View Full Version : Adirondacks Question

08-18-2004, 07:07 PM
I will be seeing the ADK peaks for the first time after 30+ years in New Hampshaw and a bit in Maine.

Every September we always get out for a few days, usually trying for foliage season. My hiking partner is from the area, and I have finally been able to work a trip to his home mountains. We hike, ski, and backpack extensively in NH, but moreso in the fall and winter.

But, anyway, he has his book out to get some ideas, but I figured I should do a bit of homework and would ask my esteemed colleagues on this board.

Knowing it was my first trip, and would be looking going in Friday night and heading home either Monday or Tuesday, where would you go? What can't I miss? I've read many of the posts regarding the area from the sidelines, but haven't a real clue of the specifics!!

I'll take any and all suggestions, and thank you in advance for any info. you have.

08-18-2004, 07:23 PM
The newly re-marked trail up Mt Adams will give you a panorama of the southern HP's from the stairs of the tower.
Noonmark's open top has 360 degrees of close and far peaks.

Dix, Gothics, Giant, and Colden have open tops with terrific views with medium length dayhikes.

Haystack or Skylight have great views but longer trips.


08-18-2004, 09:07 PM
Rocky Peak Ridge from the New Russia trailhead is a beautiful foliage hike and the wild blueberries should still be hanging on.

08-19-2004, 03:58 PM
That's it? Two?

C'mon folks, help me out here. I have to act like I know what I'm talking about!!!!

08-19-2004, 04:13 PM
OK, I'll admit it was the last HP I did, but YOW what a view. Don't believe me?? Check it out: View from Algonquin (http://www.whitelief.com/algonquin.htm) The trail is in fine shape, and it is a great day trip from the Loj. If you want to continue on, head down the steep trail towards Lake Colden (the last time I did it it was a raging river during a violent thunderstorm), land at a lean-to there, then loop around and do Marshall, Cliff, Redfield, land at Uphill Brook, then polish off Colden (maybe Gray) on your way back to the Loj. Skip anything you are not in the mood for. All the trails are covered in detail someplace or another on this board.

Have fun!

08-19-2004, 05:21 PM
I'd second the Rocky Peak Ridge traverse - use two cars, one at the New Russia trailhead and one at the Zander Scott (aka Ridge Trail) trailhead and you can have a wonderful fall ridge hike of Rocky Peak Ridge and then over to Giant, with a decent via the Zander Scott trail - can't ask for any better fall hike.

Make sure that you bring a lot o'water as the ridge can be dry.

The again the Dixes are also wonderful fall hikes and with an overnight makes for a steller weekend IMHO.

08-19-2004, 05:57 PM
If you want peaks-
The Great Range. Hike in from Rt. 73 and the Garden and hike along John's Brook. Climb Mount Marcy and then backpack along the Range back east to the trailhead.

The Santanoni Range

If peaks not essential-
Try any section of the Northville/Placid Trail.

Combine it!
Hike the NP trail from the north to Duck Hole. Take old abandoned trail up to Bradley Pond and then do The Santanoni Trail. Return same way or out at the Santanoni Trailhead.

Mark Schaefer
08-20-2004, 12:04 AM
You really can't go wrong in the High Peaks area in late September. Any peak or trail with views will offer good foliage viewing. My favorite Adk fall hike is Noonmark via the Stimson trail for views of Giant and the Great Range, and then down the Adler trail and over to Round Mt for a return loop.

Another favorite is a Rocky Peak Ridge and Giant traverse, in that order and going down the Ridge trail. Make stops at the Nubble and Giant's Washbowl on the way down. Either mountain is worthwhile if you can't swing the traverse.

Elk Lake has nice reds so anything that offers a view of it like Macomb or Dix is good. Make a stop with your car at Clear Pond on the drive back from Elk Lake. The pond is particularly nice during the late afternoon.

At the AMR there are great views of the Ausable Lakes and Great Range from Nippletop or Colvin. On the way up make stops at the Gothics Window, Indian Head, and Fish Hawks Cliffs. A Sawteeth / Gothics hike will not disappoint either. The Lost Clove Lookout provides some nice afternoon views and would be worth a stop on the way back from any of the these hikes.

The Alpine vegetation turns golden above treeline. It is very nice on Algonquin. But Marcy, Haystack, and Skylight are also good.

Cascade and Porter are a nice short half day hike, and the Cascade Lakes are an attractive foliage stop afterwards. The parking area fills early on weekends.

If you are looking for some short easy hikes to fill some time, the two visitor's centers (at Paul Smiths and Newcomb) both have nice trails that provide good foliage/water views. The Barnum Brook trail at Paul Smiths is very nice despite being a little confining with boardwalks.

Outside of the High Peaks Blue Mt fire tower reveals a lot of reds around Blue Mt Lake. A little later in early October the Hadley Mt fire tower provides excellent foliage viewing.

Here is a link for New York foliage reports (http://www.empire.state.ny.us/tourism/foliage/) which will begin mid-September.

