|Mt. Madison and Madison Hut|
ELEVATION: 5367 Ft.
TRAIL: Valley Way, Gulfside Trail
DISTANCE: 9.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 4500 Feet
HIKING TIME: 6 hours
DATE: March 20, 2010
WEATHER: Clear, cool, windy
Parking can be found at Appalachia on Route 2. The lot is large but fills up quickly I would recommend arriving early.
MAP: (Mt. Madison)
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 left on the Gulfside Trail and rise steeply for 0.4 miles to the summit ridge. Follow the large cairns another 0.1 miles to the Mt. Madison summit.
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. Madison = 0.5 miles = 4.3 miles total
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. Madison = 30 minutes - 3 hours 15 minutes total
Descent = 2.5 hours
NOTES / COMMENTS:
Mt. Madison is the 5th highest peaks in New Hampshire and a mountain that offers spectacular views of it's surroundings. The highest and second highest peaks of Mt. Washington and Mt Adams loom before you and the mountains of the Carter Range are across the valley. 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 ascend the ridge to Mt. Madison.
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.
Cairns lining your way to the Madison summit.
Mt. Madison from Madison Hut
Mt. Washington in the clouds.