Adirondack High Peaks

Shrmdougluvr

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Any 46ers or avid hikers want to impart some advice about a first Adirondack High Peak hike for someone who is in decent enough shape (thanks Peloton [also come at me bro]) but not particularly outdoors-ey or experienced? I know there are also non-High Peaks that people say are great hikes, but Mrs. Shrmdougluvr and i are actually going to have a moment together the week of the 17th, and would like to try tackling a High Peak or Peaks one weekday.

From my research, it seems the Cascade and Porter duo are the easiest to start with, but I'd actually rather save those for another occasion when my kids can come. Right now, I am focusing on Big Slide; Dial and Nippletop; Phelps and Tabletop; or Whiteface and Esther. Any insight offered is appreciated.

Edit: Also, I do not want to be attacked by a bear.
 

cliftonparksufan

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Any 46ers or avid hikers want to impart some advice about a first Adirondack High Peak hike for someone who is in decent enough shape (thanks Peloton [also come at me bro]) but not particularly outdoors-ey or experienced? I know there are also non-High Peaks that people say are great hikes, but Mrs. Shrmdougluvr and i are actually going to have a moment together the week of the 17th, and would like to try tackling a High Peak or Peaks one weekday.

From my research, it seems the Cascade and Porter duo are the easiest to start with, but I'd actually rather save those for another occasion when my kids can come. Right now, I am focusing on Big Slide; Dial and Nippletop; Phelps and Tabletop; or Whiteface and Esther. Any insight offered is appreciated.
In today's Times Union was an article about the pandemic and the High Peaks. Sounds like a lot of overcrowding with a lot of tenderfoots representing many states. You might want to google it and plan a great strategy. Everyone has the same idea you have.
 

sutomcat

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Any 46ers or avid hikers want to impart some advice about a first Adirondack High Peak hike for someone who is in decent enough shape (thanks Peloton [also come at me bro]) but not particularly outdoors-ey or experienced? I know there are also non-High Peaks that people say are great hikes, but Mrs. Shrmdougluvr and i are actually going to have a moment together the week of the 17th, and would like to try tackling a High Peak or Peaks one weekday.

From my research, it seems the Cascade and Porter duo are the easiest to start with, but I'd actually rather save those for another occasion when my kids can come. Right now, I am focusing on Big Slide; Dial and Nippletop; Phelps and Tabletop; or Whiteface and Esther. Any insight offered is appreciated.

Edit: Also, I do not want to be attacked by a bear.
 

Cusester

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I've done 35 of the 46 and can recommend Giant as a great place to start. It's steep but only about 6-7 miles round trip and the view from the top is glorious. Use the Chapel Pond trailhead and get there before 9am or it will be full. Before 8 if you can. Feel free to Pm me if you have any questions. Edited for the distance.
 
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pattycuse

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46er here. Cascade and Porter, as you note, are the easiest High Peaks to complete. I think you have the right list for places to begin- personal vote is Big Slide as the view up the valley towards Marcy is excellent. Also, not a High Peak but Noonmark (Which the Keene Valley diner is named for) is a great hike, five miles round trip, with amazing views of the Great Range. The concern about overcrowding is a real one and some trailheads are encountering significant issues so definitely plan ahead.

One peak I suggest excluding from a starting list is Wright- shorter hike with great views but the weather and wind can shift abruptly up on that range. I would get some experience with your gear and pace prior to tacking Wright, Algonquin or Iroquois.

Let me know if you have questions...I know there are at least a couple other 46ers on the board as well.
 

OrangeDW

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I’ve done 27. Started with Cascade and Porter...they are by far the “easiest”. Not even close, really.

Others that I’ve done that were on the less brutal side: Big Slide, Phelps(started too late to get Tabletop), Dial and Nippletop, and then later did Tabletop on it’s own.

Whiteface is also not too bad - it’s a way different hike than the rest though. You actually have a road that people are driving on near you for part of the hike, you have people driving up there, there’s a restaurant up there. It’s cool, but it’s nothing like the “feel” of the rest of the peaks.

I think bears are much more of a concern for the overnight hikes(I’ve only done one so far) where you’re sleeping in a lean-to if you’re lucky enough to get one -overnight. Certainly some precautions to take there. But for a day hike, I’ve never seen any signs of a bear or heard of anyone else who has.
 

