Visiting New Hampshire's Biodiversity


Mt. Monadnock: Subalpine Rocky Bald



Description: The open summit of Mt. Monadnock in southwestern New Hampshire offers an excellent example of the subalpine rocky bald community, as well as several exemplary forest communities on the hillsides below. This has been called one the most-climbed mountains in the world, however, so expect crowds, especially at the summit and on the two most frequently used trails, the White Dot and the White Cross Trails. The Pumpelly Ridge Trail usually offers relative solitude, and much of the upper part of it is above treeline. The network of trails on the mountain's south side are also usually less crowded and offer interesting ways to experience the mountain.


Directions:
Hike to summit on any number of trails leading from
Monadnock State Park, or take the longer Pumpelly Ridge Trail from Dublin or the Marlboro Trail from Marlborough.

Landowners:
State of NH – DRED (Division of Parks & Recreation) and Society for the Protection of NH Forests


A montane poor fen, high up on Mt. Monadnock's upper slopes (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) The view from Mt. Monadnock (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Oxalis montana (northern wood sorrel) in bloom on the slopes of Mt. Monadnock (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil) on Mt. Monadnock (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Minuartia groenlandica (mountain sandwort) on Mt. Monadnock (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Bald Rock, a peak on Mt. Monadnock's south ridge (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Subalpine rocky bald community on Mt. Monadnock (photo by Dan Sperduto for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

A butterfly in the montane spruce - fir forest on Mt. Monadnock (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) View to the north out across the montane spruce - fir forest on Pumpelly Ridge from the subalpine rocky bald community on the summit of Mt. Monadnock (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Summit of Mt. Monadnock from the south (photo by Bill Nichols for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Montane poor fen on Mt. Monadnock (photo by Bill Nichols for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Trail junction on Mt. Monadnock's south ridge (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Climbing Mt. Monadnock

Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel) in bloom in July Subalpine vegetation grows in cracks between rock outcrops on top of Mt. Monadnock (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) On the Dublin Trail at sunset (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

subalpine rocky bald community on Mt. Monadnock (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Pool near the summit of Mt. Monadnock (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Hikers at the lower edge of the subalpine rocky bald community on the White Cross Trail (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Links:
NH Department of Parks and Recreation's web page for Monadnock State Park

US National Park Service's National Natural Landmark web page for Mt. Monadnock


back to Visit NH's Biodiversity page