Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Mount Washington State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Did this loop in early July. Started on Ammonoosuc and came down Jewel. I preferred going up the steeper, rockier way and coming down with more steps. We accidentally parked at the lower parking lot which added about a mile to our day. We were hurting by the end, but we’ll worth the views and accomplishment at the summit.

Went hiking on this trail when the rain was heavy and the summit was cloudy, didn’t make it to the summit but made it to both of the other caps. Will definitely pack lighter next time and bring a buddy, but overall, a great and challenging hike!!!

This was a very nice hike I would say 4.5 stars. To have the description say very steep is a bit much. We started at Ammanousac or however it is spelled and then hiked up to the lake of the clouds hut. Then went up Monroe which I highly recommend because the top is great and not that crowded. Then we hung at the lake a bit and went up to Washington then down the Jewell trail. The only reason this is getting 4 stars is the top of Washington is horrible. It's a big tourist trap and really stinks. The Jewell trail coming down was amazing and something you should definitely take. Great waterfalls on the trail, great leaf peeping. No real scrambling which was a bit of a disappointment. compared to Katahdin or the Hellbrook trail on Mansfield this was a breeze.

Gorgeous day, a bit of cloud cover but the foliage was amazing and you could still see for miles. Eisenhower is my new favorite! We went up Eisenhower and down Pierce, a little extra trekking because Clinton Road is still impassable via car.

This is by far the toughest trail in white mountains that I have done. Make sure you do Washington or or adams individually before attempting this. We started at 9 am on caps ridge and made it to jefferson summit at 11 am. The vies were breathtaking of fall foliage in New Hampshire. We reached adams at 1 and Madison at 230 and back to trail head at 730 pm. Got delayed a bit due to high winds in gulf side trail.

Getting to the ridge of adams was fine however climbing adams was quite tough, there is no stairway like path to adams summit and involves twisting and turning your feet in slightly awkward angles, with a little bit of scrambling sprinkled in.

After adams we went a long way down the ridge towards Madison hut. THE HUT WAS CLOSED. We gave some of our water to a couple who had not brought enough thinking they could refill at the hut. we left our backpacks at the hut and hurried up mount Madison. I felt Mount Madison summit was much more breathtaking than either adams or jefferson, with its 360 degree views and fall foliage of high fall season.

Things to note:
1) wind near and at adams and jefferson summit brought the temperature down significantly. We had to thrown on all our layers each time we came near to these peaks. Madison was much more tamer.

2) though the forecast said clear skies for the entire day, it became quite foggy on the way back, which along with higher than predicted winds made the going very tough on the gulf side trail.

3) we avoided climbing adams and jefferson on the way back by taking the gulf side trail and continuing on to the jefferson loop to reach caps ridge.

4) Gps tracker with all trails was extremely useful. Once it gets foggy and real windy, it becomes easy to lose path.

5) make sure each of you bring headlamps and hiking blankets just in case. We hiked the last half hour in complete darkness.

6) fix your turn around time as half the daylight that you half left minus an hour at the beginning of the hike.

Overall this hike got me a fair bit of respect for phrase “exposed over the tree line” hiking. If you are considering doing the entire presidential traverse, I highly recommend doing this trail first to get a taste of it. It pushes the strength of knees and leg muscles to the next level.

If you are fit and weather is good, this is a great hike.

The views throughout this hike can’t be beat. As others have commented though, be sure the weather is solid and you’ve packed gear accordingly. There are a lot of criss-crossing trails and the majority of the hike is rock jumping so it can be pretty slow going. I wound up getting turned around a couple of times but even with minimal stops, this took me 8 hours at a very good pace.

very nice trail, walk along the creeks. there is a lake at the top. the staff at the hut is very friendly. lots of rock, but it is not very steep.

This was a long hike for me but was great. My total distance was 12.7 miles and my total time was 08:46 with 01:20 time stopped. I did this hike counterclockwise due to some hard climbs between Jackson and Pierce. I ate lunch at the hut which was nice, you can buy food and items here for cash. I did this when everything was wet and windy. I had to do some minor scrambling going up to Webster and between Jackson and Pierce but nothing too difficult. The trail going from Webster to Eisenhower was awesome and wish I hike that trail all day.
Just a heads up, parking fee is $5 per day.

17 days ago

Trail is typically pretty rough above tree line. At times lost the trail between cairns. Lower section is due for some maintenance. Still beats driving to the top!