08-20-2004, 12:46 AM
I would recommend climbing Algonquin. The views are fantasic during all seasons, I really love it when snow has dusted the top of the peak but it is still fall below, what great views. I find you get a true sense of height on Algonquin when you peer down on Colden.

08-20-2004, 01:52 AM
Mark's post above just gave you some excellent information. Nice post, Mark. Remember, we have bear activity over on this side, so you have to take precautions. Enjoy the HP's!

08-20-2004, 07:34 AM
There you go!!

Thanks averyone for their input. I'll review these, and this way on our 5 hour ride I can toss out some names like I've been there my entire life!!

Seriously, I am very excited to see these mountains. If there is anything else anyone wants to add...I'm all ears (er, I guess I should say, I'm all eyes)

08-20-2004, 08:30 AM
Will you be dayhiking or backpacking? You already got some good suggestions from others but I will add a few. Dial and Nippletop offer great views as does Colvin. I like the Macomb slide during foliage season as well. Rocky Peak Ridge is amazing but if you want solitude then Giant isn't where you will find it. Last fall when doing the traverse I counted 70 people on the summit on a nice weekend day. Going down the Ridge trail was plain crowded with people hiking a various speeds.

08-20-2004, 09:11 AM
We'll be backpacking. Ideally, we like to go in for a few miles, setup a camp, and hit a series of loops for a couple of days. If we have to, we will schlep our packs along with us. Either way, we will be camping in the woods.

08-20-2004, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by dug
We'll be backpacking. Ideally, we like to go in for a few miles, setup a camp, and hit a series of loops for a couple of days. If we have to, we will schlep our packs along with us. Either way, we will be camping in the woods.
Oh, well that changes the equation. I would hike in from the Garden to the Johns Brook Lodge area (about 3 miles of easy trail) and set up camp. Bring a bear canister! From there you have a choice of several dayhike loops - upper Range, lower Range, Big Slide/Brothers - or you can do an "up and back" to Marcy and/or Haystack.

08-20-2004, 12:56 PM
Read this trip report. If anything, it'll make you hungry!


08-23-2004, 11:29 AM
There are several good options for a weekend+ hike.

I think our favorite place to set up camp is Lake Colden. There are bears there, so bring a container.

Hike in from South Meadows (avoiding the $9 a night parking fee at the loj). Its an easy 3 mile warm up to get to Marcy Dam. The dam has beautifull views of Colden, and Wright. Then, shlep your way through Av. Pass (not to be missed) landing at Lake Colden. There are nice shelters for bailouts, and breaks along the way. I recommend finding the furthest back shelter on the lake, which is close to the dam. This is nice, and somewhat out of the way. If you have the energy after setting up camp, you can hike Marshall.

From Lake Colden there are several options. Marshall Iroquois and Algonquin can be combined if you are ambitious. You could also do Alg-Wright-Alg-Irq. The trail from Lake Colden up Algonquin is steep at 1000 feet per mile, but involves climbing a series of beautiful Flumes.

Many people also climb Colden, but I cannot comment, because I have not been there yet. (finishing off the other 45 first)

Another good way to go is to head up towards Marcy from Lake Colden. You can do Grey, Marcy, and Skylight in a day, but I would do Skylight if I just had to choose one. The trail up that way is excellent, passing numerous waterfalls and gorges.

Anyway, hope this helps you out.


08-23-2004, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by dug
We'll be backpacking. Ideally, we like to go in for a few miles, setup a camp, and hit a series of loops for a couple of days. If we have to, we will schlep our packs along with us. Either way, we will be camping in the woods.

You want specifics, try -THIS- (http://www.adkhighpeaks.com/46er-flash/mountains/interior1.htm) .

That's my trip report for Cliff-Redfield,Skylight,Gray. It's an agressive 2-day schedule, but I did with kids so "how hard could it be, right?". There are many options with this one. You could avoid Cliff (which is no biggie) or Add Marcy instead of or in addition to Gray. Just make sure to keep Skylight and Redfield in (they are primo peaks). You can also opt to get in from Upper Works instead of LOJ. Same distance, but easier approach. You can even add Colden to Day 1 by dropping Cliff and going in via LOJ (described in my report).

It's a backpacking trip, but with some daypack work as well to give the backs a break. Any way you go you "base camp" at Feldspar Brook which does have bear, but not nearly the problem the higher density camp areas do. It also gives you some really nice and more remote peaks to enjoy.

Let me know if you want more info. Enjoy your trip.

ALGonquin Bob
08-23-2004, 11:00 PM
Park at St. Hubert's (Keene Valley), walk 3 miles up "the Lake Road", and over the dam. Visit beautiful Rainbow Falls to fill your water bottles, then hike on up to Sawteeth. After Sawteeth, go back into the col and on up to Pyramid for more spectacular views, then on to Gothics.

08-24-2004, 08:58 AM
Johns Brook Lodge is open on a caretaker basis after Labor Day and you can use the kitchen and fireplace. I enjoyed that as a base camp but there are two cabins in the area plus tentsites and leantos not far away.

There are three good loops (Basin-Saddle, Big Slide, Wolfjaws-Armstrong-Gothics) as well as Haystack and Marcy.