Engine Hill via Rocky Branch Trail

1 review #179 hike out of 703 in
12.2 mi
6 hrs 4 min
3,927 ft
Elev Gain


This is a moderate one way trail in White Mountain National Forest.

This trail goes by Glen Boulder, Gulf Peak, Mount Isolation, and Engine Hill.

Getting Started

Parking for Rocky Branch trail Is on the west side of route 16 in Pinkham notch. There is an abundance of Parking in this lot. Rocky Branch is a popular winter route to Isolation. The trail can be a muddy mess in the warm months, but is still hiked. The trail hikes a moderate grade until the height of the land on Rocky Branch Ridge as you pass through Engine hill col at around 3100'. The trail then descends down to 2800' to the Rocky Branch Brook. From this junction you will head north on the Isolation trail which follows and crosses the brook a handful of times. The trail will work away from the brook and can be thick trail to follow at time particularly in winter with deep snow pack. After following Isolation trail for about 2.4 miles you will head south on Davis Path for .8 miles were you will come to a sign that points you up the .1 mile Isolation spur that ascends steeply. You will be awarded great views of Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower, Pierce, Boott Spur and may more peaks.

Glen Ellis Parking lot for Glen Boulder tail is on the west side of route 16 and is a busy trail head. On a busy weekend the lot will fill up. White mountain National Forest parking pass is required in this lot. Glen Boulder trail climbs moderately steep and will be above tree line at about the 1.5 mile mark to Glen Boulder. There is great views of the Wildcat Ridge from this point. The trail then goes back below tree line for a while before going back above tree line. The trail spends a significant amount of time above tree line so fair weather is necessary. The trail tops out at the Davis path / Glen Boulder trail junction at about 5200'. The trail then descends Davis path to about 3800' before climbing up to 4000' at the summit of isolation.

Rocky Branch trail is 3.5 miles down hill from Glen Boulder trail on route 16. A bicycle car spot is practical.

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