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hiking
13 days ago

We climbed Snow mountain on a lovely 6o degree day in late november. We started at the trailhead just outside of Keene Valley; the same parking lot where one can climb to snow, rooster comb, and hedgehog.
This is a wonderful hike. Its a five mile in and out climb through mixed hardwood and conifer forests. The trail is well marked; but when we climbed the leaves had covered the trail completely. You had to pay close attention to the terrain and look for the trail markers to make sure you didn't wander off the trail.
This would be a great trail to introduce someone into hiking in the adirondacks. The trail is a nice gradual climb almost the entire way. Its only at the very summit that one encounters any ledge at all; and this is perhaps the last quarter of a mile up to the top. Best of all, the summit has some great views of the surrounding mountains.
This would be a good choice for families with young children. Its also pet friendly; our dog Stella had no problems anywhere; and there are a number of stream crossings where she was able to drink and cool off.
Best of all, its not a crowded hike. We encountered three other hikers on our journey.
Its possible to make a loop after climbing snow, and heading over to rooster comb for a chance to add a bit of variety to the climb.
We would have done this if we had started hiking sooner.
But as we had a late start, we didn't want to take a chance on losing the daylight on our return trip.
This little mountain offers a lot, don't turn it down just cause its not a high peak. It offers a lot of bang for a little mountain!

Avalanche Pass approach was spectacular. Very strenuous 9 hour loop with little looking around. Great views up top, but the micro-climates in the pass combined with the solitude and trail improvements made the bottom the best part.

Struck me how warm it was for late November on an Adirondack high peak. No ice. All mud.

Combined with Whiteface a few weeks back. Started from the ASRC. Quite challenging for me. Esther trail itself is quite easy. It is supposedly
unmarked but very easy to follow from the cairn.

A difficult hike worth the view. Highly recommend crampons in the winter season because half the trail is ice

The trail begins by going up an old ski slope to the top of Marble Mountain. It branches off to the right just past the top of Marble Mountain and heads up to Lookout Mountain. After about a mile and a half there is a large cairn marking the separation of trails. Follow the sign at the cairn to the right and head to the top of Esther Mountain. The trails are marked in some areas but are very clearly defined. Great views of Whiteface Mountain along the way up.

The hike in was very easy going. We noticed that there was a lot of blow down everywhere on and off the trail. While hiking we ran into rain then as we got further up in elevation it turned to freezing rain. After all that it started to snow lightly. The hike up to the summit was strenuous, it was too strenuous for one of the members of the group that we had to turn around with about a mile left to go to the summit. I will do this hike again.
*Update 11-18-16*
We hiked up to the summit on a very nice November day. A lot of the blowdown was cleared off the trail, but very close to the summit you needed microspikes cause everything was iced over. As we were climbing, we had nice views of Iroquois. It was warm on the summit today. The trails were very muddy.

It was icy at the higher elevations in early November but not impassable. The sign on the backside of Algonquin heading towards Iroquois was deceiving. The yellow arrow points left but stay right if you are continuing to Iroquois Peak. An awesome hike.

Three of us in our twenties did this hike on Tuesday morning. The first few miles started out mostly just walking through the forest which is was quite easy however as we started to climb the running water turned to ice which was big challenge without spikes. The last mile before the summit is where the trail gets challenging which makes the distance seem much longer. Would recommend the trail this time of year but next time we would definitely bring spikes along!

This trail was easy up to the Whiteface Brook lean-to. It got progressively harder and then very challenging towards the last two miles. Excellent hike!

A good hike !

Amazing hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy 4 miles or so to the Flowed Lands. Head around FL toward Colden Dam and just after the Herbert Brook bridge pick up the herdpath up Marshall on the left. Easy to follow, just look for the cairns. Beautiful trail, but very muddy. Typical ADK :)