A couple of weeks ago, I planned to summit Wachusett via the West Side Trail. It was a Sunday in July, with lots of heat and humidity in the forecast. I tried to start a little bit early, and got to the trail head around 9:30 am.

This trail is a little bit less crowded than some of the other trails on this mountain. It was relatively cooler but still buggy when I started. Ninety five percent of the hike was shaded, which was a life saver.

Trees are the best

West Side trail switches from flat to steep rock scramble, then flat again and then a steep rock scramble, about five times. The rock scrambles weren’t very technical or difficult, although descending them on my way back was a bit tiring. The fact that my body was rebelling because of the heat by that time didn’t help (should have started even sooner).

One of the rock scrambles

There are a few intersections on the trail. At the first one, you can choose between taking Semuhenna, or continue on West Side. I took the latter both up and down, since I wanted to make my hike shorter.

West Side is about a mile long, after which it joins Old Indian Trail to the summit. Much more crowded from here on.

The summit of Wachusett was crowded too, although its a huge open space, so social distancing was not a problem. It has some decent views.

Views

The day was getting hotter, so I didn’t wait for too long there. When hiking in summer, make sure to carry enough water, electrolytes and snacks. Also hiking poles were a life saver for me. I saw a striped snake scuttle by on my way back, but was too surprised (and slightly in terror) to take a picture.

Side note : I had also attempted this trail this January, but turned back after the first intersection due to lack of time.

Trail being pretty in winter

The rock scrambles were not bad even in winter, and I had gotten some nice golden hour views just before the trail head

Golden hour on the hike

My recording on AllTrails was 3.7 miles, 770 feet.