Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Adams, NH
Trails: Great Gulf Trail, Buttress Trail, abandoned Adams Slide Trail, bushwhack, Star Lake Trail, Parapet Trail, Osgood Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, August 16, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at the Great Gulf trailhead. Plenty of room at 9am and 8:40pm 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: They were all hopable if you took some care. Watch for moss and otherwise slippery rocks.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Definitely a blowdown or two on Great Gulf Trail that I’m pretty sure was there two poi’s years ago when I first hiked the trail. All in all, not in bad shape for a wilderness Trail though. Don’t expect to see blazed on most of these trails as they’re above tree line though. We saw a few very old and faded red blazed on Adams Slide Trail which was neat. I think 2-4 below tree line and 1 above tree line. There’s the occasional cairn above tree line but we just sort of picked our own route the closer we got to the summit. I recall seeing a blue blaze somewhere I didn’t think I would...I think it was on Parapet? I don’t really recall boxing above treeline but I didn’t find Star Lake and Parapet hard to follow as there’s cairns where needed. Parapet could definitely be brushed out. Definitely some branches and stumps to watch your head and legs on too. I don’t really recall Osgood Trail being boxed below tree line but it’s marked with cairns and occasional blaze above tree line, not hard to follow but easy to get a wee bit off the trail at times on the ridge above tree line.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Not sure we saw any. I wouldn’t recommend this route for many unless you can trust them to stay close on bushwhacks, they can handle steep scrambles, and they can handle sharp, jagged boulders.  
Bugs: Not many  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None  
Comments: My 7th 4000 footer this month out of 19 needed for my August grid. I need Adams twice more this winter but wanted to do Adams Slide before I gridded it out. Given I had no intention of doing that over this winter, this month was the month! A huge thanks to Heat Lightning and Chickety for doing this with me :)

As Buttress Trail turns right to go across the lower boulder field (Lower part of Adams Slide), continue straight into the woods looking for a faint path. We thought we saw something but a certain somebody lead us up the boulder field instead ;) No problem, we quickly whacked back tot the abandoned trail and, although it’s faint, easily followed it steeply uphill. It was very steep and unrelenting but often offered halfway descent footing as the slide is now completely overgrown and forested. Elijah started to note the occasional red blaze on a rock. Probably about 1/3mi up, I missed a right hand turn on the trail and led us a little astray. Chickety of course found the right way. Probably a blowdown that obscured it. So if things seem to disappear about 1/4-1/3mi up, look to the right. Note that once before this the treadway seems to disappear as it clabbers up some mossy boulders. Once on top the path is evident again though. Once after the right turn, we again came to some mossy rocks. It looked kind of thick on the other side of them so wasn’t sure if I’d missed a turn but I scrambled up eh mossy rocks, pushed through a thick tree, and once again the path was evident.

After roughly 0.4mi, the trail angles right, and you see (hopefully) blue sky and you come out into the open. This first, below-treeline section of the hike was roughly 0.4mi to this point from where it leaves Buttress Trail. The trail reached treeline at about 4400ft and starts just above 3400ft so gains close to 1000ft in 0.4mi(ish). Coint on at least 200ft I’d gain per tenth of a mile. Not much in the way of genuine scrambling; just really bloody steep.

The next section was through the krumholtz. As Elijah described in his trail report, this part kind of sucked. The trail is not surprisingly fainter and harder to follow through this section. Look for it though as you’ll see some paths. No matter what it’s thick though. Below treeline you could expect to occasionally posthole through Duff. Above treeline you simply had no idea where your foot would land at times 😂 There’s some scrambled up some boulders when you first reach treeline, then enter the krumhoktz and soon look for a right that doesn’t look to promising where there’s also a more tempting path ahead. I’d suggest right. The trail generally swings right here, before swinging left a bit further up as you’ll see on an old map. You’ll come to a boulder shortly, then have to swim through some more thick stuff, another boulder, and so on. But you should be able to follow something between the boulders though and it soon gets better and the path a little more clear.

Didn’t note how long that section was but sooner or later you’ll come to our beloved boulder fields. Never thought we’d be so happy to see them. Krhoktz bushwhack changed that 🤣 From here you can sort of follow cairns. Lots of cool white quartz too. We stayed on or damn close to the trail most of the way but as we got very close we took a more direct line and intersected Star Lake Trail basically on top of Adams rather than a tenth or two of a mile southeast of it.

Pretty nice above tree line temps in my opinion, particularly when not going up. Only a light breeze. Nice and sunny with only a little cloud :) Made me enjoy the long trek from Adams, to Star Lake, a stop at the gut to get water, then across Parapet, and down Osgood. If you’ve never done Parapet before it’s probably much, much harder than you realize. I don’t recommend it as a shortcut to the hut from Osgood. Just go over Madison unless perhaps in bad weather. Parapet alternates between pushing through thick, overgrown krumholtz and annoying boulder scrambled one of which could result in a pretty bad injury if you fell. I imagine it’s a much bigger pain with a larger pack. At least it doesn’t gain too much elevation and mostly contours??

Finally on Osgood we descend. The trail stays above tree line for a good long while though and with rocky footing. Beautiful but tedious and long. Once below tree line it goes down much more steeply and the footing doesn’t improve. We saw many AT hikers; in particular nice to meet and chat with Kodak and...Big Bird??  
Name: Liam Cooney 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-08-17 
Link: https:// 
Bookmark and Share Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.

Copyright 2009-2023, All Rights Reserved