Double Presidential Range Traverse

Date of Hike: 5/20/12

Crawford Path 2.9
Webster Cliff 0.2
Crawford Path 1.2
Eisenhower Loop 0.8
Crawford Path 1.4
Monroe Loop 0.7
Crawford Path 1.6
Gulfside 1.1
Clay Loop 1.2
Gulfside 0.7
Jefferson Loop 0.7
Gulfside 1.6
Lowe's Path 0.3
Airline 0.6
Gulfside 0.4
Osgood 1.0
Gulfside 5.0
Westside 0.9
Crawford Path 7.7
Total Miles 30.0
Elevation Gain
Around 10,200 feet

Trip Report:
- The Mount Washington Observatory was predicting near record high temperatures in the low 60's with light and variable winds so I decided to hook up with Alton and Kat and join in on their quest for a one day Double Presidential Range Traverse!
- We were on the trail at 6:45a.m. and within minutes we were in short sleeves as the temps were sky-rocketing as we ascended to treeline on the Crawford Path.  By the time we hit Mount Pierce's summit it already felt like a mid August day in the Presidential Range, bright sunshine with hazy skies, sunblock was a must, and the black flies were out taking tiny chunks of flesh out of my legs.
- There were not as many people on the trail as I had seen yesterday and when we reached the summit of Washington around 12:45pm I had expected to see the usual zoo of people, but it wasn't to crazy and we were able to grab a table and relax and refuel in the cafeteria.
- We left the summit just after 1pm and were faced with the daunting task that we were only a quarter of the way through with miles of awful footing of the northern presi's in front of us.
- The hike over Clay, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison was filled with terrific views and a very light breeze but the going was pretty tough, I took a gnarly fall on the Clay Loop and scraped up my forearm good. I was starting to feel the effects of the 26 miles I did yesterday and the girls were running low on water that they had to refill from a spring at Madison Springs Hut.
- We took a nice break on the summit of Mount Madison looking all the way back to Washington trying to predict where we'd hit sunset and trying not to think about how we would be hiking past midnight.
- We decided to bypass the loop trails on the way back which was fine with me, I re-tagged the peaks last year when I solo'd the double presi traverse but as the day was fading I really wanted to get home to RI before sun rose!
- We didn't see a soul as we hiked the Gulfside Trail toward Mount Washington and we caught an amazing sunset over the Green Mountains below the summit cone of Mount Washington on the Westside Trail.
- The winds started to pick up and the temperature dropped fast so it was back into long sleeves as we made our way to Lakes of the Clouds were the girls filled up on water from the upper lakes of The Clouds run-off.
- From here we still had almost seven miles to go, it was a real slog but luckily the footing in the southern presi's is much better.  However we were all dog tired and our pace kept getting slower and slower.
- When we reached the Webster-Cliff Trail Junction we took a break and turned our headlamps off and looked up at the stars which blanketed the sky right above us, it was a pretty incredible sight.
- Now it was closing time, three miles of downhill back to the Highland Center, it was brutal, brutal, brutal!  The Crawford Path seems like it turned into an eroded mess since we were on it earlier in the day.  To make things worse we came under attack from moths, those little powder white ones, they dive bombed our headlamps and flew into out faces...It was the longest three miles of my life!
- When we finally reached the car it was 12:45am, 18 hours after we started, and we were in full zombie mode!  I was beyond exhausted, for the first time since my week long excursion in the Adirondack's last June I couldn't make it all the way home, I had to stop at the New Hampshire liquor rest stop and crash for a few hours before making it back to Lil' Rhody!

Pictures: Click here for all pictures

 Hiking to Mount Monroe
 Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Washington
 Mount Monroe
 The Cog
 Monticello Lawn
Alton and Kat on the Jefferson Loop Trail with Mount Adams in the distance

 Mount Monroe
 Sun slowly setting
 Fire in the Sky
 Sun setting


  1. Congrats on your second "Double" Chris. Amazing!

  2. Thanks! It definitely was a long but fun day!

  3. gearing up for this weekend, can't wait.

  4. Nice pics and nice hike! One caption says, "Madison Spring Hut and Mount Adams." I'm quite sure it is Madison. Did you see the Madison Moose? Was up there (2) times this winter and saw the moose both times.

    1. Hi Juha

      Yes you are correct, I take thousands of pictures over all these hikes and sometimes I just type in the wrong name, I'm sure there are a few other mis-labeled captions that make it through without me correcting them but I do know which mountains are which it's just a mistake so if you see others just let me know I will correct it ASAP.

      Thanks, Chris

    2. Understood. If anybody knows, its certainly you! It interesting because I labeled Adams, "Madison" on few occasion and have been corrected. Thanks for blogging. This is a tremendous resource!