Hiking Mount Madison – NH’s Presidential Traverse

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Article Categories: Hiking

Mount Madison sits at 5,367 feet (1,636 meters), making it the 5th highest peak in New Hampshire. It is the northern most mountain in the presidential traverse, and has various route options for summiting. The symmetrical rock covered and pointy peak of Madison stands out to many, making it a favorite among hikers. Mount Adams rises about 400 feet above to the southwest.

Height: 5,367 feet (1,636 meters)

Distance: 7.6 Miles

Duration: 4-6 hours

Elevation Gain: 4,050 Feet

Difficulty: Difficult

Trail Map

Mount Madison Trail Map

Trails

Valley Way (Osgood Trail) -8.6 miles round trip – Elevation Gain: 4,100 feet (Teal)

Trailhead is located at the Appalachia Trailhead. This is often combined with Watson path to make for a Madison loop. This trail takes hikers past the Madison Spring Hut.

Valley Way, Watson Path -7.8 miles round trip – Elevation Gain: 4,050 feet (Yellow)

Trailhead is located at the Appalachia Trailhead. This is probably one of the shortest routes up Mount Madison, and is a perfect loop combonation with the Osgood/Valley Way trail down. The last 1.5 miles features heavy elevation gain.

Pine Link Trail – 7.6 miles round trip – Elevation Gain: 4,150 feet (Pink)

The trailhead is located on Dolly Copp Road. This trail features some views along the way, but is less common than Watson Path or Valley Way trail.

Directions

Appalachia Trailhead – Valley Way Trail

Pine Link Trail on Dolly Copp Road:

Trail Conditions

All of the trail options from the Appalachia Trailhead are well traveled, nicely marked, and covered in by the surround forest. About 1 mile from summit, hikers become exposed above treeline. The trail turns into large boulders making hiking more difficult. You are also exposed to the elements, so high winds, and rainy days, hikers need to be extremely cautions.

Winter Hiking

Mount Madison is stunning in the winter. It should not be taken lightly. Just like the rest of the presidentials, if the weather turns, hikers should turn around. The exposed summits experience extreme weathers, and the right equipment is necessary.

Weather Forecast

Gorham, NH

Today
Partly sunny, with a high near 24. Northwest wind around 35 mph.

Tonight
Partly cloudy, with a low around 13. Wind chill values as low as -7. Northwest wind 30 to 35 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph.

Wednesday
Partly sunny, with a high near 27. Wind chill values as low as -8. West wind 25 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.

Wednesday Night
Isolated snow showers after 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. West wind 35 to 60 mph, with gusts as high as 80 mph. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Thursday
Isolated snow showers after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Northwest wind 25 to 45 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Thursday Night
Isolated snow showers before 7pm, then snow likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Friday
A chance of snow before 2pm, then isolated snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 17. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Pictures

Mount Madison Summit

Picture by @laxfreak584

Trail Near Mount Madison Summit

Picture by @laxfreak584

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the creator of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and sharing his experiences. Max is a published author for various outdoor websites, and digital marketing websites. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about

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