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Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams, NH
Trails
Trails: Howker Ridge Trail, Osgood Trail, Gulfside, Air Line, Israel Ridge Path, Randolph Path
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, July 4, 2020
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Appalachia had already overflowed onto the road prior to 7:30. We picked up one of the last spaces at Randolph East. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Howker Ridge and Randolph crossings were a little bit tricky due to water levels and wet, slippery rock, but doable. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Only blowdowns we saw were just west of the Air Line junction on Randolph (a pair of decent sized stepovers). Upper half of Howker Ridge had some very brushy areas. Randolph Path (above Lowes junction) had some areas of water running the trail with no drainage to pull it off. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Not a good time of year to bring a dog above treeline in the Northern Presidentials - the hot, sharp rock can easily puncture their pads. Only saw one dog above treeline, which did not look like it was enjoying the experience. We did observe a coyote on the Randolph Path near the Howker junction. 
Bugs
Bugs: Wasps on the summit of Mt. Adams. Some deer flies down low. Occasional black flies. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
 
Comments
Comments: Howker Ridge Trail was generally dry with some minor mud down low and a few wetish scrambles. For Northern Presidential standards, this trail has good footing all the way to the Pine Link junction. Rugged thereafter. Not particularly crowded though.

Madison/Osgood/Gulfside/Air Line were all crowded, but mostly dry. Unfortunately, people are tramping on fragile alpine vegetation so that they can "socially distance." I'm not aware of a single case of COVID contracted anywhere in the world from day hiking.

The Madison Spring Hut has a new spigot installed outside for cold, potable water. In order to go inside and/or use the restrooms, the AMC is requiring face masks.

Some patches of snow still visible off Washington, Clay, and Jefferson, as well as a small patch above Israel Ridge off Sam Adams.

Gulfside below Thunderstorm Junction had some extended areas of running and/or pooled water. The section of Israel Ridge Path we did was mostly dry and quiet. Randolph Path below there was rough going in places with sections of trail with water running down it, as well as some narrow and bony sections. Further down, the footing improves.

Humid start in the woods this morning, but nice weather above treeline with a pleasant breeze to keep things cool.  
Name
Name: rocket21 
E-Mail
E-Mail: rocket21@franklinwebpublishing.com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2020-07-04 
Link
Link: http://hike.franklinsites.com 
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.

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