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Loved this hike! May not be the absolute best out of the peaks but deff doable for those new hikers.
Don’t miss the summit at Dial, it comes up quick, and can easily be missed on the way to nippletop.

Did this 2018.01.05. Great trail with gentle start that finishes with steep inclines. Temp about 32 F, nice snow, trails manageable.

did this hike on new year's Eve, my first high peak hike. beautiful day and the scenery is amazing. the first mile is the most difficult in my opinion because of the slippery frozen stream you must hike up, but everything after that is very doable with very pretty scenery the whole time. excellent picture opportunities along the way. very glad I completed this one, super fun day

This is an excellent hike. We split it up into two days and did a few of the side trails. Spring thru fall you will get wet and very muddy. It’s a tough trail and unfortunately I did see a lot of miserable faces on the way back. It is not a flat perfect gravel trail. If you are in poor shape or have bad knees this hike is not for you. But the views are amazing, the trails diverse. And you are required to carry a large heavy bear can that takes up a lot of space. Even if you never see a bear at least you have a nice stool to sit on?

Completed this trek 12/28 as a warmup before hitting Algonquin the following day. Definitely recommend snowshoes and crampons this time of year. A lot ice traversing the summit. Fun route if you are looking for a challenge.

The Indian Brook streem is currently very difficult to cross without getting wet (which I did). I broke trail until Nye. Remaining path to Street is currently not broken. Great views going down. A lot of snow and some blowback made for very slow progress. Took me 8 hours and did only Nye.

Did it November 19th. The trail is a little rough in some spots, foot holds not too great. Luckily someone had broken the trail before me so no need to worry about that! I’d say it’s more of a difficult hike with the current snow pack.

Went 09/22/18-09/23/18. Had such an amazing time and loved hiking in the lean-to. Definitely a little challenging for the novice biker but worth the challenge

Gorgeous. 9 hours for 14 miles including breaks, photos, crampon strapping, knee injury.
I saw a lot of idiots attempting hikes to MT. Marcy wearing only converses, Easy Sporits, jeans, paper print out maps, basically not being able to survive the night alone.

hiking
2 months ago

If you hike this past mid October, I highly suggest you pack micro spikes. 90% of the assent was cover in ice.
This is a LONG hike. It took me about 8 hours 40 minutes of straight hiking to complete it (not counting some brief breaks). If you're not going for your 46, I would leave this one alone.

Great pics along the way

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL TRIAL TO HIKE.

The longest ever hike! Loved it! Not sure I’ll do it again!

So. Much. Mud! Highly recommend bringing your gaiters. Also bring your microspikes. Half way up the Tabletop trail is already very icy! (Hiked on October 14th) Made for difficulty navigating on the ascent and descent as I didn’t even think to pack my microspikes and it tacked on a lot of time to the hike. But it was still so much fun which is how I would describe this hike-fun! It is a wooded summit but still beautiful views. If you can tackle Phelps the same day I would recommend that as well. Very very busy parking lot at the Loj so be sure to get there early to secure spot. Lots of camping areas at Marcy Dam as well. Would definitely do this hike again. I would rate this trail as moderate if just doing Tabletop. (GPS mapped trail as 11.1 miles)

Was a relatively challenging trail, picked a day during the August heat wave, big mistake. Did not make it to Nippletop, will have to do that one separate if possible.

Awesome trail. Well marked. Lots of mud.

This was the right hike for the busy Columbus Day weekend - only saw ten other hikers. The trail was not marked but fairly easy to follow. The brook was high enough that shoes off for the crossing was the right decision, and on the way back the water felt pretty refreshing. Some nice little lookouts from both Street and Nye. I've heard people say this hike isn't worth it unless you're going for 46, but I really enjoyed it and thought it was a pretty relaxed day compared to a lot of Adk hikes - "only" about 2500 ft of elevation gain. The gorgeous near-peak fall trees didn't hurt!

Did this hike Oct 07. Very challenging. Very wet. Running water on rock climb to summit. Rewarding to reach the summit, but unfortunately clouded in, so no views.
Hike back to LOJ via Lake Arnold trail is looooong! 11 hrs total.

This hike starts out easy, and gets tougher right when you reach avalanche lake. It is lots of fun scrambling and hiking along waterfalls. It was too foggy at the top of Algonquin peak to see much, but I imagine on a clear day it’s breathtaking. Great views anyways, and highly recommended.

