When I was a teenager, my parents frequently hiked with me in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. My favorite range to hike is the Presidentials. I haven’t been up the Presidentials in about 20 years, but this year I had the opportunity to do a Presidential traverse with my eldest son, Tim. Here is a synopsis of our trip.
DISCLAIMER: This article incorporates far more images than my typical article. Sorry. I tried to reduce it, but I just love mountain pictures!
Cast of characters
Tim (another one) and Stephen Arrowsmith, who are friends from church, accompanied us on the trip. Tim (who we call “Mr. Tim”) has been a good friend of mine for years, and Stephen has been friends with my son, Tim, since they were babies.
Day 1: Up from valley to Mizpah Springs Hut
We started our hike in Crawford Notch and hiked up the Crawford Path to Mizpah Spring Hut. This was a relatively easy 2.4 mile hike through the woods.
We left the parking lot at right around 10AM on Saturday, August 27, and arrived at Mizpah Spring Hut (on the side of Mt. Pierce) just before 12PM. We dropped our packs there and decided to hike 3.4 miles out to the summit of Mt. Jackson and back.
Day 2: Across southern peaks to Lakes of the Clouds Hut
The next day we hiked 5 miles across the ridge (over Mt. Pierce, Mt. Eisenhower, and Mt. Monroe) to Lakes of the Clouds Hut, which is located between the peaks of Mt. Monroe and Mt. Washington. When we got to the slope of Monroe, we all decided to go around it so we could drop our packs at the hut and then scale to the summit without the extra weight.
After we went up and down Mt. Monroe, we started on the 3 mile hike up and down Mt. Washington. We met my sister, Laurel, and her boyfriend, Dan, on the summit of Washington.
After the Mt. Washington hike, Tim and Stephen decided to go for a swim in one of the lakes near the hut.
Laurel and Dan spent the night with us at Lakes of the Clouds Hut, and we celebrated Laurel’s birthday (August 28th) together at dinner.
Day 3: Across the northern peaks to Madison Spring Hut
The weather on the third day took a turn for the (much) worse. We were told to expect fog and winds of 50-70 mph, with occasional rain and wind gusts up to 85 mph. This day, we hiked a little over 7 miles across the ridge to Madison Spring Hut.
There weren’t any views, and the wind and rain (combined with temperatures in the 40s) were pretty miserable, so we bypassed most of the northern peaks on this trek.
Day 4: Down from Madison Spring Hut to the valley
The morning of the 4th day, I woke early and hiked from Madison Spring Hut about a quarter of a mile up the side of Mt. Adams to get pictures of the sun rising over Mt. Madison.
After breakfast, we hiked without packs 1 mile (round trip) from the hut to the peak of Mt. Madison and then back again. We then donned our gear and hiked about 4 miles down the Air Line Trail to the parking lot where Mr. Tim’s car was waiting for us. The weather was beautiful again, and the views were spectacular.