New England Hiking -

Hiking Mount Adams

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Mount Adams Information

Elevation: 5,774 feet (1,760 meters)
Prominence: What is Prominence? 804 feet (245 meters)
Location: Low and Burbank's Grant, Thompson and Meserves Purchase, New Hampshire
Range: Presidential Range
Coordinates: 44°19'14" North     71°17'29" West
Rating: How do the ratings work? Difficult
Features: Rock Scrambles, Mossy Falls, Madison Spring Hut, Ice Caves, 360 degree views on a clear day, Alpine Zone, Star Lake, Peak Bagging
Distance of highlighted hike below: 10 miles with Mt. Madison (but you could always just hike Adams.)

Mount Adams is a 5,774 foot mountain in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, making it the second highest mountain in New England after Mount Washington.

There are two major subsidiary peaks of Mount Adams: Mount Sam Adams (named after John Adams' cousin and Revolutionary Leader Samuel Adams) and Mount Quincy Adams, (named after President John Quincy Adams, Sam Adams' son).

The Northern side of Mount Adams is located in the town of Low and Burbank's Grant, NH, while the Southern side is located in Thompson and Meserve's Purchase, NH.

The Appalachian Trail traverses the area between Mount Adams and Mount Sam Adams on the Gulfside Trail.

The Randolph Mountain Club (RMC) maintains the trails and many shelters on the North side of Mount Adams including the Perch, Crag Camp, The Log Cabin and Gray Knob.

Mount Madison (5,367 feet) is a great mountain to Peak Bag Mount Adams with, because they are only 1.4 miles apart, but you have to take the weather conditions into consideration when deciding if this is right for you.

Mossy Falls are a great waterfall to visit on the way up to Mount Adams if you take the Short Line Trail. The Ice Caves are also a great alternative to "normal" hiking, as you have to make your way over, under and through tight squeezes in caves and giant boulders. When hiking on the Short Line Trail, you will see signs for the Subway which leads to and through the Ice Caves, then meets back up with the Short Line Trail. The Madison Spring Hut is 1.0 mile away from Mount Adams and 0.4 miles from Mount Madison.

For peak-baggers:
Mount Madison is 1.4 miles from the summit of Mount Adams
Mount Jefferson is roughly 2.3 miles from the summit of Mount Adams

Lists Mount Adams are on: = A patch is available for this list
New Hampshire 4,000 footers
New Hampshire 4,000 footers in Winter season
New England 4,000 footers
New England 4,000 footers in Winter season
     New Hampshire Hundred Highest
New England Hundred highest
New England Hundred highest in Winter season
Northeast 111
Trailwrights 72 summit club
48x12 "The Grid"




summit view mount adams mount madison star lake moutn madison photo
The views from the summit of Mount Adams. Looking at Mount Madison and Star Lake.

Mount Adams Trail Maps - Directions from the parking lot to the summit Top

The map below shows how to get to the summit of Mount Adams and Mount Madison via the Appalachia Trail head Parking Lot.

There are many trail routes you can take to reach the summit of Mount Adams and Mount Madison, but the one below takes you by Mossy Falls, the Ice Caves, Star Lake and the Madison Spring Hut.

Begin at the Appalachia Trail head Parking Lot. The trails begin behind the wooden information booth. Stay right to begin the Air Line Trail for 0.9 miles. (You will cross an intersection about 0.2 miles into the hike for The Link, and Sylvan Way, then another intersection about 0.4 miles after that for Beechwood Way.) After you pass the Beechwood Way sign, stay slight right at the next intersection to cross over to Short Line Trail and continue for 1.9 miles until you reach Mossy Falls.

After enjoying Mossy Falls, continue up for 0.4 miles until you come to an intersection where you can go left to see the Ice Caves, or left for a slightly easier hike. (Each way till be 0.9 miles and meet up together at the Gulfside Trail.) Once you reach the Gulfside Trail sign you will see a sign pointing to Mount Adams. Continue up for 0.8 miles until you reach the summit.

After you are done at the top of Mount Adams, take the Star Lake Trail down to the Madison Spring Hut, passing Star Lake on your right. It will be 1 mile from Mount Adams to the hut. From the hut, take the Gulfside Trail up the bald rockyness of Mount Madison for 0.4 miles where you can enjoy great summit views on a clear day. Views of the Mount Washington Auto Road are also visible if you look just left of the direction of the Madison Spring Hut.

From Mount Madison, take the Watson Path for 1.5 mils (passing a junction at 0.3 miles with the Pine Link). Connect onto the Valley Way Trail and continue until you reach the parking lot, which is roughly 2.4 miles.

mount madison, mt madison, mount adams, mt adams, appalachia trailhead, air line trail, airline trail, greatgulf trail, madison spring hut, star lake, ice caves, subway, mossy fall, gulfside trail, appalachian trail
Click to download PDF Trail Map of Mount Madison and Mount Adams

Mount Adams Photos Top

Air Line Trail, Airline Tr, Mount Adams, Mount Madison
Photo of a hiker heading up the Air Line Trail on July 25, 2012


Mount Adams Driving Directions Top

From I-93
The parking lot for the above hike begins at the Appalachia Trail head Parking Lot. From I-93, take exit 35 (just North of Franconia Notch) or exit 40 if you're coming from the North. You will be on route 115 after exiting the highway. Follow it to route 2, where you will turn right. The parking lot is right on the road. It is a long parking lot, hard to miss. There are generally always cars parked there.

From Conway
Take route 16 North until it meets Route 2 in Gorham, NH where you will turn left. You will pass Dolly Copp road. The parking lot will be on the left.

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