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Mount Jefferson via Castle Trail

HARD 18 reviews

Mount Jefferson via Castle Trail is a 8.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Randolph, New Hampshire that features a great forest setting and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and backpacking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.7 miles Elevation Gain: 4,179 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash








4 months ago

My son and I hit this on 9/1/18 after we had decided Mt Madison by way of the AT trailhead was out due to the car saturation for the holiday weekend. We continued West to grab Jefferson by the Castle Ridge, and planned on descending Israel per all recommendations (including at the summit). However, trail markers were minimal on this landscape at the time given the breadth of the basin where most rest. Israel Ridge was not apparent. So we mistakenly started down the shale towards the Castle Ravine and did not notice our mistake until we were well below Israel being a possibilty. Agro mistake to commit with 12 year old - check It wasn’t as bad as some have advised about descending Castle Ravine. The descent over the loose shale and virtual coral at elevation is the technical gotcha. It’s over a mile of danger and loose bouldering down. Be patient and trust that when the treeline hits you’ll move quickly. Note: if you plan on Israel Ridge, do not be mislead by the elevation gain to get to it. It’s not at all significant but may appear misleading when in the basin approaching Madison from Jefferson. My mistake. Update: having done Jefferson by Castles and Adams by Airline I understand why the Presi loop is a valid option for normal median enthusiasts. Living in New Hampshire, our total travel time to do both peaks solo was nine hours of driving, 14 hours combined hiking and elevation gain apparent. Far more efficient to bag Madison, Jefferson and Adams in push if you are able.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Jefferson was one of my most trying hikes to dates! I’ve been hiking since I was in high school and I have bad knees from playing volleyball. I try to do a couple of difficult hikes a summer but Jefferson was the harshest on my joints. But boy was the view worth it, you can see the tops of every mountain and Washington is right in front of you. Warning, there’s numerous false peaks and there were a ton of bugs on the trail during the time I went, which was in the late Spring.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Awesome, butt-kicking hike. Cold weekday morning in October (10/16/17) meant that I did not see another human the entire 7 hours up or down! Perfect! Started to get very icy on the constant boulder scramble 2 miles from the summit. Glad I brought my mini spikes, layers and shell. The descent is rough on the knees. Hiking poles a must. Thick layers of freshly fallen leaves last two descending miles hide many foot and ankle hazards. What a great hike! I will return.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Tough little hike!! Lots of rocks!!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Unbelievable elevation gain.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lots of rock scrambling and steep climbing. Very demanding and strenuous. Plan to hike the Jefferson Mountain once a year.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wonderful. Above tree line a lot so bring appropriate shell and maybe fleece vest just in case. Would do this one again and again.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday, September 03, 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

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