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

This Afternoon
Partly sunny, with a high near 24. West wind 25 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.

Tonight
Isolated snow showers between 2am and 3am. Mostly cloudy. Low around 23, with temperatures rising to around 34 overnight. Southwest wind 30 to 55 mph, with gusts as high as 70 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Saturday
Scattered rain and snow showers between 7am and 10am, then freezing rain likely and rain and snow showers likely between 10am and 11am, then freezing rain and rain between 11am and 5pm, then snow showers likely and freezing rain likely. Cloudy. High near 34, with temperatures falling to around 28 in the afternoon. Southwest wind 55 to 70 mph, with gusts as high as 95 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible. Little or no ice accumulation expected.

Saturday Night
Scattered snow showers after 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 6. Wind chill values as low as -23. West wind 60 to 65 mph, with gusts as high as 85 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of around one inch possible. Little or no ice accumulation expected.

Sunday
A slight chance of snow showers before 8am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 17. West wind 35 to 60 mph, with gusts as high as 75 mph. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Sunday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 13.

Monday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 22.

Pictures

Mount Madison Summit

Picture by @laxfreak584

Trail Near Mount Madison Summit

Picture by @laxfreak584

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about

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