Little Bigelow Trip Report

Avery Peak and the Bigelow Range beyond.
Katahdin to the northeast.
Flagstaff Lake from Little Bigelow Mountain
Panoramic shot of the Bigelow Range from Sugarloaf to Flagstaff Lake
Southbound thru-hikers.

Executive Director Simon Rucker and a group of six (Cindy, Jeanine, Terri, Debi, Deb and Shyla the dog) headed up Little Bigelow Mountain on a beautiful mid-June day recently.  The goal was to reach the summit, listed variously at 3,040 feet or 3,070 feet depending on the source (more on that later…).  Little Bigelow is a bit of the forgotten little brother in the Bigelow Range, being separated by the main ridge by the cleft in Safford Notch, but as you can see from the photos it is a nice mountain with spectacular views in all directions.

We met at the Appalachian Trail trailhead at East Flagstaff Road and were quickly on our way, since this was a group of seasoned Maine hikers, a few of whom had climbed Little Bigelow before.  The trail followed a brook until reaching the Little Bigelow Lean-to side trail.  There’s a swimming hole called “The Tubs” here but we decided to bypass the location in favor of heading to the summit.

Little Bigelow Mountain is actually a long ridge and we reached the first peak after just over an hour and a half of hiking and less than three miles in distance.  Rather than stop there, the group elected to head to the true summit of Little Bigelow which is at the northwestern end of the ridge.  From various guidebooks and sources, it seemed like the length of the ridge was about half a mile, but the true distance was probably over a mile.  This turned what was expected to be a 6-7 mile hike into a hike of somewhere over 9 mile!

It was well worth it in the end.  The first peak of Little Bigelow has spectacular views of the Crockers and Sugarloaf to the southwest, while the second peak has northerly views of Flagstaff Lake, the Boundary Mountains and even a faint glimpse of Katahdin (with the help of PeakFinder and a pair of binoculars).  The pleasant weather and lack of bugs, for the most part, made our descent easy and left enough time for Shyla the dog to splash around on the way back.

Thanks for a great day everybody!