Most trails on most mountains require hikers go up if they want to summit whatever they’re on at the time. It’s a basic premise. Not all trails, though. Some, like taking on New Hampshire’s Mt Isolation — a particularly stout 4000-footer — via the Glen Boulder Trail, for example, requires hikers hike a lot higher than the summit they’re actually after. By roughly a thousand feet, in fact! One might incorrectly assume there are no less demanding alternatives. But one would be wrong. And now knowing this, on the surface taking Glen Boulder Trail might seem a little foolish. Why would someone do this? Well, first there’s Glen Boulder itself, a cool and seemingly precariously perched glacial erratic, then a stunning alpine experience comes to mind offering amazing views. Something lesser routes up the mountain lack. Sure, there are pretty trees to be found on Rocky Branch and Mt Isolation Trails, but aside from a little bald spot on top of the 4004-foot summit, there are no real views. And this is something the more difficult and more foolish way delivers on big time. But there is a price to be paid if deciding on an “out-and-back.” That extra 1000 feet is taken on twice, and as Redline Guide Pat Ferland succinctly put it: “Glen Boulder is not as much the second time.” He did, however, report favorably on all the goodies this hike has to offer. Great day, nice temps, blue skies, and award-winning views!