Massive, many summited Mount Adams is the second highest summit in the northeast United States. To many connoisseurs, it is the premier White Mountain peak, more than overcrowded and overexposed (but higher) Mount Washington. Mount Adams has an impressive variety of topography that almost matches the more famous terrain of Washington: to the northeast, the subpeak John Quincy Adams marks the start of narrow Durand Ridge, with its spectacular stretch of rocky knife-edge; to the northwest, Sam Adams rests atop the huge Nowell Ridge with its spurs and waterfalls. The great glacial cirque of King Ravine lies between these two ridges, every bit as impressive as Mount Washington's Tuckerman Ravine. To the south, the cirque of Jefferson Ravine and the massive Great Gulf drop steeply from the summit of Adams.
Adams is a hiker's mountain, with the only access by hikes of over 4000 vertical feet.