View Full Version : Second High Peaks hike?

Mohamed Ellozy
08-18-2004, 06:53 PM
My plans have changed a little, I will be spending a few days in the High Peaks area, staying a few miles north of Keene on 9N.

One day I will be doing Marcy, what do you suggest for the second? I would like something a bit easier, as I am still far from fully recovered from the loss of fitness that followed my back episodes. So 5 or 6 miles with less than 4,000 feet of elevation gain would be best.

I am leaning towards Algonquin (but am very open to other suggestions); if so what do I gain by doing either Wright or Iroquois? Iroquois adds distance but very little elevation gain, Wright seems quite a climb.

08-18-2004, 07:51 PM
You can't go wrong with a jaunt up Giant. Six miles rt, 3,000 vertical, excellent views off towards the Dix range. And free parking, right on rte. 73!

08-18-2004, 08:10 PM
If you are considering getting the top 46 peaks in the dacks you certainly would want to go over the Iroquois if you do Algonquin. Wright can also be done on that hike but could make a day hike at another time. Cascade and Porter are 2 easier peaks to do in a day. Street and Nye also make a nice day hike if you are looking for a "peak without a maintained trail". In reality the 46er's have made these peaks easy to climb without any true bushwacking. you can also consider Big Slide via the Brothers out of the garden trailhead.

08-18-2004, 08:18 PM
Iroquois is well worth the extra effort. Same great views as Algonquin but this time with Algonquin and definitely less crowded. Big Slide via the brothers is also an excellent choice. Noonmark is a great little peak if you don't care that it is not a high peak.

Doc McPeak
08-18-2004, 09:33 PM
Algonquin is shorter, but harder on the body than Marcy. The Iroquois and back is the easy section. From Algonquin back down is rough. Wright's descent is pretty rough too. Much easier in winter ...

Giant is a great hike, but 3000' in 3 miles on lots of rock that must be descended can be rough. These couple look short on paper, but involve lots of steep descent on worn rocky trails ... thinking of your back.

Cascade and Porter are the easiest hikes, and you get great sweeping vistas of the interior peaks.

Big Slide (via the Brothers, of course!) may be the best suggestion (with Noonmark, too) for you are close in on so many great mountains.

If you want to take a drive and see the Upper Works area, Mount Adams, with its refurbished tower, boasts some of the best views in the High Peaks. It is off of the trail before the end of the road on the right. Plus you can do NY's Mount Adams...

If the body feels up to it. Gothics via Pyramid is perhaps the premier hike in the High Peaks.

I think you'll enjoy any of the suggestions here.

08-19-2004, 09:30 AM
Mohamed, I'd do Cascade and Porter. Right off the highway (on 73 north (actually west) of Keene), and a very nice 1/2 day hike. Face up to it, you will be a 46r, so might as well get a leg up now:)

Have a great trip!

08-19-2004, 10:08 AM
Because of it's closeness and ease of assent, Cascade is a popular destination - for individuals as well as groups (so you know what to expect). Cascade has a large open rock summit. Porter is often neglected, but a much more peaceful peak. You can accend from the Keene side up Blueberry Mtn to Porter and over to Cascade. The grade is a bit more mellow and the trail less used. There is a wonderful opportunity to do this open ended if you can hook up with someone else driving.

Another nice part of Cascade is that you have nice views back to the HP's as it is somewhat apart from them. I'd second Doc's recommendation regarding AlG and Giant - they're hard -- as in hard as ROCK - especially AlG.

Big Slide is a nice option in that it gets you over to the "other side" with a fun, open-rock face hike over Brothers -- up, down or both. There's an easy loop if you include the JBL trail, and going out JBL is a cake walk. The only deterent here is the parking consideration at the Garden parking area.

08-19-2004, 10:33 AM
Personally, I would stay away from Cascade and Porter. Do those hikes with inexperienced people you want to get interested in hiking. I took my wife up Cascade this summer. Spectacular views, not too many slab sections, and 4.8 miles round trip. We were not able to hit Porter. Big slide is a beautiful hike, lots of ups and downs if you like that kind of thing.

Whiteface would also fit your criteria. We hiked it last winter from the north. You could grab Ester without too much more effort while you are there.

Another option would be to backpack in and stay at lake colden if you are going to be there for a few days. Visit Avalanche pass, and Hike Marcy. Av. Pass is worth a trip alone. I also recommend hiking up Marshall if you are going to be heading out this way. Here is what we did our last hike:

Thursday night: 45 minute hike from south meadows to marcy dam, crash in Leanto. (3 Miles)

Friday: Hike to Far Leanto on Lake Colden, set up camp, hike Marshall.

Saturday: Marcy via Grey. Skylight can also be added. Return to Colden Leanto.

Sunday: Hike out, about 6 miles.

The great thing about this hike is you dont need a tent. The leantos are good, just make sure you bring a bear container. Just a thought.


Mark Driscoll
08-19-2004, 11:05 AM
Hi Mohamed,

Wright is a nice climb but I like it in the winter, so I think I am with bigmoose on this. Giant.


08-19-2004, 12:59 PM
Algonquin may be short but I consider it one of the hardest peaks in the area.

Giant via Ridge Trail is also quite hard if you have already done something like Marcy before. Although Marcy is longer I find Giant a much harder grade.

I would recommend hiking Noonmark, it gives you many wonderful sights and is a real joy to climb. The open summit gives great rewards, I really love how close you are to the Dixes.

Rob S
08-19-2004, 01:31 PM

I second Noonmark (if you don't care about hiking a 46er). I found Algonquin to be a moderate hike and not that tough, but I do agree that Giant, tho a short hike, can be tough. For me, the first time I climbed Giant it seemed relentless and steep, (but not overly difficult). The second time seemed much easier. Whatever hike you choose, they are all winners in my book, all have their "specialness", and all have awesome views.

Also, if you decide to hike Cascade/Porter, you can avoid most of the crowds by getting an early start (before 8am). I've hiked it twice, this year (starting at 7:45am) and 1998 (starting at 7am), and both times there were only a few others to share the very large summit area with. Eventually others arrived at the summit, but at least you never feel crowded like you might on other peaks. In fact, when my wife and I climbed Cascade this year, we actually had the entire summit to ourselves for about 20 minutes! We were lucky, but my point is, an early start will buy you the benefit of smaller summit crowds.

Oh yeah, the views from Cascade are terrific, especially of the Great Range. :)

Have a great time!


08-19-2004, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by Mohamed Ellozy
...I would like something a bit easier, as I am still far from fully recovered from the loss of fitness that followed my back episodes. So 5 or 6 miles with less than 4,000 feet of elevation gain would be best...
Given your request for something easier, I'd go with Noonmark. Not sure of the distance, but a relatively easy hike with terrific views. It has the added bonus of generally lower crowds...

08-19-2004, 02:22 PM
FWIW, here is Mohamed's website (http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/). It's safe to say that he's a peakbagger :). The nice thing about Cascade and Porter is that you still have plenty of time to get home after the hike. I hadn't considered the crowds though (I did it in winter, and it was very straightforward). I can imagine that since it is the easist hike to a High Peak it could get real crowded in the warm weather season. It reminded me of Jackson in terms of length and difficulty.

08-19-2004, 02:29 PM
If you elect to hike up Cascade, don't pass on the short and easy (if muddy) side trip to Porter. "Get thee to the trailhead early" is A-One advice.


08-19-2004, 06:01 PM
Sorry to hear about your back problems.

I think that Cascade is a great day hike. Go over Porter, as well, and out over Blueberry for a longer trip if you are up to it. Great views.