New England Hiking -

Hike Mount Jefferson

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Mount Jefferson Information

Elevation: 5,712 feet (1,741 meters)
Prominence: What is Prominence? 742 feet (226.2 meters)
Location: Thompson and Meserves Purchase, NH (Coös County, New Hampshire, USA)
Range: Presidential Range
Coordinates: 44°18'15" North     71°19'01" West
Rating: How do the ratings work? Difficult
Features: Cascades, Rock Scrambles What are Rock Scrambles?, Alpine Zone What is an Alpine Zone?, 360 Degree Views, Peak Bagging What is Peak Bagging?
Distance of highlighted hike below: 5 miles

Mount Jefferson is a 5,712 foot mountain in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains. It is the third tallest mountain in New Hampshire. The mountain is named after the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Mount Jefferson sits between Mount Clay (to the South) and Mount Adams (another 4,000 footer, to the North).

Besides the summit of Mount Jefferson having amazing 360 degree views including Mount Washington to the South, it also has several other features, making it a popular hike. There are 2 ridges that lead up to the summit: Ridge of the Caps and Castle Ridge, both offering spectacular views less than a mile into your hike. Mount Jefferson is also surrounded by 3 dramatic glacial cirques of Jefferson Ravine, Castle Ravine and the Great Gulf. There is a large area of alpine grass near the summit called The Monticello Lawn, which is special because this area, near any summit, would normally be covered by talus. When viewed from the South, Jefferson features an arrow-shaped bald patch pointing to its summit

If you want to get an incredible view from a New Hampshire 4,000 footer in one of the shortest hikes (on the 4,000 footer list) to one of the tallest mountains, Mount Jefferson is the one to hike. In just 2.5 miles you can be at the summit via the Caps Ridge Trail. Though short, it is also a difficult hike including lots of rock scrambles and can be very challenging at times. This route only gains 2,700 feet (830 meters) vertically to the summit, making it one of the quickest ascents up any Presidential Range mountain. Another popular hike up to the summit, though longer, is by taking the Jefferson Loop Trail.

For peak-baggers
Mount Clay is 1.6 miles from the summit of Mount Jefferson
Mount Adams is 2.3 miles from the summit of Mount Jefferson
Mount Madison is 3.3 miles from the summit of Mount Jefferson

Lists Mount Jefferson 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"



Hiking Mount Jefferson New Hampshire Presidential Range White Mountains
Looking up to the summit of Mount Jefferson from the East side on August 14, 2010.
Mount Jefferson Trail Maps - Directions from the parking lot to the summit Top

The map below shows how to get to the summit of Mount Jefferson via the highlighted trail. You can also peak bag Mount Jefferson with Mount Clay and/or Mount Adams via other trails shown below.

Begin on the Caps Ridge Trail on Jefferson Notch Road. Hike up for 2.1 miles until you reach the intersection of The Cornice. Here you will want to stay straight, continuing along the Caps Ridge Trail for another 0.4 miles to the summit of Mount Jefferson. The first half of the hike is fairly easy on dirt/rocky ground, while the second half is much more difficult, including rock scrambles and difficult terrain.

If you choose to hike over to Mount Clay from Jefferson's summit, it is another 1.5 miles via the Gulfside Trail. Mount Washington is another 1.7 miles from Mount Clay via the Caly Loop Trail, then the roughly half a mile on the Great Gulf Trail.

If you choose to hike over to Mount Adams from Jefferson's summit, it is another 2.5 miles via the Gulfside Trail. From Mount Adams, you can reach Mount Madison in 1.4 miles via the Gulfside Trail.

Mount Jefferson, Mount Clay, Mount Adams, Map, Hiking, Caps Ridge Trail, The Jefferson Loop, The Link, Sphinx Trail, Great Gulf Wilderness, Six Husbands Trail, Jefferson Ravine, The Cornice, Great Gulf Trail, Edmands Col Cutoff, Gulfside Trail, Ravine of the Castles, Castle Trail, Emerald Bluff, The Perch, Hike 4000 Footers
Click to download PDF Trail Map of Mount Jefferson 

Mount Jefferson Photos Top

Cairn summit mount jefferson
Cairn near the summit of Mount Jefferson on August 14, 2010. Mount Washington in the background.

Mount Jefferson Driving Directions Top

The parking lot for the highlighted hike above is at the Caps Ridge Trail head, located on Jefferson Notch Road in Thompson and Meserves Purchase, New Hampshire.

If you are traveling West on Route 302
Heading West on Route 302, turn Right on Mount Clinton Road (0.2 miles past the AMC Highland Center). Travel 3.6 miles then at a crossroads, go straight onto Jefferson Notch Road and follow for 3.4 miles down the dirt road. The parking area will be on the right hand side of the road.

If you are traveling East on Route 302
Traveling East on Route 302, turn left onto Base Station Road, which is the road that leads to the Cog Railroad). The turn is 4.4 miles East of the junction of Route 3 and 302. Continue 4.5 miles, then at the crossroads, turn left onto Jefferson Notch Road, and follow for 3.4 miles on the dirt road. The parking area will be on the right hand side of the road.

If you are traveling from Route 2 in Randolph
Turn South onto Valley Road, which is 3.3 miles East of the junction of Routes 2 and 115. After 1.2 miles, turn left onto Jefferson Notch Road and follow for 5.3 miles. The parking area will be on the left hand side of the road.

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