Mount Madison Trail

Gorham, New Hampshire 03593

Mount Madison Trail

Mount Madison Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"At the end of a ridge stretching north of Mount Washington, the pointy summit of Mount Madison stands a few hundred feet lower than its neighbors. Consequently, like the fourth president of the United States for whom the peak is named, Mount Madison’s prominence tends to be overlooked.

However, just as President Madison’s role in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and the creation of America was as important as the role played by more noteworthy founding fathers, a hike to the summit of Mount Madison is as awe-inspiring and exhilarating as scaling any of the nearby mountains that rise above it."

More Mount Madison Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking the White Mountains (Falcon Guides)
Lisa Densmore
View more trails from this guide book
"A lesser-used route to the top of the northernmost 5,000-footer in the White Mountains, with a number of fine views along the way."

Mount Madison Trail Trip Reports

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My girlfriend and I did this hike on a beautiful late summer day. We are in our late-forties and consider ourselves to be in above-average condition. We hike about once a month, and had just returned from a 2 week hiking vacation in Alaska, so we figured we were ready for a strenuous day hike in the Whites. But man oh, man was this this loop strenuous! We left at 10:15AM and did not reach the summit until 2:30PM. Why so slow? I blame it on the "howkers." The trail description shows this to be a 4,300 ft elev gain, but my GPS put said we did more like 5,100 feet...I'm guessing this is becuz of the up-down nature of the ridge and a bit of error on the GPS, but that's a lot of elevation gain either way! The views of the mountains to the west and into the Great Gulf are impressive...not to mention the imposing peaks of Adams and Washington (unfortunately, these big guys block the view of the western and southern peaks). By the time we ate and took photos, it was almost 4:00. With 5 miles of trail ahead of us, we knew we had to hustle if we didn't want to get out the headlamps. As it was, the last 30 minutes was in the dark as we trudged back to our vehicle at 7PM. We took Valley Way all the way to Randolph Path...not a very interesting trail. We probably should have tried Lower Bruin, but didn't think it was a good idea given the late hour. Would we recommend this loop? Only if you're ready for a FULL day of hiking like the up-down of the "howker" ridges.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
4,300 feet
Elevation Gain
Several options
Trail Type
Skill Level
8 hours
May through October
1,225 feet
Trailhead Elevation
5,367 feet
Top Elevation
White Mountain National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Washington
Local Maps

Trail Log