We took this trail up to the summit and it is a work out! Such rewarding views though above the tree line! Very Steep and rocky as well but the last bit up Washington is as such haha. Prepare for a leg work out and of course proper foot wear!

Amazing hike. Beautiful trail next to a river following upstream. Great views. We hiked through the clouds which was a great experience. Last 1.5 miles are super steep to a point that we had to go down on all 4 to make it. Last part took us almost 1.5h. Nothing for kids or dogs. Requires proper hiking boots and good stamina.

My favorite 4000ft so far. Dog friendly too

23 days ago

Beautiful! Hiked on September 22, 2018. We did a longer hike - we started at the parking lot off of Base Road (instead of COG railway) in Thompson and Meserves Purchase, NH (see this trail on 4000footers.com). $5 cash parking. We started at 10:30 am and did the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail up to Lake of Clouds hut (closed for winter) and got up to top of Monroe at 2:15 pm. The wind was NUTS between Lake of Clouds and top of Monroe but the views from the top were expansive in every direction. You are right next to Washington on one side and on the other side you can see the ridge trail going to Eisenhower. Would be good to have a hat, gloves and an extra layer or two at the top as it was very cold and windy. The first mile of the trail is flat, then you start to climb some step boulders and rocks (next to a stream) and then closer to the alpine zone you start to climb steep slabs on rock. Some of the rock stretches are pretty serious so if it’s being hiked when there’s even a possibility of ice, definitely bring spikes etc. Trail and rocks were a little wet from the night before. We got down to the parking lot at 6:20 pm. Only a few other groups of hikers along the trail. There were a few stream crossings throughout the trail. Think the trail we did was between 7 and 10 miles (phone died).

We found this on the difficult side? Going up was way easier on knees and feet than going down. Bc the trail is literally rocks I HIGHLY suggest walking poles that help tremendously on way down!! We plan on purchasing them before our next hike Mt Adams! The summit is awesome...360 degree view

Tough to finish In one day, only made it to Adams and had to head back. Did a number on my pups paws, would not recommend bringing a dog for this one.. lots of rocky terrain especially at the top and along the ridge.

Hiked these on 9/15 as my 2nd and 3rd of the NH 48. The skies were completely clear and the temperature was perfect! I went with friends so we had a carspot, which was much appreciated by the time we finished the trail. This was a challenge for me as I’ve just recently gotten into hiking, but we finished in just over 6 hours! We hiked counterclockwise and he descent was very do-able and not too tough on the knees.

Fantastic loop trail. The Jewell Trail up is about as easy as it gets up there. The Ammonoosuc is rocky and slow so budget plenty of time for getting down.

Did this trail with a 30 Pound pack, and including the 35 minutes for lunch at the summit it took us, in a group of 3 to do it in about 7 hours. We got to the parking lot at about 10, and stopped many a time along the way up for water. As there is no water source on this peak, one should expect to bring more water than you would normally think. Otherwise I had an excellent time hiking even though it was very strenuous. If you get there late bring a flashlight for hiking in the dark, as the way down can be dangerous if you can't see your footing.

I will admit, my husband and I were not completely prepared for this hike. This is a tough one. Be prepared to do some bouldering as well. I would recommend some hiking sticks if you have some as there are some spots that are tricky. If you are new to hiking I would hold off on doing this trail until you get some others under your belt. It is a beautiful trail and has some amazing views but make sure you are prepared for a workout.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Went up Pierce via Crawford Path, over to Eisenhower and down Emunds Path. Picked up a ride from a nice couple on Mt Clinton Road back to Crawford connector parking area. A lot of the hike is above treeline. So beautiful and we felt a moderate hike.7 ish hours total. Our #21 and #22!

Ambitious group of intermediate and beginner hikers. Definitely more than we expected but 100% worth the trek, lifetime memories. Took detour to Tuckerman’s to Huntington’s. Immediately appreciated so much less foot traffic on Huntington’s. We encountered 5 other hikers on our trip. Straight forward in the beginning following a stream and cool water features. Easy going all the way up as you get to the end of the tree line. Weave and duck your way through a rock slide and now the real “fun begins.”
The boulder pile was challenging but fun. It almost feels like a puzzle as you find the best way to sprawl up. Make sure you pay attention to the trail markers, especially the further you go up. They often directed the best spots to ascend. Still some wild flowers out along the stream. The most challenging/ exciting part was traversing the slab. This was unique for everyone and was basically rock climbing. Between this, climbing some chimneys and the heights, some nerves were frayed in the group.
Eventually you get to the “stairs” and reach the real reward and what feels like the true summit for those who hiked. Views and feels for days. We had awesome weather and visibility. Happy with the extra layers and hats we brought. One last trek through what felt like endless rocks but in no time you are united with everyone who drove up. In total it took us 6 hrs to ascend with a ton of breaks and safety first with the sprawl/ climb. Take your time and pack accordingly. Look forward to taking this route again next time I climb Mt Wash

a moderate hike. steady incline with roots and rocks. nothing technical or tricky. one small rock traverse on the Edmunds side after the warning sign.