OrangeDW

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One hike that I enjoy that’s not a high peak is Blue Mountain. Some years I do it as a “warm up” hike to get into hiking shape for high peaks. It’s maybe half the time of Cascade/Porter. Nothing crazy, but it’s a reasonably challenging hike with some cool views and a fire tower at the top.
 

pattycuse

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I’ve done 27. Started with Cascade and Porter...they are by far the “easiest”. Not even close, really.

Others that I’ve done that were on the less brutal side: Big Slide, Phelps(started too late to get Tabletop), Dial and Nippletop, and then later did Tabletop on it’s own.

Whiteface is also not too bad - it’s a way different hike than the rest though. You actually have a road that people are driving on near you for part of the hike, you have people driving up there, there’s a restaurant up there. It’s cool, but it’s nothing like the “feel” of the rest of the peaks.

I think bears are much more of a concern for the overnight hikes(I’ve only done one so far) where you’re sleeping in a lean-to if you’re lucky enough to get one -overnight. Certainly some precautions to take there. But for a day hike, I’ve never seen any signs of a bear or heard of anyone else who has.
Agree re: bears. If you are day hiking only, zero concern. I have only run into them camping near Lake Colden but that’s a whole other story.

one other peak to consider is Sawteeth. Adjacent to the great range with the first three miles/last three miles a walk down a dirt access road. The climb is pretty arduous but not overly technical if memory serves. But again, great views. Do it as an out and back and not via the “scenic loop”. Descending that route is not tremendously enjoyable.
 

sutomcat

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Is Bald one? if so I'm a 1/46 er.


And I'm done.
No, the smaller ones between Old Forge and Inlet on Route 28 are not tall enough. The 46 are all in the High Peaks region, out by Lake Placid, considerably further east.

The three near the Fulton Lakes are a great place to start hiking mountains and a great place to get kids acquainted with climbing in the Decks.


The trifecta includes Bald, Rocky and Black Bear mountains. Great place to get started.

 

OrangeDW

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Agree re: bears. If you are day hiking only, zero concern. I have only run into them camping near Lake Colden but that’s a whole other story.

one other peak to consider is Sawteeth. Adjacent to the great range with the first three miles/last three miles a walk down a dirt access road. The climb is pretty arduous but not overly technical if memory serves. But again, great views. Do it as an out and back and not via the “scenic loop”. Descending that route is not tremendously enjoyable.
I’ve only seen bears in Old Forge. Saw a mom with 4 cubs as we pulled into our Air bnb camp that we had rented a couple years ago. They were just passing through though. However a week or so later there was footage on the news of a mom and 4 cubs opening the sliding door of someone’s vehicle and looking for food, in that same area where we had been. Had to be the same ones.
 

DMDMD

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OP's on the right track. Cascade is definitely the easiest/shortest to start with with good views at the top.

I did Blue Mountain last weekend past Inlet, nice hike with good views from the fire tower.

Bears not a problem if you aren't camping

Parking lots for the most popular hikes are filling up by 8AM. I'm all for the outdoors being popular, but it is kinda a pain in the ass...
 

Roger N

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Any 46ers or avid hikers want to impart some advice about a first Adirondack High Peak hike for someone who is in decent enough shape (thanks Peloton [also come at me bro]) but not particularly outdoors-ey or experienced? I know there are also non-High Peaks that people say are great hikes, but Mrs. Shrmdougluvr and i are actually going to have a moment together the week of the 17th, and would like to try tackling a High Peak or Peaks one weekday.

From my research, it seems the Cascade and Porter duo are the easiest to start with, but I'd actually rather save those for another occasion when my kids can come. Right now, I am focusing on Big Slide; Dial and Nippletop; Phelps and Tabletop; or Whiteface and Esther. Any insight offered is appreciated.

Edit: Also, I do not want to be attacked by a bear.
I'd do the walk around Mirror Lake in Lake Placid. If you run short of fluids, there are many places to imbibe along the way. Also you could climb up Cobble Hill over near the Northwood School. Enjoy
 

Chip

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Edit: Also, I do not want to be attacked by a bear.
Isn't this like saying anyone know a good beach where I won't have to see the sun?

