Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Madison, NH
Trails: Great Gulf Trail, Madison Gulf Trail, Parapet Trail, Parapet Spur, Star Lake Trail, Osgood Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, September 3, 2016
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at the Great Gulf trailhead off Rt. 16. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: No problems. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: All trails in good shape, even within the wilderness area. MGT is brushy in spots north of GGT. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Maybe. If they are hearty trail dogs. MGT has a lot of sustained scrambling. 
Bugs: Nope. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Nothing. 
Comments: Madison via Madison Gulf Trail has been on my bucket list for a while. Great trail! The hike in via GGT was easy and beautiful. One past The Bluff, the MGT takes off and immediately gets rougher and wilder, climbing moderately up to the floor of Madison Gulf, crossing Parapet Brook several times.

I found the climb up the headwall to be somewhat easier than I was anticipating. Right at the start is a steep, open slab which I found tricky. Some exposure here. Higher up was an awkward pitch for taller folks like myself, where you have to scramble up underneath an overhanging ledge. Other than that, the climb up is sustained scrambling over boulders. It reminded me of King Ravine, but will smaller rocks and less exposure. Just before the Parapet Trail, MGT turns right out of the drainage. I saw several old red and blue blazes on the way up.

From here I made my way to the hut, which was not that busy. After a break there, I ascended Madison and hung out on top for a while. Descent via Osgood was beautiful but loooooong. Lots of sustained rock hopping both above and below treeline. Osgood Ridge also has several ups and downs over rocky knobs. Below treeline, the trail is pretty much a constant, long descent with no breaks. No level spots, just down. I found it tiring, but likely because it was near the end of the day. I did hit my "Presi boulder" wall again though, and was glad to be down on the easier footing of the GGT.

Didn't see anyone at all on the MGT. A highly recommended route!  
Name: KenM 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2016-09-04 
Link: https:// 
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