Hurricane Mountain: A Big Open Summit
Elevation: 3694 ft
Ascent: 2000 ft
Round-Trip Distance: 5.2 miles
Location: Off Route 9N between Keene and Elizabethtown
Hurricane Mountain has much more open rock to spread out on than many of the 46 High Peaks. There are three trails up Hurricane. This describes the one that starts from 9N on the road between Keene and Elizabethtown. The trailhead is on the north side of the road near its high point where it begins its descent into Elizabethtown. There is also a trail from the north and one from the east. In the summer, the one from the north is very popular since the ascent is 400 ft less. However that trailhead is at the end of a somewhat obscure gravel/dirt road.
The trail starts immediately uphill for an ascent of 300-400 ft before leveling off and contouring across the face of the mountain to gain a ridge to the west. Soon after it fords a stream about 6 feet wide, the second part of the ascent begins in earnest. The grade is moderate at first, but ultimately you reach a point where there is no option but to climb at a pretty stiff grade. On a clear day the summit affords views of Mt Mansfield and the Camels Hump in the Green Mountains of Vermont. The major high peaks are mostly backlit, but Cascade directly to the west is easy to pick out. Also (as the picture shows), Whiteface is in clear view. The fire tower is now open although it is not needed for most views.