Six Husbands & Sphinx

July 16, 2022

To finish the #Terrifying25 list, John and I decided to backpack into the Great Gulf Wilderness to camp, ascend Six Husbands trail, summit Mt. Jefferson, and descend the Sphinx trail.

My pack was about a quarter of my body weight

The designated site we chose was about three miles into the Great Gulf Wilderness. I was very happy to drop my pack and switch to my vest for the hike up and down Mt. Jefferson.

Six Husband Trail starts with caves.

Progresses with ladders.

Can’t forget the scrambling.

After all the fun stuff, we’re above treeline and looking for the cairns on the talus field.

John and our friend, Erik, stop for a quick bite to eat at the junction of Mt. Jefferson Loop, then we all take a selfie on the summit.

Summit of Mt. Jefferson
There was damage to the sign this winter

I always prefer to ascend difficult trails, but we wanted to make this one hike. We’d heard that Six Husbands is not recommended for descent, and we hadn’t heard that about Sphinx. Sphinx Trail is wet, though, and if we weren’t in a drought, I would not have felt good about going down this way.

In the meadow just below the col
Starting to drop elevation

This trail was impacted by Hurricane Irene, and there was evident damage from a landslide.

In my opinion, Sphinx is not as fun as Six Husbands, but the surprise cascades were a treat, and this is what I will remember most about Sphinx Trail.

We ended our day back at the campsite. John and Erik split the beverages they had carried in for three miles, which goes to show how much they love their beer; we ate re-hydrated backpacking meals; and John and I rinsed off in the West Branch of the Peabody River. It was an A+ kind-of-day.

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