I was supposed to do a week in Alex Bay with some Adirondack day trips in August, but thanks to the fine folks in Virginia Beach (210 miles away from me), I'm no longer welcome in the Empire State.
 

shandeezy7

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One hike that I enjoy that’s not a high peak is Blue Mountain. Some years I do it as a “warm up” hike to get into hiking shape for high peaks. It’s maybe half the time of Cascade/Porter. Nothing crazy, but it’s a reasonably challenging hike with some cool views and a fire tower at the top.
I love Blue Mountain. A bonus: in 2019, Brooklyn-based brewery - Strong Rope - opened a taproom in Blue Mountain Lake, so you can stock up before your hike or grab a cold one after you come down!

.
 

OrangeDW

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I love Blue Mountain. A bonus: in 2019, Brooklyn-based brewery - Strong Rope - opened a taproom in Blue Mountain Lake, so you can stock up before your hike or grab a cold one after you come down!

.
Yes, went there last year maybe a few weeks after it opened! Nice place. Haven’t been up that way as much as usual this year, but it’s definitely nice to have a place to stop and grab a beer or two in Blue Mountain.
 

shandeezy7

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Yes, went there last year maybe a few weeks after it opened! Nice place. Haven’t been up that way as much as usual this year, but it’s definitely nice to have a place to stop and grab a beer or two in Blue Mountain.
Yeah we did the same. My family has gone camping at Golden Beach state park on Raquette Lake every year for the past 20 years. This was the first year we haven’t gone and I’ve been majorly bummed out.
 

OrangeDW

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Let me add this suggestion: don’t ever, ever consider doing the Santanoni Range. Unless you’re trying to be a 46er. Even then, think real hard about it and be fully prepared for an exhausting day of suckiness. Man, does that range suck. Spending 2/3 of your day with 100% wet and muddy feet is no fun, but it will happen on this hike. Almost a month later and I still have a nasty looking blood blister on my big toe.
 

Shrmdougluvr

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Thursday morning, Mrs. Shrmdougluvr and I did Big Slide, via the Brothers, then back via Slide Brook trail. In all, it was just under a 10 miles loop. I'm not going to bore you with the details other than to say when we got to the Garden Lot at about 6:15 a.m., it was already about 2/3 full. When we left at 1:00 it was full, and the popular parking areas for Giant were also full as we passed them heading home.

All-in-all, it was a nice hike to some amazing views. Personally, I found it rewarding enough that I want to come back and do more mountains, but I have no urge to become a 46er. No view, not interested. 15 miles in mud and water, not interested. I suspect that there are still plenty of hikes in ADK that will strike our fancy. Thanks to all for the suggestions, but particularly to pattycuse for the insight. Least amount of thanks to Chip, whose post was essentially worthless. ;)
 

OttoMets

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Thursday morning, Mrs. Shrmdougluvr and I did Big Slide, via the Brothers, then back via Slide Brook trail. In all, it was just under a 10 miles loop. I'm not going to bore you with the details other than to say when we got to the Garden Lot at about 6:15 a.m., it was already about 2/3 full. When we left at 1:00 it was full, and the popular parking areas for Giant were also full as we passed them heading home.

All-in-all, it was a nice hike to some amazing views. Personally, I found it rewarding enough that I want to come back and do more mountains, but I have no urge to become a 46er. No view, not interested. 15 miles in mud and water, not interested. I suspect that there are still plenty of hikes in ADK that will strike our fancy. Thanks to all for the suggestions, but particularly to pattycuse for the insight. Least amount of thanks to Chip, whose post was essentially worthless. ;)
Yeah, this is my chief gripe with East Coast hiking. It's a shame that I don't take advantage of the Adirondacks, but a) I don't like bugs and b) I do like views.
 

OrangeDW

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Yeah, this is my chief gripe with East Coast hiking. It's a shame that I don't take advantage of the Adirondacks, but a) I don't like bugs and b) I do like views.
Gotta say I’ve never had a problem with bugs. I know the black flies are brutal in the ADKs in like May/June. I almost exclusively do my hiking in August-October and have never had an issue.
 

cvilleorange

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I would add algonquin as a great place to start. the views of Marcy and Colden are great, is pretty accessible, and not overly challenging. You can be flexible as well and add Wright, and/or Iroquois. The hike from Algonquin to Iroquois is one of my favorites as you are above the tree line most of the hike
 

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