Explore the best trails near Lake Placid with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
dogs on leash
Awesome hike ! certainly a bit longer than marked at the junctions . we ended up finishing at about 10 miles. The first few miles are very easy after you pass Marcy dam it gets very steep, microspikes are a must in the winter due to ice. Awesome views on the top
For the distance - and two SC visitors - this was a great hike and view!
The trailhead and parking are located at the Northwoods School.
We smartly rented spikes from the bike shop and it made the icy conditions so much more manageable.
Will definitely bring family next time!
Completed Phelps Mountain on Sunday 1/15/2017. A very simple first 2 miles to Marcy Dam starts your trip. There are lean-to's there which are great for a quick break before getting into the serious part of the hike. Nice views as well. Then another easy mile to the Phelps DEC trail marker. The last 1 mile to the summit was somewhat steep but nothing too serious. Then it happened... A steep ice slide that immediately startled me. Seeing steep ice never gets easier for me, haha! Got up and past it with no incident but couldn't help but think how I would get back down it. Continued up the trail to find two more icy patches that required respect. I've heard others say the last mile is more like 1.2 or 1.5 miles but i'll take the DEC's word on the 1 mile. It was a tough mile for me. I wont elaborate on the time out of pure embarassment, lol. Made it to the summit and hung around for about ten minutes. Full panoramic views of the Great Range and many others. The entire walk up is very enclosed and offers no views so the payoff is nice. Used Grivel g12 crampons for almost the entire trip. They were much appreciated on the steep icy slides. 99% of others I saw were wearing Kahtoolah (however you spell that) microspikes or MSR Evo 22's. I personally would never wear snowshoes for these types of hikes anymore. They will work but they are kinda sketchy, even with a MSR Lighting Ascent which have an aggressive crampon. Microspikes seemed to be sufficient for most. I like the security on the ice. It's only your life right? The trail is heavily populated. You will meet many many friendly people who like to chit chat. A super easy first 3.2 miles, 1 tough mile. 8.4 miles roundtrip. More than suitable for beginner hikers with proper gear and respect. Enjoy. :)
This was a winter ascent that we did. We hiked up the short trail that was icy and steep in parts, and we came down via the long trail. The views on the summit were nice of Heart Lake and the high peaks. The trail became busy as we were descending. You definitely need traction devices to complete this hike.
This was my first winter hike of Cascade and it was fun. We were the first ones there, so we broke the trail for others. We had on hiking crampons to start, then as we got closer to the summit we switched over to snowshoes. For the final ascent we switched back over to hiking crampons. There was no view at the top as it was cloudy. The wind was gusting up there, so we didn't stay long at all. On the way out we met a lot of fellow hikers.
This is my first winter hike of this trail. The trail was pretty much packed snow that was iced over and the sides of that was crunchy snow that wasn't packed down. You definitely needed microspikes for traction, but I used Hillsound Trail crampons and they worked nicely. There was blowdown on the trail, but was negotiable. There was a moderate amount of people that were out.
Hiked the Van Hoevenburg trail in December after a recent snow fall. the trail to Marcy Dam was great, very scenic and enjoyed the view of Algonquin.. Phelps on the other hand was long, steep and went on for ever. listed at 1.0 miles on the DEC trailmarker, but hardly a mile..more like 1.5 miles. Its not marked, the open rocky southern face is the summit. Great views of Tabletop and Marcy. Named for Old Man Phelp's love of Mercy Mountain.. fits the namesake well. Bring plenty of water, food and patience if you wish to snowshoe. and a ice axe and crampons as well. enjoy.
This is a great trail to hike when it is snow covered. The heard path to the top was confusing because there were numerous paths in the snow, some of which bring you back to the same place on the heard path where you began. Once you are on the correct trail in the snow it is a very pleasant climb.
The easiest of the High peaks, these two are great for beginners. The climb is short, mostly gradual and the views are amazing and you get a great look at some of the other High Peaks. The trail tends to get pretty crowded though, when I climbed them in April with over a foot of snow on the ground there were still many people. The top of Cascade can get very windy; it was blowing pretty hard I was there.
Did this in the winter during a blizzard so didn't get much views except of Cascade Falls across the highway part way up. It was really windy when I got to the boulders.There's some steep bits but overall it's a short and easy hike. When you get to the trail junction with the sign on the tree the way right goes to the boulders. If you go left you can extend your outing and climb the rest of the way up Pitchoff.
An amazing hike but pretty challenging. The loop incorporates some of the most impressive sights in the High Peaks. Plan on being out for a full day as its a long hike (it's more like 19 miles round trip) with a lot of climbing. It took my group about 12 hours. It was April when we did the hike so there was still a lot of snow. To do the loop, take the Avalanche Pass Trail past Marcy Dam and then go left on the trail to Lake Arnold. After Lake Arnold, the trail descends into a valley with many wet areas. At one place you walk across floating boards in a bog; this section might be troublesome after heavy rain. Past the Uphill Lean-To you go left and climb up to Lake Tear-of-the-Clouds. Gray Peak is trailless but the herd path is easy to follow. Just look for it on the other side of the stream right at the lake's outlet. It's steep but not too long. The spur trail for Skylight is much easier, and the views from the summit are spectacular. The ascent of Marcy from Four Corners is exhilarating and almost completely above treeline. From Marcy's summit we could see hundreds of miles in every direction. I was awed looking towards Mt. Haystack and seeing the really deep Panther Gorge that separates the two peaks. The descent on the Van Hoevenberg Trail was comparatively easier and was a respite after a hard, but rewarding day. Don't forget to visit Indian Falls on the way down, we didn't go see it but it's a really short detour where there's supposed to be a nice lookout.