Summit Mount Jefferson, Mount Clay, and Mount Washington

Summit Mount Jefferson, Mount Clay, and Mount Washington

Caps Ridge Trailhead

Distance

10.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

4455 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Point-to-Point

Added by

Leah Joy

Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

Knock three peaks off the 4000' list including the tallest in the Northeast, Mount Washington. This hike will give you challenging terrain, incredible views and lead you through a ridgeline where you feel like you're wandering through a far away land.

Hike with at least one other and take two cars. First drop one car at the Cog Railway parking lot (Base Station Rd, Bretton Woods, NH). Jump into the second car and drive about 15 minutes to the Caps Ridge Trailhead on Jefferson Notch Road ( N 44° 18' 15"W 71° 21' 42" )

The Caps Ridge Trail will lead you to Mount Jefferson Peak in 2.5 miles with a 2730' gain. Check your map as several trails merge at the peak and head onto the Mt. Jefferson Loop trail which in .3 miles will intersect with the Gulfside trail. Continue on the Gulfside trail until you merge with Mount Clay Loop trail. Follow the trail up to the peak of Mount Clay that sits at 5533'. Pay no attention to how far Mt. Washington may look, you'll make it there soon. Continue .7 miles down Mount Clay Loop trail to merge back onto the Gulfside Trail. Here, you'll follow along the Gulfside trail which runs parallel to the cog railway for a bit and eventually crosses over it. Mt. Washington peak is well in sight and close at this point but navigating the trail can be difficult. Look for carins and trail markers and eventually find the Trinity Heights Connector which will lead you to the peak of Mount Washington, 6288'. Most of this hike is above treeline which makes for breathtaking views and scenery, but can also make for unpredictable weather. Mt. Washington is knows for "the worst weather in America" so come well prepared.

Mount Washington Peak is often very crowded as the auto road as well as the cog railway run up to the peak. It offers a large indoor visitor center with a cafeteria and restrooms. Enjoy some lunch and prepare for the hike down.

Begin your descent down Crawford Path which will lead you to Lake of the Clouds Hut. Be sure to check out the lake and feel free to stop in to the hut if hiking during the summer season (June-Sept). Lake of the Clouds would also be a great place to spend a night (Reservations required, weekends book up very fast and early in the season (http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/huts/lakes/)

Mt. Monroe is in plain sight and .4 miles up. It's tempting to check off another peak; however, you may be feeling very tired at this point having completed 7.4 miles.

From the hut head down the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail where in 3.1 miles you will reach your car, hopefully packed with a comfy pair of shoes and a cold beer.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $100/night

River's Edge Mountain Valley

Conway, New Hampshire

From $130/night

Topo Pino Mountain Oasis

Chatham, New Hampshire

From $110/night

Pondwood Pines in Wonalancet

Tamworth, New Hampshire

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Caps Ridge Trail (Mt. Jefferson, NH)

Beautiful foliage, around this time there is snow about a quarter of the top is covered and sleepers with ice forming on several rocks. Great hike beautiful views. Layer up Temperature change real quick.

Distance

10.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

4455 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Point-to-Point

Added by

Leah Joy

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike Mount Jefferson

Adventure

Hike Mt. Washington via Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail and Jewell Trail

Adventure

Winter Ascent of Mt. Washington Via Lion Head Trail

Adventure

Hike Tuckerman's Ravine Trail on Mt. Washington

More Nearby Adventures

Related Stories

destinations

WATCH: A Way of Life Under Attack - 'Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee'

All over this country, indigenous people are literally just fighting for their identity.

gear

Patagonia's First Ever Product Collaboration: Danner & Patagonia Wading Boots

Debuted at Summer Outdoor Retailer 2018, Patagonia's newest fly fishing products are now available.

activities

The World's Gnarliest Bike Race: 1000+ Miles on the Silk Road

"How tough it will be cannot be understated, but as Mike Hall once said, 'Nothing that’s worth an...

photography

How Landscape Photographers Can Improve at Leave No Trace

We often talk about “leaving no trace” in the outdoors. You don't take anything from the wilderne...

More Stories