Mt. MONROE | 5,372′ | Strenuous
Mt. Monroe (5,372 feet) is the highest of the Southern Presidentials, and is a sharply pointed peak rising abruptly from the area around the Lakes of the Clouds. The summit is completely above treeline and affords fine views of the deep chasm of Oakes Gulf.
Note: for complete trail descriptions, times, elevation, trailhead directions, and major features, see the AMC White Mountain Guide.
Strenuous: This craggy peak is an excellent alternative to its more notorious neighbor, Mt. Washington, offering superb views. Ascend via the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, Crawford Path, and Mount Monroe Loop. With a car spot, a magnificent open ridge walk can be enjoyed along the Crawford Path, with descent via the Edmands Path.
The AMC’s Highland Center is a short drive from the trailheads of the Ammonoosuc Ravine or Edmands Path trailheads. The Highland Center offers lodging, meals and programs year round.
The AMC’s Hiker Shuttle leaves from the Highland Center and stops at the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead.
AMC’s Lakes of the Clouds Hut is 0.1 miles north of the Mt. Monroe Loop Trail. The hut is open from mid-June to early September, offering meals and overnight accommodations.
Safety in Summer and early Fall
The AMC recommends all hikers check weather conditions in advance, carry a current map and guidebook, along with a compass and knowledge of how to use it. For recommendations on how to plan a safe hike in the White Mountains, see: The 10 essentials for a safe and pleasant hike.
Winter Hiking on Mt. Monroe
Winter hiking anywhere in the White Mountains requires specialized equipment and skills, and experience in coping with weather, navigation, and winter gear. Extremely severe storms can develop suddenly and unexpectedly, especially above treeline. The combination of high wind and low temperatures has such a cooling effect that the worst conditions on Mt. Monroe are approximately equal to the worst reported from Antarctica, despite the much greater cold in the latter region. Hikers interested in extending their activities into winter are strongly advised to seek out organized trips with leaders who have extensive winter experience. Several AMC chapters offer winter hiking and backpacking instruction, and AMC offers several guided winter mountaineering trips; search for “Instruction” in AMC’s activity listings. Helpful information can also be found in the AMC Guide to Winter Hiking and Camping .
Note: The peaks of the Southern Presidentials are nearly as exposed to the elements as Mt. Washington, and should be treated with the same degree of respect and caution. Severe winterlike storms can occur at any time of the year.
The flat region between Mt. Monroe and the Lakes of the Clouds Huts supports a bountiful number of rare alpine plants. Extreme care must be taken to stay on the trail and protect this fragile habitat.