Caps Ridge Trail

Location: Mt. Jefferson in the Presidential Range.

Trail and trailhead location: Caps Ridge Trail, off Jefferson Notch Road (not far from Mt. Washington's Cog Railway parking area).

Caps Ridge Trail (2.5 miles with 2700 feet of elevation gain) is, IMO, the best way up Mt. Jefferson.  Half of this hike is above treeline, with fun scrambles in the open air.

Photo by Trish Herr

There are three main "Caps" to climb.  Each are fairly short in duration, and there are plenty of hand and foot holds.  Most people who climb this route also descend it, so the route shouldn't give a careful climber much trouble.  Just take your time.

Photo by Trish Herr

Photo by Trish Herr

Beware of thunderstorms and rain; the scrambles are dangerous when wet.  Also, you're completely exposed for much of this hike, so if thunder/lightning are on their way, then head down immediately.  If it's a gorgeous day, however, then hang about on the summit for a while and enjoy the stellar views.

Photo by Trish Herr
Trip Reports
August 11, 2015 -- Live Free and Hike
July 29, 2015 -- Adventures of the Curious Type
June 7, 2015 - Trish, Alex, Sage

Trip Report by D. Flynn --  Caps Ridge-Castle-Link Loop -- This has some unusual rock formations but overall I found Caps Ridge a bit of a grind.  The view is reasonably good, and I saw people bringing dogs with little trouble.  If you'd rather gouge your eyes out than retrace your steps, I looped this with the upper half of the Castle Trail, but be advised that the Link may look level on a map but only because its ups and downs aren't big enough individually to register, and the footing is very poor.  Do not underestimate.  Castle itself has unusual rocks and a nice view, but the hike itself was just unpleasant.  I'd recommend going up and back on Caps Ridge and saving Castle for another loop.

YOUR TRIP REPORT HERE - Send me an email with a link to your report (or some text) and I'll gladly include it here.

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