White Mountains, NH: One-Day Presidential Traverse


Location image of event venue


The Presidential Traverse is a strenuous hike covering over 20 miles of challenging, rocky terrain gaining about 9,000 feet of elevation over the Presidential Range in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This beautiful traverse crosses several 4,000-foot peaks named after U.S. Presidents with much of the hike spent above tree line.

The Presidential Range is known for harsh and unpredictable weather with extremely high winds and abrupt changes in weather, so plan accordingly.

We will do a one-day traverse from north to south starting at the Appalachia trailhead and taking the Valley Way Trail to the ridge near Madison Spring Hut. After climbing up to Mt. Madison, we’ll take the Gulfside Trail to Mts. Adams, Jefferson, Clay and Washington. After Mt. Washington we’ll take Crawford Path to Mts. Monroe, Franklin, and Eisenhower. Then we’ll take Webster Cliff Trail to Mts. Pierce and Jackson and take Webster-Jackson Trail to the end of the hike on Rt 302. The AMC Highland Center is ~0.4 miles north on Rt 302, passing Saco Lake. (The Presi Traverse is one of the hikes in the North East Ultra 8 hiking challenge.)

We will meet at 5 a.m. to begin the car shuttle. Please ensure that headlamps and spare batteries are in working condition.

10 Peaks in north to south order:
Mt. Madison
Mt. Adams
Mt. Jefferson
Mt. Clay
Mt. Washington
Mt. Monroe
Mt. Franklin
Mt. Eisenhower
Mt. Pierce
Mt. Jackson

Bail-outs in north to south order:
1. Crag Camp (between Adams & Jefferson)
2. Gray Knob (between Adams & Jefferson)
3. Caps Ridge Trail (on Jefferson)
4. Jewell Trail (between Jefferson & Washington)
5. Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail (between Washington & Monroe)
6. Edmands Path (between Monroe & Eisenhower)

Distance: ~23 miles
Elevation gain: ~9,000 ft
Duration: 13-16 hours

Water sources:
AMC huts along the traverse: Madison Springs Hut, Mt Washington Observatory, Lakes of the Clouds Hut, Mizpah Hut

We will meet at the AMC Highland Center parking lot at 5:00 a.m. and shuttle as few cars as possible 30 minutes to Appalachia Trailhead, the start of the hike.

Initial meeting place & end of hike:
AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch, Brettton Woods, NH
[masked], [masked])

Start of hike:
Appalachia Trailhead, Randolph, NH [masked], [masked])

Map & Route with Bailouts – excludes Mt. Jackson (save to smartphone):

Elevation Profile with Bailouts – excludes Mt. Jackson (save to smartphone):

GPX Tracks (import to GPS app or device):

Sunrise: 5:13 am
Sunset: 8:28 pm

This is for advanced hikers only. Only experienced, self-reliant hikers in strong physical condition should go on this hike. There will be no sweep.

Everyone will initially be placed on the waitlist. I reserve the right to save spots for people I know I can rely on to show up and be prepared.

Required gear:
Related map & compass and/or GPS app with trails downloaded, hiking shoes, non-cotton moisture-wicking clothes, insulating jacket/fleece, waterproof jacket/shell, hat, extra food & water, working headlamp & spare batteries, sun protection.

NOTE: You are responsible for bringing appropriate gear, supplies, clothing, first aid, and lights. You should review topographic maps and trail features carefully; understanding topography of any hike is key to your knowing where you are, where you're going, and how to get back.
You agree when you sign up for this group or any of the events that you have read and understand the below.

Your attendance on a hike signifies that you have read and accept the terms of this liability waiver. Full waiver can be found on the ABOUT page (http://www.meetup.com/hvhikers/pages/HUDSON_VALLEY_HIKER_LEGAL_DISCLAIMER/).