Mount Madison and Thunderstorm Junction Loop

HARD 8 reviews

Mount Madison and Thunderstorm Junction Loop is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Randolph, New Hampshire that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.5 miles
4,383 feet

dogs on leash


nature trips

trail running






wild flowers





old growth




off trail

no shade

27 days ago

The path is really nice, however it's also really hard. Actually I didn't do really well and almost gave up. Indeed it was reckless to go along alone. Some part of the path are quite dangerous moreover when it's a bit wet. Indeed you have to climb some rocks for a long way. It could be easy to be hurt. I recommend to anyone who wants to try
at least be accompagnied by one person and be in a good health condition. Do not attempt this hike if it's too wet or the weather doesn't look safe. But for me it would be out of question to take a kid there.

1 month ago

fun trail but more than moderate difficulty. tree line starts much earlier than valley way. from there its rocks and scrambles to the top, sometimes steep.

2 months ago

Getting up to Mount Madison via the Watson Path is FUN. Probably the most fun I've ever had on a trail. But I actually audibly gasped when I noticed that AllTrails gave it a "Moderate" rating. It's not Moderate. It's Hard-- at least. I get that the ratings are subjective depending on surrounding trails (or so I'd imagine), but this trail is definitely hard and I do a LOT of a hiking.

But seriously, such a fun a trail. It took my group and I 3 hours to get to the top with the last .5 miles taking the longest. It took 9 hours total from the Valley Way trailhead and back with a substantial break at the Madison Hut and adding the summit of Adams in super (SUPER) sketchy very limited-visibility weather conditions.

While the Watson Path is seriously fun, if you're doing a Traverse, you may just want to bite the bullet and do Valley Way the entire way up to the hut, double-back to summit Madison and then continue on to conserve energy and maybe save some time.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Hard hard hard and steep from the beginning of the Watson trail from valley trail. False summits and some scrambling in winds and sleet (October) make it all the more challenging - but totally worth it. Amazing day. Took us 6 hours from valley to Watson and back down valley.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


From the beginning, the Watson Path is a challenge. Shortly after a brook crossing the terrian becomes very rough and gains elevation quickly. It does not let up until you reach the top of the ridge.

Once you break above treeline, the trail mostly dissappears and you climb from carin to carin over rocks and boulders.

There are three false summits on the ascent that make this trail mentally taxing.

I would not recommend this trail for descent, due to its rugged and steep sections, however you could descend if you are carefully and take your time.

Valley Way and Airline are far less taxing ways to ascend Mt. Madison. This trail should only be attempted by people in good physical condition.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A few tricky brook crossings on this link trail.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sunday, June 21, 2015