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Presidential Traverse Trail

HARD 184 reviews

Presidential Traverse Trail is a 20.4 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Randolph, New Hampshire that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 20.4 miles Elevation Gain: 8,211 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

The Presidential Traverse is an excellent and well-traveled hike of some of New England's highest peaks - almost all at maximum exposure. This trip is not for the faint of heart and not to be attempted in just one day - but it can be done with the right preparation. An official Presidential Traverse begins at Madison and then to Adams. Then on to Jefferson and Washington. Continuing on to Monroe, Eisenhower, Pierce and finally Jackson. It's recommended you should double layer socks in your shoes and bring band aids in case of blisters. Thin layer first, then a thick wool sock so that you don't have as much friction. The cabins take credit cards. Sometimes they'll have free food or coffee if you arrive during off hours. They also will let you fill up on water. Parking is 5 USD a day at the centre (South). Dropping people off at the North trailhead, driving to the centre/parking and then taking the shuttle to regroup is highly recommended. This will allow you to come out of the trail right beside the parking lot on your last day. You cannot reserve a shuttle seat the day of. You must book in advance or wait around in line to ensure a spot. Do not rely on taxi services as they are far and few.

hiking
6 days ago

Group of 3, one got sick had to bail and loop back after the perch. Amazing hike though, cant wait to try again next year!

hiking
no shade
rocky
16 days ago

This was the most strenuous trail my 53 year old body has been on EVER! We hiked it over 2 days—stayed over at the Lake of the Clouds hut . We had Perfect weather which was an anomaoly from what others we spoke to said. No rain, no snow, and no foul weather. Clear throughout—-

hiking
19 days ago

Unbelievable. Words can’t express how amazing a hike this is. Challenging but Worth It. One Day was tough...but will never forget...

hiking
rocky
scramble
19 days ago

I completed the traverse over the course of 3 days. We went during the end of September and were very fortunate to have great weather the whole time. Day one, we went up the initial accent via valley way to the summit of Madison and spent the night at the Madison hut. The hut staff was fantastic, food plentiful, and facilities were clean. Highly recommend staying there if you plan on doing multiple days. Day 2 we went from Madison to the Mizpah hut. We went to the summit of Adams, Jefferson, Washington, and Pierce. It was definitely challenging especially since we were carrying 20 pound packs. The scrambling when going to the summits can be a bit intense, which made for a fun trip. We went around Monroe since time was of concern. Wind is definitely a factor. Mizpah hut was fantastic as well. Kudos to the AMC staff. Day 3 simple decent down Crawford to Highland center that took about 1.5 hrs. Great views, great challenge, great experience. Highly recommended.

hiking
rocky
scramble
23 days ago

Did this hike with a few friends last Saturday. Hard, long day, it took us 13 hours and we skipped Jackson and Webster. Just a fantastic experience. It was a great day with good weather. There was some fog at the start, but the sun burned through it at about 10 am. It was sunny and gorgeous through the rest of the day. Breathtaking views and quite technical, so a lot of fun. Recommend lots of training and good gear if you want to complete it in a day. Also need to be flexible on the date. If weather turns bad, should be ready to bail, day before or day off. It’s really hard on a dry day ... with rain or frost, it could be dangerous.

hiking
25 days ago

Challenging, rocky and beautiful! This is an amazing hike and if you break it down into a day or two, definitely stay at the AT lodges along the trail.

hiking
rocky
29 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

The real presidential Traverse doesn't include Mt.Jackson as it's not named after a president. Chdxk your facts on Wikipedia.

hiking
1 month ago

super beautiful and very interesting

hiking
1 month ago

Hiking this Tuesday weather permitting ..seeing if anyone else is going up around two and three in the morning that day?

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome weekend! The Whites seem to be getting very crowded over the last 2 years but it’s great to see people getting outside! We got to the Perch at 4pm and it was full but easily found a legal campsite nearby.

hiking
1 month ago

Most beautiful day of hiking I have ever done, many stops for pictures and once you get above the treeline there is no looking back on a 23+ mile day.

hiking
1 month ago

Great bit difficult day hike. We added Jackson and Webster to make it a little longer.

hiking
1 month ago

So much fun!!

hiking
1 month ago

I did the Presidential Traverse (with Jackson but no Webster) over Labor Day weekend. We planned it for two nights three days, but due to the severe overcrowding at the campsites, we pushed and finished it on the second day. (Day 1 Appalachia Trailhead to RMC Perch campsite; Day 2 Perch to Webster Jackson Trailhead). Overall, it was a magnificent experience and I would recommend it either as a day hike or multi-night, depending on what you're trying to get out of it.

hiking
1 month ago

Views as far as the eye can see all day long.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

The plan was for 6 of us to complete the pres in two nights.. 2 turned back upon reaching the hut at the base of the Madison summit, the rest of us camped at the perch, lost another at the top of Washington where we were met with the truck by the guys that bailed on the first day. The 3 of us dumped everything out of our packs except for a rain jacket snacks water and headlamps and said goodbye to our pals and took off down the trail to finish all ten of the presi in one night and two days. As Ranger Rick warmed us “if ya want to do a proper presi you’ve got to do Jackson” and we were thankful we did. It offered very different terrain and the chance to gaze upon all that we had just completed. In hindsight I’d like to try it in a single day. The terrain is hard and every oz on your back matters up there. I was happy I didn’t bring my dog.

hiking
1 month ago

Perfect weather. Mostly sunny. Light winds. 5 am start at Randolph. 8 pm finish at AMC Crawford. Hit 7 peaks. Mt. Washington was a zoo. Must have been a 15 minute wait for pictures at the peak, so we tapped the post and left. This was my second attempt. 2 years ago we bailed at Washington. This time we had better weather and more experience. We did not dawdle at every peak, or at all the stops. Just kept a steady moving pace. Took time for lunch and a few snacks. Can’t wait to do it again.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

running
no shade
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

We did a lengthened version of the crossing of the 11 peaks (well we missed the last junction to go out to Webster) which we added about 6km, but overall was a perfect rendo. The day was cool and virtually windless. Although we had to use half of our equipment, due to the mild temperature, we had to foresee the worst while keeping in mind that we had to make it light enough to save time. In short a beautiful rendo of a day for those who like to walk / run (a px), at least 12h.

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