Mount Isolation is a mountain located in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. Isolation is part of the Presidential range of the White Mountains, and like its name, is one of the most remote peaks in the WMNF. Isolation just barely qualifies as one of the Appalachian Mountain Club's "4000 footers", with the elevation of 4003 feet.
ParaVivals hike on Mt. Isolation
On Saturday July 20th 2013 I set out on my journey to summit Mt. Isolation. Isolation is one of the most remote peaks in all the White Mountains so I had to make sure I was properly prepared, equipped and mentally ready for what I had ahead of me. The particular hike I chose was Rocky Branch Trail --> Isolation Trail --> Davis Path --> Mt. Isolation summit path --> Summet Mt. Isolation, which in total is 14.6 miles. While many hikers choose to do Isolation in 2 days, spending the night in the forest, others choose to do this long hike in one day. I decided to take my time, enjoy the Whites, and spend the night on the Rocky Branch river about 4 miles in. When hiking for days at a time water can be an issue. Carrying too much water can make your pack too heavy, and carrying a overly heavy pack can tire you out and hold you back. How do you manage water? Although the Whites have some of the cleanest free running water, you still have to filter, boil, or alter the water in some way. On my hike, my friend had a water filtration system which we had to put to use after the first day of hiking. Although these filters can be a bit costly, they do work wonders and is much faster than boiling water. Will there always be rivers to obtain water? No. You must be careful while hiking. Regulate your water properly and always carry a map. Know where the rivers are and when they will be straying off the trail.
While hiking this long isolated hike we also very blessed to come across a beautiful male moose gracefully eating vegetation about 20 feet off the trail. We spent about 20 minutes taking pictures, hanging out and simply taking in the wonderful wildlife of the White Mountains. Seeing this made the whole hike worth it that much more. It was simply unbelievable.
I had enough with the cold night and finally woke up around 530. I had some trail mix for breakfast as I anxiously waited for the sun to finally poke itself over the mountains. Leaving our tents, sleeping gear, and other unnecessary behind at the campsite, we continued the remaining 3.6 miles to the summit of Mt. Isolation. The total hike to the summit took us about 5 hours. We finally hit the summet at around 930 on Sunday morning. After a bit of exploring on the summit we actually came across a Geo Caching box (GEOCACHING is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online).
We departed the summit around 10:20 Sunday morning and reached our camping spot around 12. We packed everything up, enjoyed a dip in the fresh White Mountain Rocky Branch River, and were on our way. Two hours later we reached our vehicle on Route 16, and our hike was over.
Rocky Branch TrailMileage
Rocky Branch Trail --> Isolation Trail --> Davis Path --> Mt. Isolation summit path --> Summet Mt. Isolation
0 mi. Rocky Branch parking lot, NH 16
2.8 mi. height of land
3.7 mi. junction Rocky Branch Trail & Isolation Trail/Rocky Branch River
6.3 mi. junction Isolation Trail & Davis Path
7.2 mi. junction Davis Path & Mt. Isolation summit path
7.3 mi. Mt. Isolation summit