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About


Mt. Adams, Mt. Madison
Thompson and Meserve's Purchase, NH, Low and Burbank's Grant, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up the Madison Gulf Trail
Looking up the Madison Gulf Trail

Route: Great Gulf Trail, Madison Gulf Trail, Parapet Trail, Star Lake Trail, (Mt. Adams), Star Lake Trail, Osgood Trail, (Mt. Madison), Osgood Trail, Great Gulf Trail

Though the weather forecast was mediocre, it looked to be a decent day in the Northern Presidentials.

The Great Gulf Trail was fairly tame up to the Osgood Cutoff. Shortly beyond that, I reached the Madison Gulf Trail junction. The first portion of the trail wasn't overly steep. Beyond that, it steepened up, getting rough and wet in places. Nearing treeline, there were some nice views as the small scrambles continued. I certainly wouldn't want to descend the trail, or try to do the water crossings after rain.

I then took the Star Lake Trail to the summit of Mt. Adams. Having previously been on the trail in fog, it was interesting to see the actual topography and views. I found the Star Lake Trail to be more challenging and rewarding than the Madison Gulf Trail.

After taking in decent views from Mt. Adams - fog passing over Madison and Washington on occasion - I worked my way down to the hut, stopping for some lunch.

The summit of Mt. Madison was a little bit chilly and windy, however the views were pretty strong. From there, I descended via the Osgood Trail. Rather scenic for the top mile or so, I found the footing to be much better than the Madison Gulf Trail, though still not a cakewalk.

After having hiked Madison from Valley Way or Airline every previous time, it was nice to try a new approach.


Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Adams
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Madison
Length: Difficult
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Moderate


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Thursday, August 6, 2009
Hike Commenced: 9:24 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,360'
Destination: Mt. Adams
Ascent Commenced: 9:25 AM
Summit Reached: 12:47 PM
Time Elapsed: 03:22
Trailhead Elevation: 1,350'
Summit Elevation: 5,774'
Distance: 6.5 miles
Vertical Gain: 4,584'
Destination: Mt. Madison
Ascent Commenced: 12:51 PM
Summit Reached: 2:04 PM
Time Elapsed: 01:13
Trailhead Elevation: 5,410'
Summit Elevation: 5,367'
Distance: 1.5 miles
Vertical Gain: 607'
Hike Ended: 5:03 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 07:39
Hike Vertical Gain: 5,381'


The Great Gulf Trail trailhead
The Great Gulf Trail trailhead

An alpine flower along the Star Lake Trail
An alpine flower along the Star Lake Trail

Mt. Madison as seen from near the summit of Mt. Adams - Click to enlarge
Mt. Madison as seen from near the summit of Mt. Adams

The Star Lake Trail
The Star Lake Trail

Flowers along the Star Lake Trail
Flowers along the Star Lake Trail

The Carters and Wildcats as seen from Mt. Madison - Click to enlarge
The Carters and Wildcats as seen from Mt. Madison

Looking down the Osgood Trail
Looking down the Osgood Trail

Topographic map of Mt. Adams, Mt. Madison - Click to enlarge


Directions to trailhead: Take Route 16 north from Wildcat ski area. Just after passing the Camp Dodge entrance on the right, the Great Gulf WMNF fee parking lot entrance will be on the left. The trailhead is at the back of the parking lot.

Back to Mt. Adams Profile
Back to Mt. Madison Profile




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