This was a truly gorgeous hike. I went along the Caps Ridge Trail and it was comfortably populated with other people, always a good thing to have company on the trails. Definitely don't go if it's rained at all as there are several bald faced spots to scramble up. Also, I wouldn't bring a dog unless your pup is well accustomed to difficult hiking. Overall I thought it was a wonderful challenge. I am a fairly experienced hiker and in moderately good shape, I completed this loop in about 4 hours. Happy trails :)

1 month ago

Great trail and dog friendly. Only brings you the the hut, so be prepared to hike another 1.5 or so and gain a bit more elevation if you want to summit Washington.

1 month ago

I always like to preface review with a description of myself in case that helps people out there! I'd consider myself a novice hiker, a bit out of shape, with arthritis in one knee and tendinitis in both ankles. This was my second 4,000 footer and it was DIFFICULT but worth it. We brought our dog with us - who was an incredible trooper - but that diminished our water supply for our descent. I wish I had packed more water and snacks. Ascent took roughly 3.5 hours and descent (because of shaky shaky legs) took 4 hours 10 minutes (partially in the dark - which was a little scary event though we had light). Despite the challenges, the 360 views up top are INCREDIBLE and our late descent rewarded us with the view of a young moose walking ahead of us as we left the access road.

My boys (ages 9 and 11) and I hiked this trail on 8/25, and had great weather. We actually parked in the Cog Railway parking lot (just in case we needed to take the Cog back down). Hiked Ammonoosuc Ravine up to the summit, and Jewell back down. I usually carry too much water, but this time, I anticipated being able to refill at the Lake in the Clouds hut and at the summit. The Ammonoosuc Ravine is as steep as everyone says - a tough climb to the hut. But, from the hut to the summit isn't too bad. The Jewell trail is much more gradual, and spectacularly scenic until you're back below the treeline. Took us about 10 hours roundtrip, including about 45 minutes at the top. As everyone mentioned - it is a little disappointing how crowded the summit is. Waiting 20 minutes in line to take a photo with the sign is pretty painful. But, the trail up and down, plus the views, plus the sense of accomplishment, still make this a spectacular hike. Strongly recommended.

Go up gulf side and down jewell.

Tough hike! First mile is easy but then it gets pretty steep with some nearly vertical rock scrambles. It’s pretty fun on the way up (you’ll need to climb up some rocks) but difficult on the way down. Just scooted down the steep sections on my butt! Such amazing views! Unfortunately when I went the summit was in the clouds. Would highly recommend!

clocked in at 12.8 miles parking at the train depot.

I hiked this trail on Saturday, 8/25 and had great weather. I parked my car in the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead parking lot and ascended Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail to Lakes of the Clouds Hut for a quick bathroom/snack break. Then I went up Crawford Path to summit Mount Washington. I hung around at the summit for the obligatory picture with the summit sign and moved on. Then, going down, I took the Gulf Side Trail to Jewell Trail, ate a quick lunch with the presidents, and completed the descent down Jewell to the parking lot.

Altogether, it took me about 6 hours. I don’t know that the trail length on this post is correct. It seems longer than it truly is, but I would say it’s definitely longer than 9.5 mi and less than 11 mi. A friend’s gps told her it was closer to 10mi. Nonetheless, it was a great hike with good physical challenge. I saw a lot of children on the trail, along with dogs (some leashed, some not).

Ammonoosuc Ravine has awesome views of streams and waterfalls but was definitely a tough ascent at times. Jewell Trail on the way down was tough due to all the rocks but once you were below tree line it became easier.

I gave this hike 4 stars because the summit was disappointing with the buildings blocking views and the congregation of people that drove their vehicles, and took other means besides hiking to the top. Especially if you want a picture with the summit sign, you have to wait in line with the non-hikers, which doesn’t seem fair haha.

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