Thunderbolt V0- ***
Measuring an impressive 80 feet long, 50 feet wide and 25 feet high, Daggett Rock is Maine's largest known glacial erratic. This huge granite egg is split into 3 large fragments that offer some truly beautiful features to climb. Prominent arÍtes, cracks, slabs, and faces are all available and most will take you over 20 feet off the ground.
Situated in the heart of rural Maine, Daggett Rock is definitely not the most convenient destination to get to, but it is well worth travelling off the beaten path to check out. The rock quality is excellent, the problems are fun and the landings are flat. Be warned though, this is not a destination for the lowball boulderer. Bring your highball mojo, or your top rope gear.
Daggett Rock and the surrounding land are owned by the Town of Phillips. It sees regular traffic from tourists but probably doesn't see sustained climbing activity. Please practice standard bouldering ethics to ensure climbing can continue at this incredible destination.
Fall and early spring are the best times to climb here. The insects are bad in the spring and can persist throughout the summer. The rock is exposed so it does tend to dry fairly quickly after rain.
Legend has it that two hundred years ago a woodsman named Daggett, drunk and angry at a raging storm, climbed the rock, took the Lord's name in vain and raged that he could not be struck down. A lightning bolt flashed from the sky, killing him instantly and cracking the rock into the fragments found today.
The reality is far less colorful, with the rock most likely splitting while being deposited by the glacier that moved it. In the early 1900s the rock and the surrounding land were donated to the Town of Phillips by the Daggett family.
Daggett Rock is located a few miles north east of the town of Phillips. From Phillips follow highway 142 north for 1.3mi (2.1km) and turn right on Wheeler Hill Road. Follow Wheeler Hill Road for 2.4mi (3.8km) to the small pullout on the right, just past the wooden sign marking the Daggett Rock trail.
Cross the road from the pullout to the access trail and follow it straight to the boulder. The approach is just over 0.3mi (0.5km) of easy hiking with 200ft (60m) of elevation gain.
The nearest campground is a 30 minute drive south west in Mt Blue State Park (207-585-2347, 187 Webb Beach Rd), which is open from May 15th to October 1st. Follow highway 142 south from Phillips, turn right on Byron Rd, left on West Side Rd then left on Webb Beach Rd. All of these turns are marked with signs to the campground.
There is a Five K Pizza on Main Street and a small grocery store on highway 4 in Phillips. A wider selection can be found in Farmington, located 30 minutes south east along highway 4, which is the nearest town of any size.
During periods of glaciation an advancing glacier can move large boulders considerable distances from their points of origin. When the glaciers retreat these boulders are left behind and termed glacial erratics. Evidence from its crystal structure and geochemical makeup indicate that Daggett Rock originated 20km to the northwest in the Saddleback Mountain Range.
There are at least two geocaches at Daggett Rock. The logbooks can make for interesting reads while you are recovering between sends. Be sure to add an entry about your visit if you find them.
New England Bouldering