Trail Distance: 5.8 miles (MapMyHike and Apple Health App says 6.7)
Elevation Gain: 2,180'
Terrain Rating: Easy Side of Moderate
Hike In: 10:40AM
Hike Out: 3:09PM
Trailhead: Drive to the AMC Highland Center and drive a little bit further down past the railroad area until you see a small parking lot pull-off.
Mount Jackson is one of the Southern Presi Peaks with sweeping views of Crawford Notch. The views are incredible from the summit but there are also nice viewpoints throughout the Webster-Jackson trail. Although there are many ways to integrate Mount Jackson into a longer hike, I chose for the straight Webster-Jackson Trail there and back.
I had a nice relaxing late start on Friday morning at 10:40AM for my first solo hike of the season. The weather was pants and shirts weather which was great. The trail starts across the street from the AMC Highland Center, to the south of Saco Lake. From there, it's only 0.2 miles before you reach a short detour to a nice viewpoint. After that, retrace your steps and keep hiking up on Webster-Jackson. The trail was really muddy all the way up but manageable.
In 1.2 miles more you will reach the junction for Mount Webster. I went left to head up to Mount Jackson. It is 1.2 miles from here to the summit of Mount Jackson. From the junction onwards, there were both sections of snow and monorails. The snow is melting quickly but not melting fast enough - I suspect it will still be there for another 2 weeks! Spikes would have been nice for the descent, but unfortunately I already shipped it across the country to LA in preparation for my move.
I reached the summit at 1:14PM, 2.5 hrs later. The views from the summit were incredible and after eating some lunch, I turned around to go back. It was slow going down because of the slushy snow and ice. Poles were helpful because I was barebooting it. And it wasn't nearly as bad as my Mount Hale hike a few weeks ago - at least I didn't fall in waist deep anywhere! All in all it was a nice day out at Mount Jackson.