Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Adams, NH
Trails: Air Line, The Link, Beechwood Way, Short Line, Randolph Path, King Ravine Trail, Great Gully Trail, Lowe’s Path, Israel Ridge Path, Gulfside, Chemin des Dames
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, July 16, 2020
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Pretty full at 5:30am on a Thursday. Maybe a half dozen “regular” parking spots left. Less cars upon my return at 2:45pm I think. It looked like the regular spots had overfilled the day before too as some cars had parallel parked on the other side of the parking lot.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: While water was still pretty high on Thursday, there weren’t any major crossings on this route so I only had typical rock hops. Things were definitely very wet though. The higher up you went, the more water had drained so Great Gully Trail wasn’t too bad.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: The Link, Beechwood Way, and Short Line were all blazed in yellow except for where Short Line coincided with Randolph Path and was blazed in blue since Randolph Path connects with the AT. I think all those were mostly blazed fairly well. King Ravine Trail may have been blazed in yellow below tree line too. Chemin des Dames didn’t have much blaze visible (at least going down) but what I did see was a very faded yellow. Great Gully and Air Line were blazed in blue, Air Line much better so. Great Gully’s was faded and not very frequent. It can be very hard to follow and is overgrown. If you think you’re off trail, head back a short ways and look for a turn you may have missed. I’m not recalling blaze above tree line but Gulfside should have been blazed in white, and Lowe’s Path and Israel Ridge Path should have been blazed in blue. I don’t recall much in the way of blowdowns. One small guy over the trail on Chemin des Dames (middle section around the Orange Squeezer I believe) that was just a bit awkward coming down. Then a very old no problem stepover on Air Line that will stay there. Nothing else that I recall. The sign for King Ravine Trail where it intersects with Air Line Trail above tree line probably went missing and there is now a small, white, presumably temporary, RMC sign for it in its place but the writing is already almost faded and could be easy to miss...hopefully you’re not descending that way anyway though!  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: None seen and Great Gully, Chemin des Dames, and King Ravine Trail are all emphatically unsuitable for dogs.  
Bugs: Some black flies higher up but nothing too bad and I think the mosquitos were minimal.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: Appalachia —> The Link —> Beechwood Way to Valley Way then back to Air Line —> Air Lind —> Short Line —> King Ravine Trail —> Great Gully Trail —> Lowe’s Path to Adams and back to —> Israel Ridge Path —> Gulfside (these last three form the little triangle around around Thunderstorm Junction) —> Air Line —> Chemin des Dames —> King Ravine Trail —> Short Line —> Air Line—> Appalachia.

9.25hrs for 10-11mi of hiking. Some new redlines and I got a new peak for my second grid (because it’s very important to start working on your second grid when you’re only 25% into your first 😜). Some very wet, mucky, soupy places down low from recent rain. Lots of slippery rocks closer to the ravine too and one major spot of standing water on either Short Line or King Ravine (I believe it was on Short Line shortly before reaching the jct with King Ravine Trail) that forced you to go just off trail or wade through it. I was creative and used the boulders to get through it. A little running water on the trails too at times but not too much. Most of the wetness was down low as the water had mostly drained from places higher up on the mountain.

Although I didn’t go up the headwall I think the final approach to King Ravine is very tough with all the boulder hopping. Not a huge fan especially coming back down that. Great Gully Trail took me over twice book time I think and I’m usually pretty fast 😂 This was in part due to the fact that I missed a turn and got slightly off trail and ascended up one of the mini waterfalls and then had to bushwhack a very short distance back to the trail, then do an out-and-back on the portion of trail I missed. That probably wasted at least a half hour right there. The portion above tree line was much quicker going. As it nears Thunderstorm Jct the trail goes slightly to the left and on more of a footpath rather than boulder hopping. Easy to miss. Don’t get the other nearby cairns on Gulfside or Spur Trail.

Only one other hiker on Great Gully that I hiked with for a bit, two people on the summit of Adams that I chatted with for awhile, a couple of trail runners on Gulfside, and a fellow redliner near Thunderstorm Jct. On the way down I ran into some people on King Ravine Trail headed out too. Had some nice conversation with just about everyone and great to meet some new people!

I didn’t have to take my pack off for the Orange Squeezer on Chemin des Dames. Chemin des Dames wasn’t an easy descent of course and it was slow going but I didn’t find it that bad. Some rocks wobbled a bit but few and far between and a good portion of it is below tree line. The sketchy scramble on Great Gully Trail wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. It’s really a very tight boulder squeeze (so you’re very secure) with a bit of a scramble next to a drop off. I had to take my pack off. Just be careful of where you place your pack and poles if you have them. If you throw them too far they may fall into the abyss. Then you have to lift yourself through a fight squeeze. There is a sheer drop to your left. Then you get out of it and walk to the other side and your fine. Personally, I found it a bit tricky to lift myself out of the squeezer but not very scary. I find the boulder hopping on the approach to the ravine or on the subway worse but that’s objective.  
Name: Liam Cooney  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2020-07-18 
Link: https:// 
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