Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mt. Adams / Mt. Jefferson

Mt. Adams fro the Mt. Madison summit
STATE: New Hampshire
DESTINATION: Mt. Adams / Mt. Jefferson
ELEVATION: 5774 Ft. / 5712 Ft.
TRAIL: Valley Way, Gulfside Trail, Air Line, Lowe's Path, Gulfside Trail
DISTANCE: 13 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 4500 Feet
HIKING TIME: 6 - 8 hours
SEASON: Winter
DATE: March 6, 2010
WEATHER: Clear, cool, windy


PARKING:

Parking can be found at Appalachia on Route 2. The lot is large but fills up quickly I would recommend arriving early.

MAP: (Mt. Adams) (Mt. Jefferson) 



DESCRIPTION:

Appalachia is the gateway to the Northern Presidential mountains of Madison, Adams and Jefferson and contains a variety of trails. From the trailhead kiosk follow Valley Way into the woods crossing a set of power lines and an active set of railroad tracks. Several trails branch off in all directions as you climb steadily and directly following Snyder Brook to your left. At 0.9 miles you reach the intersection with Randolph Path. Continue on Valley Way as it winds away from Snyder Brook another 1.5 miles passing the Lower and Upper Bruin trails leading to Bruin Rock. At 2.4 miles you reach the Watson Path intersection and transitioning into the fir trees of higher elevations. The grade becomes steeper and you soon emerge above tree-line a short distance away from Madison Hut 3.8 miles from your starting point with Mt. Madison to your left and Mt. Adams to your right.

Take a right on the Gulfside Trail for 0.2 miles then branch left on Airline and additional 0.4 miles to the 5774 Ft. summit of Mt. Adams. Once you have absorbed the panoramic views of Mt. Washington and into the Great Gulf Wilderness, don't be deceived by the looming summit of Mt. Jefferson 2 miles away. The rocky terrain is steep and challenging and the short distance will take 1.5 to 2 hours to travel. Descend 0.3 miles to the large cairn of Thunderstorm Junction. Follow the Gulfside trail over open terrain 1.2 miles to Edmands Col. From Edmands Col Mt. Jefferson is a steep and arduous 0.4 miles to the summit. Return the way you came to Thunderstorm Junction then continue along the Gulfside trail skirting the summit of Mt. Adams back to Madison Hut and valley way to Appalachia Parking. Well done!

TRAIL DISTANCES:

Valley Way - Randolph Path intersection = 0.9 miles
Valley Way - Watson Path intersection = 1.5 miles - 2.4 miles total
Valley Way - Madison Hut = 1.4 miles - 3.8 miles total
Madison Hut - Mt. Adams = 0.6 miles = 4.4 miles total
Mt. Adams - Thunderstorm Junction = 0.3 miles = 4.7 miles total
Gulfside Trail - Edmands Col = 1.3 miles - 6.0 miles
Gulfside Trail - Mt. Jefferson = 0.4 miles - 6.4 miles

HIKING TIMES:

Valley Way - Randolph Path intersection = 45 minutes
Valley Way - Watson Path intersection = 1 hour - 1 hour 45 minutes total
Valley Way - Madison Hut = 1 hour - 2 hours 45 minutes total
Madison Hut - Mt. Adams = 15 minutes - 3 hours total
Mt. Adams - Thunderstorm Junction = 15 minutes - 3 hours 15 minutes total
Gulfside Trail - Edmands Col = 1 hour - 4 hours 15 minutes total
Gulfside Trail - Mt. Jefferson = 45 minutes - 5 hours total

Descent = 3 hours

NOTES / COMMENTS:

Mt. Adams and Mt. Jefferson are the 2nd and 3rd highest peaks in New Hampshire and two of my favorite mountains to hike. It's a long and arduous journey however worth the effort. Be very aware of the weather conditions as you will be exposed above tree-line for much of this hike. If you see the weather conditions begin to worsen exercise caution and return below tree-line before a dangerous situation occurs.

The Gulfside trail follows the path of the Appalachian Trail as you traverse from Mt. Adams to Mt. Jefferson.

Valley Way is the easiest and most direct route to Madison Hut where Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams and Mt. Jefferson can be reached. Arguably the best views in the mountains can be seen from these summits. You are surrounded by the northern presidentials of Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams and Mt. Jefferson. Mt. Washington is 3.5 miles to your South and the Carter Range is across the valley.

  Mt. Madison from near the summit of Mt. Adams

Madison Hut and Mt. Madison from the Gulfside trail
 
Mt. Washington from Mt. Adams
 
The Mt. Jefferson summit

 

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