Live In The Nautical

Wanderlusting: Sunset Hikes on Black Cap


“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” ~ Edward Abbey

Black Cap

Black Cap is one of my favorite short hikes in the White Mountains. Just about two and half miles round trip, it is also a relatively easy hike making it quite popular for tourists and locals alike who crave some nature, but don’t want to be in the woods all day.

Many locals will run up and down it. I am not that adventurous, nor did I really feel like exerting THAT much energy. That said you can easily do the hike in about a half hour (if you are hauling derriere, and ALMOST running) which made it perfect to do after my brother got out of work.

Despite the short trek, it has a huge bang for your buck. It is one of those mountains you could safely hike (with the proper equipment) to see sunrise and sunset.

The Trek

I am going to sound completely basic, but guys I would love nature a heck of a lot better, if their were no bugs. They are the bang of my existence and seem to love me. (funnily enough I can’t get the right man to love me, but bugs do? go figure.) Black Cap seems to attract ALL the black flies, which is a huge deterrent to me.

Despite the blood thirsty insects, I armed myself with bug spray, got myself ready and then my brother and I ran from the car to the trail head and may or may not have been spraying it in our wake.

I’ll be honest it was (probably) quite comical and SHOULD have been filmed if I was sure it wouldn’t be used for blackmail purposes.

As much as I try not to be, I admit in many ways, the most basic of ways I might add, I really am a city girl.

Sunset At The Top

Once we started hiking, the flies seemed to leave us alone, and we had no problems with them the rest of the hike. It took us about a half hour at a moderate pace to reach the top. We weren’t on the hunt to win any races, and actually stopped a couple times to take pictures. It surprisingly wasn’t busy and aside from one other group, we had the peak to ourselves.

We hiked to the summit which is actually not the best view as it is shrouded with trees. But we had to reach the highest point or it wouldn’t have counted right?

We then made our way to some cliffs on the side, which may or may not have involved some bushwhacking (I cannot for sure confirm this) where we watched the sun set over the Moats.

Trek Back 

My brother had brought headlamps, (he is the consummate hiker) but we didn’t need them, as it was still light as we made our way down.

Once we moved past the rocky section we decided to run down the mountain, (Which might be considered idiotic) and actually made it to the car in about fifteen minutes.

I would like to say for the record I totally beat him too.

The whole hike took about an hour, but it was worth every moment. It may not have been a four thousand footer, but seeing the sunset was so incredibly magical. It reminded me WHY I love where I grew up.

There is nothing like detoxing from technology every once in awhile and getting to be one with nature. (hopefully not one with bugs though) Being atop a mountain reminds us of how big and vast the world is and how small, but mighty we are to be able to climb those peaks. The sweat, the struggle and yes even fights with bugs, we make it to the top to witness just a slice of the beautiful world that God has created. And it truly is incredibly beautiful despite everything that goes on in it.

Where do you like to watch the sunset? have you ever watched a sunset from a mountain top?

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