DISTANCE
9.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,954 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

forest

views

rocky

scramble

snow

hiking
1 month ago

This was an out and back for me, using the valley to ascend to the Madison Spring Hut. From there, the ascent to Madison is only a half mile, to Adams, a mile. The Osgood trail to Madison is well marked and a bit of a scramble here and there, but easily done (I saw a family there, and a couple dogs). For Adams, I took the Star Lake Trail, which is much more challenging, and involves some real rock work. Whatever way you choose, the views from either summit are well worth the effort.
The Valley Way itself isn't a trail with a lot of scenery, though near the beginning, there is a parallel trail called the Fallsway. You can probably guess why (it's not because of any falling danger!) It is rated here as hard, and in the White Mountain Guide as strenuous, but I think that is more for the length and continual elevation gain. I completed the Valley Way ascent in about 4 hours (taking lots of time for pics and a break), and had a great few hours on the summits and hanging around the Hut. The AMC folks were just preparing for their opening in two days, so I couldn't get a souvenir, but I did chat for a while with the folks there. I highly recommend this trail as an easier alternative to the more scenic Air Line.