Hut to Hut Presidential Traverse

Shuttle • 25.5 mi • 9600 ft

Hiking the Presidential Range from end to end is one of the United States’ classic treks. Of course, numerous trails can be used to accomplish this trip, although the main route between Madison Hut and Mizpah Spring Hut via Lakes of the Clouds Hut is fairly standard. What is great about this trip is you can visit as many of the major summits as you want, bagging up to eight 4,000-footers. Even if you choose to skip the summits, you will have an incredible hike above treeline, peering into glacial cirques, taking in views that stretch from horizon to horizon, and encountering alpine plant species that are more common on the tundra of northern Canada than in New England. Some people (very fit people) can complete this hike in a day, but most people take three or four days in order to enjoy a unique experience. By staying at AMC huts, you can lighten your load and have an easier time of it while scaling the heights.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Gorham
Length: 25.5 total miles
Elevation Gain: 9,600 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Very strenuous
Duration: 3 - 4 days
Season: Spring through fall, weather dependant
Top Elevation: 6,288 feet
Local Contacts: White Mountain National Forest
Local Maps: AMC White Mountain Map #1, USGS Mount Washington, Carter Dome, Stairs Mountain, Crawford Notch
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Recent Trail Reviews


We actually did this trip backwards from the way it is presented in the guide as this turned out to be better from a logisticaly standpoint. We parked at Appalachia, took the hiker shuttle to the Highland Center and then did Mizpah, Lakes, Maddison as described in the guide. We also went out via the Air Line / Valley Way trails to get to our car (this is also different from the guide, but a little shorter and more accessible). I did the trip with my 9 year old son and we had a blast! The views were absolutely amazing...visibility of 120 miles from Mt. Washington on the first and last days we were out. The day we were at the Washington summit, the visibility was about 10 feet! However, the ridges are unbelievably beautiful even in the clouds and the views from Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Adams were spectacular. We also summited Mt. Maddison on the last day - just amazing. I guess the best advice we can give is to believe the hype and make sure to bring all your layers...we used them all in different combinations over the 4 days...


this is a great trip. The scenery is spectacular, and the hiking is rugged. Do it sooner than later!

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