Mount Jefferson via Caps Ridge Trail

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White Mountain National Forest

Mount Jefferson via Caps Ridge Trail is a 4.5 mile heavily 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 April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,660 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

As of June 01, 2020, users have reported that the road is closed and it’s about a 4 mile hike in and out to the trailhead. NOTE: This park allows dogs, however, the hike is steep and rocky and you may need to assist your pet up and down rocks. 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
closed
scramble
5 days ago

This hike was great. Road is closed and it’s about a 4 mile hike in and out to the trailhead. Challenging ascent but gorgeous views. Fog rolled in and out as I was at the summit and it was breathtaking.

hiking
scramble
snow
6 months ago

great hike. the trail is a little hard to follow at times in the snow. the bolders towards the top are a little sketchy until the snow solidifies. we put our foot into a few crevices that looked solid. bring microscopes. jefferson notch road was open bit you need 4wd and good tires. we parked a half mike from the lot and liked the rest.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
7 months ago

Not entirely sure why or how this trail is rated as dog friendly. My girlfriend and I brought our very well hiked Rottweiler to attempt this hike in September. The rock scrambles turned out to be too steep for him. He’s over 100 lbs so there was no way we were gonna lift him. Could see this being tricky for smaller dogs too, due to the craggy nature of the trail. All and all a phenomenal hike. We went back 2 days ago to complete it without the pup. Snow on the summit!

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike! Went for foliage but glad I brought my microspikes!

hiking
scramble
7 months ago

This thing was as hard as advertised. Up strongly from the get go. If it’s clear, you can see the entire southern presidentials coming up though! Alpine zone starts a little less than halfway up, and exposure begins a little after that. A lot of scrambling involved, and needed spikes. A pretty calm day, but my knee was killing me all the way down. Last of the Presidentials to be done!

hiking
7 months ago

I put off hiking this trail, because there were so many reviews describing its difficulty. I started hiking a little over a year ago with the fear of heights, and I absolutely loved this trail! The views were amazing, and the scrambling was fun on the ascent. I always have a hard time descending, but if you take your time- it's manageable. It took us 7 hours, but we love to take photos, talk with other hikers, spend time at the summit, and avoid ankle twists. This was overall one of the most memorable hikes we've done in the white mountains.

Hiked 10/16. Great trail with lots of fun scrambling. Have to go over a pretty big rock field to get to actual peak. Wear good shoes with ankle support and stiff bottoms. Hiking sticks and warm clothes are recommended also. Keep an eye on Mt Washington when you’re on top. One minute, it was a nice day with a slight wind, then all of the sudden the clouds were pouring over Washington, temp dropped drastically and the winds were blowing me over. Hustled down; winds stayed strong until I was back to tree line. Great views. Have fun!

hiking
7 months ago

High reward in terms of views relative to time invested. It’s hard though - lots of rock scrambling to get over the Caps, and a rocky, steep ascent to the summit. A few things to consider: (1) There’s no running water on route, (2) much of the trail is exposed to the high winds often found in the Northern Presidentials, and (3) if you bring a dog, be prepared to help them up/down the some of the rock faces in the Caps. My big lab has long legs, but still needed a boost or two to get up.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Great Hike, I would imagine for me second time up would be more relaxing.....but not knowing how steep it got in parts at time def. made it memorable. Not for a beginner IMO...rock scrambling and views for miles after about 30-60 minutes of hiking..depending on pace. Took me 3 hr. 50 Min...But allow 6 hrs for this hike to be safe. Larry

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

Don’t let the mileage fool you—this took almost as many hours as miles! You’re above tree line very quickly so the views are stunning for most of the hike. Like others have said, there’s definitely some rock climbing involved; I’d only recommend this to very experienced hikers.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

WOW, une superbe montée ! La vue est epoustouflante, comme tous ceux de la chaines des présidentielles ! Allée retour cela nous a prit 3h55 (en excluant les pauses photos et pour grignoter) Après seulement 30 min de rando, vous avez déjà accès à un super point de vue !! La monté est soutenue mais se fait relativement bien. A faire absolument ! :)

hiking
rocky
scramble
8 months ago

Beautiful day, challenging, but doable for experienced hikers. 2.5 hours up and 2 hours down left us enough time to sit by the campfire in the afternoon.

hiking
bugs
scramble
8 months ago

Another great hike in the presidential range. Took caps ridge and was unexpectedly a lot more aggressive than anticipated. Be prepared for some rock climbing and bouldering on this mountain. A great hike for more experienced hikers especially if your target is the summit. But anyone can make it with the right footwear and persistence to push on. The trail over the alpine level is losing its yellow markings so make sure you hike on a clear day and pay attention to your navigation. take your time and have fun out there. About 7 hours round trip to the summit.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

3 hours up and 4 hours down! First time climbing Mt Jefferson and was a good, hard hike

hiking
8 months ago

My first 4000 footer, it's not an easy hike even though it starts at 3009 feet, you will be rock clumbing. So proud to have made this achievement.

hiking
8 months ago

Caps Ridge Trail is no joke. We went up when rock scramble were still wet and managed to make it back. I bet they often have to rescue hikers from this area due to injuries. My recommendation is to NOT attempt if it recently rain or is in the near forecast.

hiking
8 months ago

the views were absolutely amazing. there were 4 false summits using this trail and there was some rock climbing involved but the whole hike was just absolutely amazing.

hiking
scramble
9 months ago

Including the loop, took about 6 hours and 15 minutes. So beautiful

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