Presidential Traverse NH – CLASSIC US Hikes – Day Hike Guide

Presidential Traverse NH – CLASSIC US Hikes – Day Hike Guide

The Presidential Traverse is a 21 mile one way hike located in the heart of the White Mountains in Northern New Hampshire. Starting at Mt Madison, hikers gain over 9,000ft of elevation gain and 10+ summits along this awesome trail. This was filmed in one day in late July.

Read a more detailed trail guide on this hike on my website:

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Gear Used
Men’s Trail Runners:
Women’s Trail Runners:
La Sportiva Trango Hiking Boots (Men’s):
La Sportiva Trango Hiking Boots (Women’s):
Optional: Garmin inReach GPS:
Optional: Hiking Poles:
Optional: Headlamp:
Optional: Garmin Fenix Watch:
Optional: Water Filter:
Optional: UV Pen:

Filming Equipment

GoPro Max:
Selfie Stick:
Joby Tripod:

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Steep & Cheap:
Black Diamond:

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0:00-3:30 Start to Mt Madison
3:31-5:46 Madison to Adams
5:47-9:16 Adams to Jefferson
9:17-13:47 Jefferson to Washington
13:48 -16:00 Washington to Monroe
16:01-19:59 Monroe to Eisenhower
20:00 – 22:18 Eisenhower to Pierce
22:19 – 24:30 Pierce to Jackson
24:31- 28:36 Jackson to End


  1. Nathaniel Roe on August 21, 2023 at 7:09 pm

    This is awesome

  2. KJ Williams on August 21, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    Great video!! Headed up this Saturday for a Presi Traverse attempt myself…looking at going up the Great Gulf Trail and hitting the Osgood Trail (AT) for Madison, then more or less the same route, except Crawford Path all the way out from Washington to the Highland Center.

  3. bilboswaggins76 on August 21, 2023 at 7:12 pm

    It’s always a good day when virtual sherpa releases a video.

  4. The Olivia Archives on August 21, 2023 at 7:14 pm

    Such an awesome hike. I did most of it with friends a few years back. We hiked your same route, but took the trolley down at Mt. Washington, since we were running short on time and had no car at the south end.

  5. Pinchos Skaist on August 21, 2023 at 7:16 pm

    23:16 last time I did this, we ran out of time and were climbing down Mount Pierce in the dead of night with headlamps. It was terrifyingly steep and slippery.

  6. Uncle Andy on August 21, 2023 at 7:21 pm

    what day of the week?

  7. Randy Kirik on August 21, 2023 at 7:24 pm

    Since when was Clay a president?

  8. Howard K on August 21, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    East coast hiking – straight up and down the fall lines. Thanks for posting and nice shirt and hat!

  9. Taylor Kain on August 21, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    Great video. One nitpick, clay was not a president. He did run for President 3 times but unsuccessfully 🙂

  10. D O’Connell on August 21, 2023 at 7:29 pm

    That’s a quick pace to do 20 miles in a day

  11. Dmac on August 21, 2023 at 7:29 pm

    When is the best time to hike this as far as calm/bearable conditions? Is there a campsite along the way if you need to stay? Is this hike dangerous to do solo? I would like to try this in a 2 day span or 3 days.

  12. The Virtual sherpa on August 21, 2023 at 7:29 pm

    Also before anyone corrects me, I know that Clay was not a president.

  13. Noah Schroer on August 21, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    Did you go to DePaul? I noticed the shirt.

  14. David Roohy on August 21, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    Nice to see you up here again! It’s a total stunner of a hike. I did it over two days a couple years ago taking the Howker Ridge trail up to Madison to avoid some crowds (and get better parking) and continuing past Jackson out to Webster and down the Webster Cliffs trail (would not recommend this descent option). You brought back the horrors of that wet stretch from Pierce to Jackson, haha. If you want another excellent traverse with slightly fewer crowds, the east half of the Pemi loop (i.e., starting from Lincoln Woods, tagging the Bonds and South Twin and then hiking out off North Twin) is definitely worth your time.

  15. jzoop1 on August 21, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    Thanks for including the East in your vids. We have some challenging hikes too.

  16. Mypuggleandme on August 21, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Aww man 🌻💜 born and raised New Englander from NH thanks for inspiring me to get off my butt and just start safely hiking. Hope to someday see you on the trails! I have a dream to hike the AT someday.

  17. Pinchos Skaist on August 21, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    This must be fake. How on earth do you have a clear day?

  18. An Adventure with Nick & Rachel on August 21, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Sweet views 🙂

  19. Kraig Adams on August 21, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    watched this while researching for my hike there next week. thanks

  20. smbonneau on August 21, 2023 at 7:35 pm

    Mount Jackson wants not named after the President which is why some people skip it. It was named after someone from NH.

