Recap of Summer Hiking

Summer 2015 was definitely the best summer for hiking I’ve had! It was incredible because I didn’t have a single bad weather day! Here’s a little recap.

June

Pyramid, Gothics, Armstrong & Upper Wolf Jaw Mountains

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This was my first big hike of the year. I hiked a few times before this just to get my legs in shape and tackled most of the lower great range with Brendan back in June. It was a long day, but had some great views. I felt strong and this hike convinced me that I wanted to take on a bunch of high peaks this summer.

July

Street and Nye Mountains

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This hike was a blast. It was the largest group I’ve hiked with and we had fun crossing streams and climbing the unmarked Street and Nye, even though we had limited views.

Algonquin, Iroquois and Wright Peaks

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This had to be one of my favorite hikes this summer. Jenna and I climbed the second highest peak in NY, Algonquin, along with its neighbors, Iroquois and Wright. We had one of the best days I’ve had hiking and it was quite memorable.

August

Black Mountain Firetower

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I started August with a smaller hike. Near Lake George, Black Mountain is one of the nice easy hikes closer to the Capital Region. It has awesome views of Lake George was a fun hike.

Lower Wolfjaw Mountain
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Lower Wolfjaw marked my halfway point of hiking the 46, so it will remain memorable, even if it was a super steep hike and I felt like I wanted to die on the way up. (It really wasn’t that bad. 😉 )

Mount Colden via Avalanche Pass

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Hiking through Avalanche Pass was high on my hiking bucket list and walking through there was an eerie but gorgeous sight. Again, we had one of the most beautiful days and tackled Mount Colden from the steep route. It was a long one, but well worth it. Colden is now one of my favorite mountains.

Mount Marcy

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In August I finally got to take Jordan hiking with me in the high peaks! He loved it and now wants to be a 46er too. The views from Marcy were amazing and I will definitely be back up there again in the future.

The Santanoni Range

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It was rather fitting that my last summer high peaks would be some of the hardest I’ve done. The Santanoni Range was no walk in the park. Taking nearly 13 hours, I was glad to check these peaks off the list.

And with that, I ended Summer hiking with fantastic views from Indian Head.

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Christine and I hiked together to finally check out Indian Head, where some of the best views in the high peaks can be found. I will most definitely hike this one again!

I’d say that was a successful summer. But I’m really excited for fall hiking–where cooler temperatures, crunchy leaves and autumn colors await!

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Adirondack Hiking Recommendations for Beginners

So you want to start hiking? Well, this post is for you. I got into hiking a few years ago (Back in 2008 I hiked my first Adirondack mountain, Sleeping Beauty, located outside of Lake George and I loved it.)

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The only things you really need to get started are a good day pack, a water bottle, snacks, and a good pair of hiking boots are you are all set!

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Here are some easy hikes to start out with, all have great views !

Hadley Mountain (firetower)

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Distance: 4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,600 ft
Hike time: 2.5 hours
Location: Hadley, NY outside of Lake George (Lat:43.374 Lon:-73.95)

Sleeping Beauty Mountain

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Distance: 7.0 miles round trip (includes an easy road walk to the trailhead)
Elevation Gain: 1,038 ft
Hike time: half a day
Location: Sly Pond Road to Hogtown off of Buttermilk Falls Road off of NY 149 east of Lake George Village (Lat:43.531 Lon:-73.566)

Owl’s Head Mountain

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Distance: 1.2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 737 ft
Hike time: 1.5 hours
Location: Owls Head Lane, off of Route 73 outside of Lake Placid in Keene. (Lat:44 14.863 Lon:73 49.837)

Goodnow Mountain (firetower)

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Distance: 3.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,040 ft
Hike time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Location:  Trailhead parking lot is off of route 28N a couple of miles west of Newcomb, NY. (Lat: 43.96018°N Lon: 74.20994°W)

Mt. Jo

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Distance: 2.0 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 700 ft
Hike time: 1-3 hours
Location: Heart Lake Adirondack Loj Trailhead: from Exit 30 take Route 73 towards Lake Placid for 26.5 miles. Take a left onto Adirondack Loj Road and continue 5 miles to the Loj and the parking area.  (Lat: 44.18940°N Lon: 73.9673°W)

Moderate Hikes
These are a little bit more challenging and require a half day of hiking. These are some of my all time favorite hikes!

Blue Mountain (firetower)

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Distance: 4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,400 ft
Hike time: 4 hours
Location: State Rt. 30 and State Rt. 28, near Blue Mountain Lake in Hamilton County, near the Adirondack Museum. (Lat: 43.8758095119, Lon: -74.4010268039)

Crane Mountain

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Distance: ~6 mile loop
Elevation Gain: 1,300 ft
Hike time: 4-5 hours
Location: Loop trail beginning at the trailhead at Ski Hi Road, Johnsburg, NY. (Lat: 43.54515°N Lon: 73.96237°W)

Noonmark Mountain

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Distance: 5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 2,175 ft
Hike time:  half day
Location: St. Huberts Trailhead. The parking area is just off of Rte 73 just 7.5 miles west from exit 30 off of I-87. (Lat: 44.12890°N Lon: 73.7725°W)

Hurricane Mountain (firetower)

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Distance: 6 mi round trip
Elevation Gain: 2,000 ft
Hike time:  half day
Location: Route 9N, Keene, NY  (Lat: 44.23530°N Lon: 73.7111°W)

Cascade Mountain
Want to get started in the high peaks? Cascade is the easiest of the 46 and its where most 46ers get their start.

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Distance: 4.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,940 ft
Hike time: half day
Location: Trail is on Route 73 about 6.8mi west of Keen and 4.5mi east of Adirondack Loj Road (Lat: 44.21860°N Lon: 73.8606°W)

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Pharaoh Mountain

Another weekend, over. They go by too fast. Anyway, Saturday Jordan had the day off so we decided to spend the day outdoors. I really wanted to go hiking but we didn’t want to go too far and I didn’t want to do too easy of a hike. I decided on Pharaoh Mountain near Schroon Lake. It was a 1.5 hour drive from Troy, not far from Exit 28 off the Northway. It was a longer hike, but the first two miles were on a dirt road so the beginning and end would be fairly easy. On our walk to the trail we found this little guy.

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He slithered right under my feet. Yikes. Despite the snake run-in, the road walk was quite enjoyable!

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Eventually we came to Crane Pond which signaled the end of the road. Following signs for Pharaoh Mountain, we signed in and started hiking.

The first few miles of the trail were very easy. This is a gorgeous area!

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Eventually we came to an intersection.

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The initial ascent up to Pharaoh Mountain was easy, but the last mile or so was rocky. Most of the rocks were covered in wet moss, which made it pretty slippery. Eventually we came to the summit, after about 2.5 hours of hiking, and enjoyed the expansive views.

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We brought Jordan’s parents’ dog Jack for the hike, and he seemed to enjoy it too.

 

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I never get tired of these views! Seriously, we are so lucky we have such awesome places to hike so close to home. The hike back down was a lot easier, but felt like it took longer. We took a short break at Crane Pond and let Jack play in the water.

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What a nice day in the Adirondacks!

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Pharaoh Mountain
9.6 mi RT from Crane Pond Road
Elevation:  2,472′
Ascent: 1,457′

Gear used: Under Armor tank top, EMS shorts, Osprey Sirrus day pack, Keen Durand hiking boots, Smartwool socks, Garmin Vivoactive GPS watch

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