We weren’t planning to climb any mountains on our “hike out” day from the Johns Brook Lodge. But the weather was lovely and Mallory hadn’t hiked Big Slide so…
After breakfast and packing up our gear, we hit the trail at 8:35 a.m. There was the debate about whether to hike Big Slide with all our gear and just hike out over the Brothers to the Garden or not. We choose not. (Although there is still a part of me that wished we did.) The distance from the JBL to the summit is 2.6 miles.
Slide Mt. Brook trail is exactly what it sounds like. You hike along side the brook most of the way, crossing back and forth a few times. The baby waterfalls and gentle cascades were simply gorgeous and serene. Then there are portions as you ascend where you climb the slides.
The trails were still wet and muddy, making the brook crossings and slide climbing tricky from time to time. The rocks and boulders were clothed in moss, moss and more moss.
wet moss on rocks = fancy footwork on your balancing act!
Still, it was a beautiful trail. The humidity joined us today and the mountain air-conditioning was few and far between.
After the 4 or 5 brook crossings, the elevation changes began, as it typically does. The climb was steady and fairly straight up all the way to the junction point at the base of the summit. It felt great to keep the legs loose after our HaBaSa day previously, but we were certainly tired. Slow and steady climbing for us on this morning.
There was some strange electric buzzing in the middle section of the climb. Sounded like a giant beehive!
An interesting rock wall just a few minutes before the junction!
Slide Mt. Brook guides with red trail markers…via the Brothers and over to Yard follows blue. Both were missing on the junction sign.
The first ladder remained intact. The second one has lost most of its rungs. I wound up climbing along side of it on the slippery slide, and Mallory approached the slide from the opposite edge.
Same stairs from when I climbed Big Slide in November 2015.
Mallory on the lookout with Big Slide Mountain behind her. This is one of my favorite spots of the hike!
The Great Range from the lookout ledge. Crazy to think we were just on that range yesterday! Seems so far away…because it was! The mountains are humbling when you witness just how far you’ve come.
After some more rock scrambling and one small “up and over”, we arrived at the summit around 10:30 a.m. Miss Mal hit number 11 for her high peaks too!
Big Slide with a view for me finally! I love this mountain. It has always held a special place in my heart.
So we enjoyed another trail lunch provided by the JBL and after 20 minutes, we began our descent. Using the Slide Mt. Brook as an out and back, certainly makes Big Slide a quick morning. If you are staying at the JBL for multiple days, it is definitely a welcomed option for a late afternoon hike or early morning visit.
It wouldn’t be a hike, if we didn’t spot these little guys. The humid forest is heaven for them!
After relaxing for a bit upon our return to the JBL, we loaded up our gear and began our 3.6 mile muddy hike out back to the Garden.
And at 3:00 p.m., we signed ourselves (exhausted) out of this amazing 3-day adventure!
Total mileage for Big Slide via Slide Mt. Brook: 5.2 miles
Total time: 3 1/2 hours.
Total mileage for our 3-day, 5 peak adventure: 25 miles. (We did some exploring on our hike-in day too!)
Some of nature’s wonders from our rainy hike-in day.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir
Cheers to an unforgettable time spent feeding the soul!