  21. MK on August 21, 2023 at 7:37 pm

    cool! I was just thinking about the northern presi loop today at work

  22. Meghan McCarthy on August 21, 2023 at 7:37 pm

    It looks like you used a drone quite a bit. I’m planning a hike of the traverse and was going to take my drone but just to use down below. I just assumed it would be too windy for the drone on the mountains. Did you have any issues with it? I"m pretty cautious with my drone as it’s expensive and I let the insurance lapse. You got great shots! Now I"m reconsidering… though the thing is kind of heavy so there’s that.

  23. Brendan Fedrizzi on August 21, 2023 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for posting this. The reason why some do not recognize Jackson as part of the Presidential traverse is because the mountain is not named after Andrew Jackson. It was named after a NH Geographer with the last name of Jackson

  24. One Hundred Picks on August 21, 2023 at 7:42 pm

    I subscribed as this is how you do a walk-through. No unnecessary talking you avoid people (I hate crowds too lol).

  25. Aurtisan Miner on August 21, 2023 at 7:43 pm

    16:51. People say the same thing about Dick Cheney.

  26. The Virtual sherpa on August 21, 2023 at 7:45 pm
  27. ssvetkaa on August 21, 2023 at 7:45 pm

    How long did it take you with all the filming

  28. Steve kulbacki on August 21, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    It has been crazy with people hiking the whites since the virus hit. I never had trouble getting parking spots. Now I am parking a half mile down the road.

  29. Andrew Mitchell on August 21, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    New series idea: new Hampshire’s 4000ers

  30. Eddie J on August 21, 2023 at 7:47 pm

    Surprised you didn’t take the star lake route up Adams when leaving Madison hut. That’s and awesome steep section that goes into low class 3 territory. Probably the most technical, and most steep section of the entire traverse. Highly recommend!

  31. Eddie J on August 21, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    at 7:05 that’s pretty much hiking in the northeast altogether lol. I am just over half way through the northeast 115 peaks over 4000ft, 68 down… and I’m sure I don’t have any cartilage left at this point XD

  32. Sophie on August 21, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    I love your videos! Hike safe and happy travels!

  33. mickey brumfield on August 21, 2023 at 7:53 pm

    Quite a hike, 9000 ft of elevation gain would be a challenge for anyone on any kind of mountains, congratulations well done.

  34. Ken Jones on August 21, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    That was really nice,,, brought back some really nice memories. I live in Western PA, and made it to the Whites around six times, all but one in the winter. What a wonderful place!!!! Thanks

  35. Jason Thomas on August 21, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    Pretty savage day. Great video

  36. 5MillCity on August 21, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    Bro, you seem as fresh at the end as at the beginning. Well done!

  37. Aurtisan Miner on August 21, 2023 at 7:59 pm

    I am planning a trip down to Massachusetts this summer, and would like to hike the white mountains. My goal is to hike on the Appalachian trail section that goes through there. It looks like an absolute blast!

  38. Andrew Donahue on August 21, 2023 at 8:01 pm

    Really cool to see that you did The presi traverse. I moved out to Colorado recently from New England and have done the travers and climbed all 48. Love the Rockies but definitely miss the whites.

  39. Linnie Marie Gonzalez on August 21, 2023 at 8:01 pm

    This was wonderful thk u

  40. LightWalker on August 21, 2023 at 8:01 pm

    One of the best PT videos I have ever seen. Excellent work dude! It makes me want to plan a trip back soon. When I hiked it Sept 2020 while hiking the AT. It was pelting rain with 50 MPH gusts so I got no views and was praying I did not get hypothermia. You had a great day with no wind which makes for good audio and is extremely rare. Thank you! 😁

  41. Vishal P on August 21, 2023 at 8:03 pm

    Another correction 4:30 , you don’t lose lots water because high humidity. It’s the opposite you sweat less and you get tired easily because your body can’t bring down the temperature.

  42. Eddie J on August 21, 2023 at 8:06 pm

    Awesome video man! Quick tips for anyone attempting, if you can, I highly suggest a sunrise on Madison. We left at 2am and got to the summit 15 mins before a 459am sunrise! Best part was that we had the entire northern presidentials to ourselves until we finally saw people going up Washington! If you want to add some steep technical stuff, take the star lake route from Madison up to Adams. Thats 800ft of gain in 0.5miles and high class2/low class 3 scrambling to go with it! From clay to Washington do yourselves a favor and take the gulfside trail, you are on the edge of the headwall that descends into the great gulf wilderness that gives you the best views of the entire gulf and the norhtern presis! views are second to none!

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