Nothing too special about these two. There were no great views and the trail was a bit hard to find in one spot in particular after a major river crossing - but I’m going to blame that on the new fallen leaves obscuring the trail.

Unless you’re going after all 46 of the highest peaks, I’d skip this hike. It wasn’t too hard, there were no good rock scrambles, and all in all, it wasn’t a very noteworthy hike.

Absolutely beautiful hike

Did this hike on 10/6/18. Weather was cool limited sun only in the afternoon. Did the loop counter clockwise going up elk pass to nippletop first. Got a late start due to the parking situation. The lots at the AMR hiking lot was full had to park on highway about .5 mike away. Note don’t park along the roadways but n the AMR hiking parking areas. There were about 20 or so cars parked in no parking areas that got tickets. By the time we got to Nippletop’s summit it was socked in by fog and clouds. Very windy and cold. Had a quick lunch. Made out was over to Dial . Views were better but clouds came in. Made our way done and out via Bear Den . Trails were very muddy . It’s hard for me to say what direction is easier because I was tied from a long road trip the day before and a little under the weather. I would say doing elk pass first because it’s steep. Over all a great hike wish the weather was better. Might have to return and do this one again.

Starting from The Garden Trailhead in Keene Valley. We followed the trail toward the Lodge and spent the first night in the Orebred Brook lean-to. We summited Gothics, Armstrong, Upper, and Lower Wolfjaw the next day. Once you climb Gothics it’s pretty much a traverse to the next 3. Camped on the far side that night. The next day we looped around and hiked back out. Gothics was an awesome climb, challenging in spots. These 4 peaks make a great long weekend trip. Can’t wait to get back and explore the other peaks along The Great Range. I will update this review with more detail once I have my other map in front of me.

We did this on 9/29. We skipped Lower Wolf Jaw, but did Upper Wolf Jaw, Armstrong, Gothics, Pyramid, and Sawteeth. Going up Armstrong from Upper Wolf Jaw is the steepest climb I've done in the ADKs. Some sections were more rock climbing than hiking. The views are amazing, with the views from the Gothics being some of the best in the ADKs. It took us about 10 hrs and is a great hike.

I did the loop clockwise and I’m glad, the trails are so wet and muddy that coming up from Elk Pass the water would be running down your sleeves. The promised clear sky never happened so I skipped Indian Head, no views. I loved the ups and downs of this loop, and the easy run back on Lake Road.

Easy to follow, very muddy, non-technical hike with Nippletop showing the best view of the entire great range without actually being in it. Our group enjoyed Nips’ view even more than Algonquin’s. Dial is nice but not amazing and Noonmark shoulder is less than Dial but still enjoyable.

After a lot of contemplation we did the loop clockwise and were so happy we did. The views only improve this way giving you something to look forward to. The ascent is more gradual with only a 40 min stretch up to Noonmark shoulder being steep. It’s as steep as Elk Pass but much shorter and way less rocks. We left Nippletop with lots of energy still from a pretty easy morning climb and feeling fresh and rested from lunch at the summit. Descending Elk Pass was pretty non-technical (only 2 or 3 bigger rock slabs) and totally fine for us. If your cardio isn’t very strong but you have good knees definitely do clockwise. Going up Elk Pass will hit your lungs and legs hard, it’s steadily steep and long. If you have any issues with knees or pain descending normally, then take the loop counter clockwise.

We added on Indian Head and it is a must for this loop being so close. Its a stunning and perfect ending with Lake Road being an easy cool down to a long day instead of descending that steep section down from Noonmark shoulder, tired, with mediocre views after Dial. 10.5 hours from the car with an hours worth of breaks but we moved slower than average with everyone passing us that day. Hiked with 2 newbies with no hiking experience but good physical strength.

Okay let's level-set here. I've been all over the world, for example the Wind River Range in Wyoming, or the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, or up Denali. So I'm probably spoiled. Or something. So be forewarned.

But having said that: this hike is kinda miserable. I hate to rain on everyone's parade. I mean there are some beautiful views, especially from the top of Marcy, where I was above the clouds on a beautiful morning.

But the hike up and the hike down were some of the toughest most un-walkable "trails" I've ever seen. And that's before I tell you about the bear problem.

So let's get started. The walk out of the Adirondack Loj to Marcy Dam is a nice little jaunt. And it's a trail, by which I mean a somewhat dirt based path through the woods.

