The NH Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club will lead the 51st annual Presidential Range Hike from Saturday, July 15 – Sunday, July 23, 2017. Twenty-one participants, led by four experienced NH Chapter leaders, will hike hut to hut for 50 miles along the Appalachian Trail from Franconia Notch to Rte. 2 in Randolph, NH. Participants in groups averaging 5 – 7 people will hike 5 – 10 miles each day and stay at one of the AMC huts each night. The huts are enclosed buildings that provide bunks and meals along the trail. Each day the leaders will offer four different hikes based on pace and side hikes where participants self-select their daily itinerary.
The route starts at Rte. 3 In Franconia Notch, climbs to the Franconia Ridge, traverses the rugged Twin – Zealand Range, cuts over the Mt. Tom col to Rte. 302 and the Highland Center. A moderate gain to the southern Presidential Range brings participants to treeline where the views are spectacular. Many consider the Presidential Range the most scenic on the entire Appalachian Trail!
Participants will hike over many of the NH 4000’er peaks including Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Garfield, S. Twin Mtn., Zealand Mtn. and Mt. Clinton (Pierce). Side trips offer hikers the chance to climb, Mt. Lincoln, Galehead Mtn., N. Twin Mtn., Mt. Bond & W. Bond, Mt. Hale, Mt. Tom, Mt. Field, Mt. Eisenhower, Mt. Monroe, Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams and Mt. Madison. The hike will ascend at least 15,000’ over the eight days.
The trails in New Hampshire are rugged. Although there are stretches of smooth treadway, hikers will be walking on many rocks and roots. There are many spots where one will need to use hands to navigate a section of trail. The weather can also be a concern. While we hope for clear, cool weather, New England is notorious for its frequently changing weather requiring that participants carry adequate gear.
Past participants have ranged in age from 18 to 70* and ranged in experience from relative neophytes to White Mountain veterans. The key is to possess a desire to hike some of the most scenic territory east of the Mississippi, have appropriate gear and be fit for hiking. We suggest that participants start a hiking regimen or other suitable exercise routine months in advance. The number one reason participants must bail out on the hike is that they are not fit. View the photo album to take a virtual trip.
The cost for the hike is $940 for AMC members and $990 for non-members.** The cost includes 8 nights lodging, breakfast and supper, transportation from Pinkham to the trail head at Rte. 3 in Franconia Notch and from Appalachia on Rte. 2 in Randolph back to Pinkham at the end of the trip. Trail lunches, snacks and all gratuities are also included.
* Anyone 70 or older MUST attend the two warm-up hikes in May and June. The White Mountains are extremely rugged and we have had varied success with folks of advanced age. Also, those with no or limited experience may also be required to attend the warm-up hikes.
**The cost is based on a minimum of 17 participants. There may be an additional small cost if we have less than 17 people sign up.
Contact John McHugh, 603-382-6685, 7 – 9 PM, or firstname.lastname@example.org for registration or more details.