Mount Jefferson via Caps Ridge Trail

HARD 67 reviews

Mount Jefferson via Caps Ridge Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Twin Mountain, New Hampshire that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2598 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This is the highest trailhead in the White Mountains at 3,008 feet and also is the shortest with the least amount of elevation gain of any of the Presidentials. This trailhead is in Jefferson Notch at the highest point in the Notch. From Rte. 302 near Bretton Woods follow the Base Station Road which heads to the Cog Railroad up Mt. Washington. Several miles down this road you will come to a 4 way intersection with Mt. Clinton Road to the South. Take the left onto the Jefferson Notch Road which is closed in the winter and early spring. Follow this for a couple miles keeping an eye out for the Caps Ridge Trailhead at the highest point in the Notch

hiking
1 month ago

I enjoy looping this with the Link Trail and Cas. Ridge Trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely fantastic trail!!!
Not for the faint of heart though.
Fairly easy till you break the tree line then it becomes difficult.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike with our 5 and 7 year old troopers. Amazing views and technically challenging caps made for a not at all boring hike for the kids.

hiking
4 months ago

Wow this hike really gives you your bang for your buck. 1 mile in and the views start coming and they dont end until your back at the 1 mile mark. Very cool day. 30 deg. 20 mile hr winds. hiker said with chill factor we were looking at 10-15 deg feel. But man it was raw nature at its best. No clouds and no bugs!

hiking
4 months ago

Mount Jefferson via Cap's Ridge is a trail I have done twice. I like it better each time. I would not recommend it for beginners or first timers. It gets steep in places and there's a decent amount of rock scrambling involved. Make sure you get a good breakfast.

5 months ago

best I've done of 4000 footers so far. bouldering up in too third is amazing. false peaks provide almost constant unreal views.

5 months ago

cool trail. easy for first hour then some rock climbing.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked up via Caps>Link>Castle, and down Caps. Near the summit, Caps is steep and pretty rocky.

6 months ago

This hike is actually 5 mikes, not 4.6. It literally says at the trailhead "Mt Jefferson 2.5 miles" but probably the worst thing you could do going into this hike is be deceived by the Milage as others have pointed out. The only reason I make a point of even pointing out the discrepancy in mileage is because the last .4 is a steep summit push with many false summits and before that are about 5 even steeper rock clusters you literally have to climb like bouldering. Relentless rocky terrain is an understatement and it is super unforgiving on the knees. This is coming from an experience hiker, not a casual one. Don't underestimate the whites. Just know going into it that it's definitely NOT an easy hike because it's short in Milage. Feels like 10. Watched many ppl turn back because they thought it was going to be a short hike. Started around 1 and ended at 8. But spent plenty of time at the summit. As long as you respect the presidential range, the rocky terrain and strong winds/ erratic weather of an alpine environment and the fact that it's the third highest point in the north east crammed into 5 miles then you're ready. That being said bring lots of water and snacks, while trying not to over pack cuz weight and be safe! Also there's more fun hikes in the area that feel about the same length tho they're longer but you get to walk along alpine ridges which is awesome. This ones just sort of an up and back. Enjoy ;)

hiking
6 months ago

A very steep, yet short in length, hike. Lots of rock scrambling. Took me and my mom six hours. Four to summit and two hours back.

hiking
6 months ago

We had perfect weather when we hiked, I would not have wanted to do this trail in wet conditions due to the rock scrambling. We had children in our group aged 7 to 11 and it took about 6 hrs round trip. Hard work, fantastic views galore.

hiking
6 months ago

It wouldn't hurt to train for this one if you don't have major elevation changes. I heard a few half my age make similar comments. The Caps are particularly grueling in spots. Major cramping ... almost had to come back down before completing ascent to Mt. Jefferson. That being said the views are incredible.

7 months ago

Harder than we thought! Worth it for the views. Be careful of dogs pads and I wouldn't carry a kid in a hiking pack. Too much for this one. So beautiful. Rocks are tough and several false summits make it tougher.

7 months ago

This trail was tough but a ton of fun. There is quite an amount of rock scramble near the summit that was difficult with misty rain but the views were absolutely worth all the effort. I will be going back to this region in the future as there are great sights, trails and campgrounds!

Friday, November 04, 2016

This was my first 4k and it's a heckuva way to start! There was a fair amount of snow on the ground when we hiked it and it was a relatively warm day, so it got a little slippery as the day progressed. Decided to abort when we got to the rock scrambling above the tree line. We'd done rock scrambling before (but not in the Whites) without problem but that first big scramble left you feeling like one slip and you're tumbling on down the mountain. That combined with high wind and slippery snow, which also led to uncertain footing, led us to reluctantly abort.

The hike was beautiful and manageable, with amazing views, up until the scramble above the tree line, which is not for the faint of heart or on a wet day. Found out later this trail is rated as one of the 25 or so most difficult trails in the Whites. What a way to start! We went big AND went home - a little disappointed but a lot wiser!

hiking
Monday, October 10, 2016

This is a nice trail for a dry day. I had rain as sleet wich makes for a slow decent. One of a couple trails in the area to stay off in bad weather but we'll worth it on a good day.

hiking
Friday, September 23, 2016

Climbed on Sep 221, 2016. Excellent weather, spectacular views. On the way down, strong wind, could not wait to reach the treeline. The descent is not much easier than the ascent and kind of more dangerous. At times had to use hands.

hiking
Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Great trail with plenty of fantastic views of the entire white mountain forest, especially the presidential range. Som scrambling up rocks and a lot of bad footing heading for summit. Very exposed, and if its wet id try something else.

hiking
Monday, September 05, 2016

Awesome hike!! From the lot off Jefferson notch road it took us about 2.5 hours to summit. 1st 45 mins or so you are in tree cover. Great views from that point on. 4 good rock spots. Some climbing or you can find a path to avoid most. Some hard work in the last hour up. Views are unreal from top. Mt Washington summit is about 3 miles but looks so close. Cruised down in about 2 hours. Overall we were on the trial at 6:50am and back in the truck before noon and we didn't push to hard!

hiking
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Awesome trail, huge rocks to climb over, best route to the summit

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