But then you start up. I did this in late September. It was a dry summer. But it had rained a few days. The trail gets wetter and wetter. You're basically hiking up a creek in the woods. In one place that everyone here mentions, just past Lake Arnold, the water was almost to our waist on the trail. Our dog was swimming. And she's not that small.

Now I know what you're thinking: "Who cares, you're hiking!" Sure. But I'm talking four miles of muddy rocky slosh with no views. Just know what you're getting into.

Ok now for the bears. We stopped to camp between Lake Arnold and Marcy. A nice black bear walked into our cook site. I won't bore you with the details but let's start by saying I was camping clean, meaning that all my smelly stuff, including sunscreen and toothpaste and whatever, was in my bear canister at the cook site.

The dog went nuts. I was calling Hey Bear and trying to scare him a bit. But he walked straight up to us and luckily past us to go for the food. I backed away carefully to the lean to, thinking we were safe and he was just looking for food. But guess who showed up to the lean to 30 minutes later? You guessed it. Ursus major. And there he stood for two hours. Sniffing the air. Dog barking. I put loud music on my phone. I waved my arms. Etc. He just kept sniffing. Very close. He came and went throughout the night.

Okay so you're thinking he was a black bear and he wasn't going to hurt us. You try sitting in a lean to with a bear 20-30 feet out all night, those yellow eyes in your headlamp light, his breath steaming up in the air.

Next morning we got ready to go but again, the bear was on the trail out, so we continued up the peaks. I'll say this: THE VIEWS ARE BEAUTIFUL. It was pouring rain when we set out but amazingly cleared just as we summited Marcy and we were above a cloud layer in the sun. They don't call it a high peak for nothing. You'd think you were 10,000 ft higher. Just gorgeous. Fall colors. Mist. Real Lord of the Rings stuff.

But now the walk down. It's a six mile, boulder hoping, sopping wet, creek bed, one slick rock to the next, in the trees. It's not a trail per se, if by trail you mean that dirt thing that you walk on. It's just wet rock after rock, with a bunch of mud in between them. If you want to do the hike bring some beefy boots. This isn't for your trail runners.

Well that's about it. I'm still glad I did. It's a real wilderness. But anyone who thinks the White Mountains are tough, or has put off of a pass in the Winds, or whatever, better know that this thing is the real deal.

Have fun!

I did this hike yesterday. The first half of it (upto Whiteface landing) and a kilometer after that is as easy as walk in the park. But the rest of the hike is brutal, because most of the elevation gain is in that part. Compared to other trails in Adirondack, I found the trail markers on this trail to be very distant. This makes it much harder when you are going up and especially if you are alone. In the climbing segment, the trail is defined by a rocky channel through which water trickles down the mountain, and not some patches on the side that look like foot trails. This section could use more trail markers. When you are alone and traversing a steep terrain, backtracking is tough in case you loose the trail. I did lose the trail once while coming down. In other sections the trail markers are absent for very long distances, but the foot trail is more-or-less clear. If you are doing this one alone, allow yourself ample of daylight so that you are not in a rush and can take time to figure out the trail. It's rewarding once you do.

If you are doing this trail in wet weather, it will increase the difficulty further. It wasn't raining when I did it, but it was the rainy season. Lot of the rocks were covered with moss. Some of them were slippery. I did slip couple of times and injured myself a bit. The view of Lake Placid from above the tree line is awesome.

Would not suggest doing this range unless your going to be a 46er. Its a very hard climb up ward brook getting quite steep for the last mile or so, your next to water most of the time up to Seward so there is a lot of wet rock slabs and mud to maneuver around. Going between the mountains in the range is no picnic either (do Seymour another day) after Seward you have to climb down a very steep section before hooking west down into mud just to come back up again. The map shows a more direct route between the peaks than you actually take. in reality it does take about an hour to reach each peak because you have to swing out down the mountain before heading back up to the next summit. There is an astounding amount of mud that stays between these peaks, we went when there hadn't been rain for a week and there mere multiple sections with mud 6 inches deep or more even. All and all it was an experience to be remembered total trip from ward brook lean to emmons and back took 10 1/2 hours, we came back in the night time after leaving at 9 am so bring your head lamps just in case. Just make sure you give yourself enough time and water to make the trip, and your boots need to be in top condition, otherwise good luck...
P.S. keep you eyes out for small cut arounds near harder sections for rocks and mud, found quite a few extra ways to avoid wet slabs and mud pits

My daughter and I did this on Saturday, September 22 it was muddy and fun only saw 10 other hikers. Outstanding views from the south west corner of the street summit

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