Near Pinkham Notch and Mount Washington, the rugged, granite-block Presidential Range is the White Mountains toughest trek. The northern range can be covered in an three-day, 18 mile hiking expedition. Day one is an easy 3.5 miles up the Castle Trail to the Israel Ridge Path and the Castle Ravine Trail. Follow Cascade Brook until you hit the Link Trail, and set up camp. Prepare to rock-hop your way through day two: Follow the Link Trail to the Castle Trail, where youll climb three granite towers and bag 5,712-foot Mount Jefferson and 5,774-foot Mount Adams before walking the exposed ridge to Madison Hut. Day three is a steep, two-mile scramble off the ridge, then a gentle five-mile cruise to Pinkham Notch under the shadow of Mt. Washington.
A longer 34 mile traverse of the Presidentials starts from Crowford Notch Hostel and runs across the one peak after another (Jackson, Eisenhower, Monroe, Washington, Clay, Jefferson, Adams and Madison) before ending at the Pinkham Notch Lodge. Make full use of the hut system along the way.
To reach the hiking trailhead from Bowman, park on US 2 near town. Spot a second car at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, 40 minutes away off SR 16. Reserve the Madison Hut in advance with the visitor center.