Presidential Range TraverseTwenty-three grueling miles on the historic trail

The North Face
The North Face
2101 Broadway
3 Days
3 Days
Intensity
9/10
23.0 miles
9,000 feet
elevation gain
18+
$625
$675 non-peak member
About the trip

Be a Long Distance Legend

New Hampshire's White Mountains have a well earned reputation of being rugged and unforgiving, but the effort it takes to hike their trails does not go unrewarded. From the alpine flora that surrounds you to the endless views that you can enjoy on a clear day, there is no shortage of beauty to see along your hike.

This is the challenge of a lifetime and the Presidential Range Traverse is considered one of the most challenging day hikes in the entire world. With rocky trails, exposed ridge hiking, and the constant up and down of elevation change you are going to push yourself far beyond what you thought possible in a day. Our hike is designed to set you up for success - with plenty of water resupply points, a refuel and bail-out option on top of Washington, and the support of three DO Guides. You'll be able to travel light and move fast and will be encouraged to hike at your optimal pace on your way to truly become a legend.

Please note, tents and sleeping bags are required. These can be rented for an additional charge during purchase.

Required Experience

This trip is for experienced hikers and fit individuals only. Upon sign up, you'll be asked to complete a short application before purchasing your spot on the expedition. Your safety is our number one consideration and any individual who does not have appropriate preparation may not be approved.

Your Guide
Michael Domanic
Senior Guide

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Info
Level 9/10
9,000 feet elevation gain
23.0 miles
The North Face2101 Broadway
3 Days

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Itinerary

Depart for New Hampshire, Warm Up Hike

We'll depart for New England early on Friday morning, arriving in time for a short hike to stretch our legs before settling into camp. Night one will be spent at camp on the north side of the Presidential Range, allowing us to begin our hike as early as possible the next day. After eating a hearty dinner, we'll head off to bed early to prepare for our journey. (Meals: D)
Hiking Distance: 3 milesHiking Time: 2 hoursElevation Gain: 1,000 feet gain

Traverse Attempt

Saturday morning, we'll wake up before dawn to begin our traverse attempt. We'll begin with four miles up to the ridge, knocking off almost 4000 feet in elevation gain in this first stretch alone. After a water fill at Madison Hut, we'll emerge above treeline, where we'll remain for most of the traverse. The exposed trail is beautiful, but subject the infamous and extreme conditions of the White Mountains. We'll continue up over Mount Madison (5367'), Mount Adams (5774'), Mount Jefferson (5712'), and Mount Clay (5533') before reaching the highest point on our traverse - and the highest in the northeast US - Mount Washington (6288'). The summit of Washington is a welcome site, with a full snack bar and our DO Van waiting to help you refuel. At this point, the hardest peaks are behind you, but there is still a long way to go.

The remaining peaks - Monroe (5384'), Franklin (5001'), Eisenhower (4780'), and Pierce (4310') - are accessed via short spur trails, each offering a unique view of the surrounding mountains, if conditions allow. The White Mountains are known to have the worst weather in the world, with extremely high winds and conditions that change rapidly.

Today's hike is designed to set you up for success - with plenty of water resupply points, a refuel and bail-out option on top of Washington, and the support of three DO Guides. You'll be able to travel light and move fast and will be encouraged to hike at your optimal pace. Safety will be our number one priority, though, and if we feel conditions are not optimal, an early descent is always a possibility.

A full day of peak bagging behind you, you'll be spend the night in Shapleigh Bunkhouse - a full service lodge with showers, plenty of food, and comfortable beds located just steps from the trail's end. You'll sleep well tonight, dreaming of your time in the clouds. (Meals: B, L, D)

Hiking Distance: 23 milesHiking Time: 14 hoursElevation Gain: 9,000 feet gain

Return to New York

You'll be able to sleep in today before our departure for New York. After a few brief stops, including time for lunch on the road, we'll arrive back in New York by 8:00 PM. (Meals: B)
Planning

Here’s what you need

Bring

Essential Items
  • Tent for night one (can be rented for additional fee)
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented for additional fee)
  • Sleeping pad (can be rented for additional fee)
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Day pack or hydration pack / vest
  • Camelbak bladder or water bottles (3 L capacity)
  • Additional snacks
  • Camera
  • Basic first aid kit (band-aids, moleskin, etc)
  • Camp mess kit (bowl, mug, and utensil)
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm clothes for evenings at camp
  • Money for meals on the road
Recommended Items
  • Trekking poles
  • Bug spray
  • Comfortable camp shoes

Wear

Essential Clothing
  • Comfortable, athletic clothing
  • Layers are essential to adapt to changing conditions
  • Hiking boots with light wool socks or supportive trail runners
  • Windproof and waterproof shell jacket
  • Insulating layers
  • Sun hat or baseball cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm hat
  • Light gloves

What's Included

Included
  • Round Trip Transportation from New York City
  • Licensed and medically trained guide team
  • Accommodations
  • Meals as outlined in itinerary
  • Group equipment
  • Park permits and fees
Not included
  • Personal gear and equipment
  • Meals not outlined in itinerary
  • Gratuity for guides

Weather

These mountains are known for having the most extreme weather in the world. While this is a summer hike, you can expect anything from sunshine to snow and should be prepared for everything. Temperatures at the start of the hike will likely be between 60-80 degrees while on the ridge, temperatures on the ridge are typically between 50-70 degrees in July though they may drop as low as freezing or lower with wind chill. Layers and a weatherproof outer layer are essential.

Lodging

Night one will be spent at a campground near our trailhead to allow for as early a start as possible. If you don't have your own tent, one can be rented for an additional fee. Meals here are prepared by your DO guides and you'll enjoy some time around the fire before you settle into bed. Night two will be spent enjoying the comforts of Shapleigh Bunkhouse at the Highland Center. We'll stay in shared bunk rooms, with mattresses and linens provided. The lodge has showers for guests and plenty of games to enjoy as you wind down from your hike. Meals are served on site and can account for any dietary restrictions.

Training

While this is not a technical hike, you will be covering a great deal of mileage in alpine conditions. Having a high level of physical fitness is essential for a successful traverse. Hiking is the best training you can do to get used to a long day of going uphill and downhill. When hiking is not an option, stairs, a stairmill or treadmill at a steep incline can mimic climbing. Aim to exercise at least five times a week for the months leading up the trip. Weight training and flexibility training will help prevent injury and endurance.

Dates and Prices

The right trip,
at the right time.

Start
Finish
Availability
Price From
Friday
Jul 5, 2019
Sunday
Jul 7, 2019
Available
$625

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