge North behind Owl's Cliff. Further south are the Moats, behind Bear Mountain. In the foreground is the long, low Mt. Kancamagus. In the center of the view is rocky Mt. Chocorua. To the southeast are Mt. Passaconaway and the Tripyramids.

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