The presidential traverse of the AT in NH White Mountains is spectacular hike, the crown jewel for many thruhikers on the AT. I will let others argue it but, its above treeline from the base of Eisenhower to the south to the where the Osgood trail (AT) heads into the wood on Mt Madison. For most this is not a one day trip and the overnight logistics causes many folks a lot of heartburn. Many thruhikers are capable of making this a two day hike but that is pushing it. Add in all the extra miles to grab the summits on blue blazes and some may want three days. The problem is that there are zero legal camping options on the AT above treeline except for a paid for reservation at Lake of the Clouds Hut and Madison Hut. (No work for stay options this year). Lake of the Clouds makes a reasonable day north bound from Nauman tentsite adjacent to Mitzpah spring hut but that sets a hiker up for a night at the RMC sites on Mt Adams. Some may push through to the very busy Valley Way tentsites below Madison Hut but making it to the first legal site on the Osgood Trail (Osgood tentsite) is a really long day. The only other options are to go down side trails but practically there are only two side trails worth considering and that is Edmands Path just north or Eisenhower and the Jewell trail. The trails that go east along the ridge all drop down very steep trail quite a distance and elevation before marginal woods are reached and Ammonusuc Ravine trail is specifically no camping until way down almost at the base of the ridge, even then the woods are not great.
Edmands Path tends to be too short of a day from Nauman for northbounders and most southbounders go up and over or around Eisenhower and take their chances on the limited legal sites between Eisenhower and Mt Pierce or just head to Nauman. Note both Caps ridge trail and Castle trail off Jefferson are a very long drop down to suitable terrain to camp.

So that leaves the Jewell trail. I used the " " around the campsite as this is not a formal campsite like the others along the AT in the whites. Its just a legal spot that many thruhikers end up using. Its been that way since I have been hiking in the area. The good news is if anything in the intervening years there are more viable camping spots in this area. The bad news is that despite some recent rain any evidence of the water that used to cross the trail along this trail was gone. So this is a dry campsite. The closest water is a spigot on the summit of Mt Washington and a usually reliable spring on the AT south of the Jewell trail just before the junction with the north Mt Clay loop trail. So you need to haul water to this spot.

The same news that has been for years is like Edmands Path, its long way off the AT. Its about a 1000 foot loss of elevation and a mile off the AT. It a rocky bony trail down slope (far rockier and bonier than the AT in this area) and it means slow going. Folks do trail run down this but my guess is for most its downhill rock hop.At my steady but slow gait it took me 50 minutes to get to the Alpine zone border from the AT and another 10 minutes to the site. The trail follows the top of a ridge roughly paralleling the cog railroad with a deep valley separating the two, its starts out in mostly rocks but transitions to the low incredibly thick Krumholz vegetation. It eventually slabs off the ridge down into the trees that quickly get taller and a low understory starts to appear. There are various small campspots just below the Alpine zone sign but many are on drainages and would be wet if it rained with little headroom. Feel free to look but in less than 10 minutes there is relatively flat area with some open space and a limited view north. What has expanded substantially over the years are camping options in the woods to the left of the main tentsite, there is path that heads south slightly uphill to numerous spots that may hold a tent.The trees are large enough to tie a hammock down low. No good reason to go lower on the trail as the woods get tighter. and steeper.

My standard warnings still apply, despite being in the woods this is a ridge facing west and that is where the weather frequently comes from. The ridge will form its own weather and in the summer its a magnet for thunderstorms. Yes there is cover but the ridgeline is not that far away. Lighting strikes and the associated boom will be near instantaneous. The other warning is this is very popular dayhike trail. Folks will be on it early and late. There is no good reason to hang around there with the ridgeline near by. A couple of miles down and a lot more elevation drop is the cog base station. It has got a concession stand but that is it, the nearest variety store is several miles down the base station road near the ski area. If you have cravings fill them at the Mt Washington Summit. The other thing to consider is there are no outhouses but these paths in the woods may be tempting for day hiker to use for toilet so watch your step.

I do have a couple of photos but my phone is not cooperating. I will post when I can but its quite obvious.