Mount Jefferson, Caps Ridge Trail

Berlin, New Hampshire 3570

Mount Jefferson, Caps Ridge Trail

Mount Jefferson, Caps Ridge Trail Professional Review and Guide

"With a trailhead elevation of just over 3,000 feet, the Caps Ridge Trail attains the summit of a major Presidential Peak with less elevation gain than any other path. It is also the shortest White Mountain route to timberline. Regrettably, direct mountain routes that sound this good often conceal a truth that is less appealing. In fact, this is a difficult and challenging climb that turns back many hikers who only focus on the elevation gain and distance statistics.

The Ridge of the Caps is the mountainous spine that runs westerly from the summit of Mount Jefferson to the height of Jefferson Notch. The “Caps” are two large areas of bulging rock that act as huge steps in the steep ascent of the ridge. Negotiating these caps requires the use of hands and feet to clamber over rocks and up short faces of slab. Detour routes are available at some spots that look nearly impossible, but the precarious footing and constant exposure on long stretches of trail above timberline limit this hike to a fair-weather adventure for hikers in good condition. Special attractions: Alpine vegetation on the Monticello Lawn, a look into the Great Gulf's abyss, and high-altitude views of the Presidential Peaks."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
2,700 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Ammonoosuc Ranger Station
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Washington 7.5 x 15.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018