Macomb, South Dix, East Dix, Hough and Dix via Elk Lake is a 15.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near North Hudson, NY that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
The Dix Range Hike via Elk Lake is 17.3 with about 5000 ft of elevation gain as you traverse 5 Adirondack High Peaks in the Dix Wilderness. This is a strenuous one day or multi-day hike over mostly unmaintained and unmarked trails. This is a challenging hike that will take you up the Macomb slide to South Dix, East Dix, Hough, the Beckhorn and Dix and then back to Elk Lake via Hunters Pass or the Lillian Brook trail. The total elevation gain is about 5000'. If you are in strong physical shape it can be done in one day or over a few days if you want to hike at a slower pace (camping at Slide Brook is an option). These trails can be steep, narrow, difficult to follow and will include scrambles along the way. Most are not maintained and not marked which means you will need to follow herd paths and know how to navigate - be prepared, know your limits, bring a map and compass and know how to use them. Cell service is very limited in the Dix Wilderness.
For this trail being an unmarked trail it is very easy to follow. Due to the high use, cairns and other hikers. I would still suggest bringing a map. I hiked this a few weeks ago and the guys that were ahead of us did not have a map and it was annoying to have to tell them the way the whole time. You really need a map. And you really need to understand how to read it. This hike may only be about 13 miles, we hiked down hunters pass on the way out. But it is a vigorous one. With most of the miles at the end of the day you will be exhausted after. We got to 3/5 peaks before 2pm. Arrived at Hough at around 4pm and were considering not completing Dix Mt. but we wanted to complete all 5 so we pushed on. We summited Dix Mt. around 5:30pm. You don't really know when you get to the summit if the peak is in the clouds. But then since it was starting to get dark we decided to take the longer but less steep path back. It was really rough and I recommend to bring headlamps no matter if you plan to hike only in the day light. Because we hiked for about 4hrs in the dark but were prepared with lights and food. I loved camping at this trailhead. Although on a busy weekend plan to park at the farther lot, 4 miles away. Because the lot at the slide brook is on the smaller side for the amount of trailheads are accessible from there. I would recommend also giving yourself a full 12 hr day of daylight to complete this hike. We started at 8:30am but I would recommend to start before daylight.
This was a really great hike. Yes it was tough, but a spectacular view. Friends kept saying "it doesn't look real." Some markers for trails are the rock pyramids. Pyramids are usually a sign to turn.
Hiked the new "Grace Peak" from rt 73 and what a tough trail to follow. Multiple spider web trails all over the place. Crossing the forks of the bouquet was interesting as some of the cairn's are tough to spot and not in the best places. If we didn't scare a hiker out of his morning duty we would've found ourselves hiking up the back of Dix... Not good..
I suggest hiking this route with a group as we added about 3 extra miles of backtracking trying to stay on the correct path.
Tough one. View was worth it!
Nice hike. Long hike. From the Elk Lake lot it's almost 20 miles and 13 hours. Great views.
This trail is a fantastic challenge and a great way to bag 5 peaks in a loop. There is camping, so an over night is possible. It took my son and I 13 hours with stop to filter water and converse with folks along the way.
Started at 5:30 and got back to our car at 6:20. Hiked on 6/24/16
One day camp and hike up Macomb, great views and the slide was a nice challenge.
From Elk Lake trailhead we hiked in on Friday at about 530-600pm and made it to the Slide Brook lean-to in time to set up camp and start a fire/dinner. Hit the trail early at around 700 and spent the entire day on the move. East Dix (Grace Peak) was defiantly worth going out of your way for and is a good place to take lunch with some impressive views . Continued on to Hough and reached Dix peak at around 3. Took in the breathtaking view and started off on our almost four hour decent back to SB lean-to . Definitely bring a headlamp ! This 17 mile hike is very time consuming and if you're not prepared you will get caught in the dark. Challenging but well worth all my aches and pains the next morning
This was a very challenging,but rewarding trip. We hiked in Friday night and camped next to the first lean-to allowing us to get on the trail by 5:00am. We did the whole loop up Macomb, if your not trying to do all 46 I would recommend skipping East Dix, it ads several hours to already very Lind day and isn't really worth it. We used the DEC marked trail to descend via the Beckhorn. We enjoyed the relatively easy hike out. Despite our 5:00 start we still didn't get back to the truck until 5:00pm, plan on spending at least 12 hours on this trip.
An enjoyable and challenging hike… well enjoyable until the hike out anyway. We started off our day at the Elk Lake trailhead at 5:30 am and got off trail 14 hours later. Although the trails in this area are usually drier during July the heavy rains made many of the trails into wet rocky streams which slowed us down in many areas but we also spent at least 45 mins on each peak – if you’re hiking this hard you want to enjoy the reward. We chose the Lillian Brook Pond trail between Hough and South Dix to get back down which meant traversing the steep trails of the Beckhorn and Hough twice but should have meant an easier descent on the knees. Unfortunately, the recent storms changed that into a lot of blow down, rerouting and very wet conditions which meant the hike out was long and tough. We were relieved to see the parking lot knowing that a cooler of chilled vitamin waters was waiting!! Great hike!!!!!