Giant Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge Trail is a 19.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near New Russia, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This hike can be done as a hike through, shuttled car ridge hike up Giant and then descending east down Rocky Peak Ridge to enjoy two more Adirondack High Peaks. As you begin up the Ridge trail towards Giants massive summit you will walk through beautiful woods, cross a log as you pass by Giants Washbowl and then enjoy some excellent exposed rock hiking. You will see (and pass by) the trail intersection for Rocky Peak Ridge - dont worry, you'll head that way on the way down. After a few false summits you reach Giants 4,626' open rock summit with incredible views. The view into the Great Range and beyond is amazing and well worth a ling lunch break. After enjoying the summit you will head back down to the junction and head towards Rocky Peak Ridge (RPR). On the way to RPR you take a short but steep hike down into and back up out of the col and come out to another beautiful summit at 4,383 feet. It is from tis point on that the hike is fairly incredible - the ridge hike allows you to summit three additional smaller mountains (Bald, Blueberry and Mason) while enjoying incredible views along the way and a walk through a picturesque lower forest.
I've only done Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge as an out-and-back on the ridge trail so can't speak about the trail after Rocky Peak on the Rte. 9 side. There's a lot of climbing involved just in that portion, about 4,600 ft according to my GPS. It allows you to gain elevation quickly though. Not long after the trailhead you break out of the trees and have breathtaking views. I went during the peak of fall colour on the foliage and it made it even more spectacular. Don't underestimate the portion that continues to Rocky Peak Ridge; it's a pretty big drop between the two peaks. I did the hike in 6 hours and jogged on the way down because I had to be back at a certain time. Definitely want to revisit and take more time to enjoy it.
All the reviews on underestimating this trail are accurate. Since I had already done Giant I decided to do Rocky Peak from New Russia and it didn't disappoint. It's seemingly a lot longer than what the markers indicate. The push to Bald peak is somewhat intense as it stands alone and is isolated, but once at the top is worth it. There is still another 2.5 miles to the summit of Rocky Peak but most of it is open and the views of the valley are great. I think this hike proved more difficult than most I've done because there were so many elevation changes and twists and turns along the way. This will take you most of the day to complete.
I hiked this trail as an out-back from the New Russia Trailhead. I had completed Giant 2 weeks before from Roaring Brook Trailhead, with the intent on ascending RPR but was prevented due to time and weather. Therefore, I choose to ascend RPR along the ridgeline following Blueberry Cobble, Mason MT, and Bald Peak. As an autumn hike, this was by far the most amazing and beautiful trail I have climbed so far in my career. Although it is a ruthless uphill climb of 5000 ft ascent, it offers amazing views of St. Huberts Valley, Dix range to the south, and the Giant Wilderness and Hurricane Wilderness Areas to the North. At 2.2 miles from the trailhead you can take a 0.5 mile course around Blueberry Cobble before ascending 500 ft toward Bald Peak. Bald Peak is in itself an amazing hike with views comparable to any in the High Peaks at 3067 feet. after crossing Bald Peak ridgeline you descend into Dickerson notch before ascending a steep 1300 feet climb to Rocky Peak ridge and Marie Louise Pond at ~ 6.2 miles. This little pond is a gem tucked into a small col between Rocky Peak false summit and Rocky Peak-- very quiet, serene, with some areas to pitch a tent. An additional 400 feet of climb and 0.4 miles you finally reach Rocky Point, with fantastic views of Giant, the slides and a commanding panoramic view of St Huberts valley-- indescribably beautiful and breathtaking. Overall the hike is not for the faint of heart- 13.3 miles and over 10 hours of hiking make this a definite dawn to dusk experience. Bring plenty of water and food and be prepared for extra layers for the temperature drops at the summit. Leave early before dawn during the late fall and winter seasons to make sure you have plenty of daylight for the descent...its along way back to the trailhead. a definite A+ hike!
With 15 peaks down this was absolutely the best views of all the peaks. It had over 100 awesome views parked one car at New Russia (500 ft elevation), Then drove around to Giants washbasin(elevation 1400). Left at 7:30 was at the top of giant at 10:00 am, rocky peak Ridge at 12:00, the best part of the trail was rocky Ridge onward including a stop for lunch at the perfect spot on an alpine pond. The fall Foliage was unlike anything I've ever seen.. We lucked out and got the perfect weekend to go. Jaw dropping views of yellow orange, reds. Views continue for what seemed foe error as you have to cross over three more mountains on the way down to New Russia parking. We underestimated this hike it is very hard but short (9 hours). Took us 4 hours to get from Rocky Ridge to the parking area.. Seemed like it would never end. BRING LOTS OF WATER (3-4 liters min) . The only spot to get water is from the pond so plan accordingly!
Wow! We did not know what to expect going into this hike and figured we would jump right into to our first high peak, being inexperienced! Definitely harder than I thought it was going to be! We started at the east trailhead on Rt 9 and made it to blueberry cobbles. The trail was great and we loved all the views with the fall foliage! We definitely want to try it again after getting a few smaller peaks under our belt!
This hike is incredible. I'm not in the best shape and I made it all the way through just under 8 hours and couldn't be happier for pushing myself. We started on rte. 9 in New Russia at the blubbery cobbles trailhead and finished at the chapel pond trailhead where our other vehicle was waiting. What an intense and magnificent hike! Highly recommended for all that seek to challenge themselves but know that this hike is very difficult for an out of shape person like myself. I hike a lot but this was much more difficult than I anticipated. After barely being able to walk up and down stairs for 3 days after this hike, I can still say it was totally worth every aching muscle!
Only hiked one way so It was 11 miles total. Two cars were needed parked on by Giant mountain and the other on Rt 9 new Russia area. Started at Giant mountain which was 3 miles to the peak. The hike up Giant has a lot of rock scrambles and is steep in spots. The views once on top are amazing. After the peak on Giant we pushed on to Rocky peak ridge by going down the back side of Giant. The decent here was extremely steep in places. Then hiked back up to Rocky peak ridge. The views were amazing with lots of photo opportunities as we walked the ridge after the summit back to our car. Also crossed over Bald mountain as well. Overall this is a hard hike but definitely doable.
It was hard!!
I only did Giant (was unaware that it could be paired with rocky ridge).
Short hike distance wise, but brutally steep so make sure you have a few hikes under your belt before trying this one.
My favorite view was from the top of the falls so make sure to find time to stop there and check it out.