Mount Jefferson via Caps Ridge Trail

HARD 44 reviews
#4 of 19 trails in

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.

DISTANCE
4.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2696 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

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 hour ago

4 days 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
8 days 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
18 days 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
20 days ago

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20 days ago

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21 days ago

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22 days ago

hiking
24 days 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.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month 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!

2 months ago

3 months ago

6 months ago

9 months ago

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
10 months ago

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
10 months ago

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
11 months ago

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.