Valley Way is the access route to Mt. Madison and Mt. Adams most travelled by, and for winter hiking that makes all the difference. The easiest and most direct route to Madison Hut, hikers come one and all for day hikes to the aforementioned summits, overnights at the Valley Way Campsite or above treeline (winter only), to venture into the Great Gulf for ice climbing, or to begin treks across the Presidential Range.
New Hampshire has no shortage of premier hiking destinations, and the Presidential Range from Mt. Webster to Mt. Madison holds the most prized pearls in the state’s peak-bagging sea. Eight summits on the 19-mile Presidential Traverse are on the list of 48 4,000-footers, including the top five to tickle the sky.
The White Mountain Guide describes Lowe’s Path as the “easiest way to climb Mt. Adams.” There’s an important distinction to be made here: easiest doesn’t exactly equate easy, especially in the winter. The 4.7-mile climb to New England’s second highest peak, 5,799 feet, will beat your legs into submission like a drill sergeant at boot camp. Don’t worry, though, it’s jolly good fun. And the rewarding views of neighboring Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Madison, and big brother Mt. Washington will quickly cleanse any residue of a pre-dawn rise and shine.