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Extremely challenging especially in these winter like conditions we are still experiencing in NYS. I would like to experience it again when the weather is nicer. Also, we did the loop trail but AllTrails glitched while we were out there so half of the hike is missing. We did this in 11 hours if you are starting the timing from the registry.

snowshoeing
19 days ago

the was an easy climb with a wonderful view. there are no views till the summit though. for snowshoeing stick to the long trail. the short trail is not good oon snowshoes.

Completed this hike yesterday. Great view on Nippletop! This hike took me 10 hours. I used spikes, snowshoes, and crampons. Came back through Gill Brook trail for as long as I could before getting back to Lake Road. A bit over 15 miles..

Did this in snowshoes. Up short trail, down long trail. The sun was out when I got to the summit so I took a short nap. Out and back within two hours. Took my time. Pretty icicles along the trail.

We took the long trail up and down on 3/17/18 with our Golden Retriever. Beautiful winter hike. Most people were using snowshoes but we used crampons and had no issues. There are definitely some steep icy areas that would be difficult to pass with just hiking boots. We recommend Pawz disposable waterproof dog booties if you’re bringing your pup. They make life easy and avoid having to worry about injured paws. The hike up was a little bit harder and icier then we anticipated but it was still lots of fun and the views from the summit were well worth it. The hike down was slightly sketchy and quick due to some slipping and sliding but it was an absolute blast. I’d definitely recommend this hike to anyone looking for a quick easy/moderate winter hike.

Did this on Sunday. Wow, it was icy ! In winter snowshoes are a must and for what it’s worth it would have been impossible with my dog. Nice view and the loop made for an interesting hike both in and out.

Amazing view during the winter and an even more interesting hike up after a snow fall so beautiful

Not the best trail for snowshoeing as there’s a lot of rocks and not a lot of snow to cover them. The view is nice and the hike didn’t take us super long (about 1.5h).

Brutal winter hike if you go take alltrail's suggestion and do Nippletop first, but i imagine its a matter of preference if you want to get most of the climbing done asap. Trail from Elk Pass up to Nippletop is mostly ice. You will need decent spikes for this. Regular microspikes wont cut it as the couple a few dozen feet behind me found out (they had to quit halfway up because they couldnt make it up a particularly icy spot and i didnt have rope to help them). Also make sure to wear snowshoes since whatever isnt ice is 3-4 feet of fluffy snow, and if you stray 3 inches off the narrow packed down trail you will immediately posthole up to your waist. Once you get to Nippletop Summit the views are amazing and definitely worth the strenuous climb. The trail to Dial and over Bear Den is pretty easy from here (but keep your snowshoes on), with a little more climbing up to Noonmarks shoulder. There are also plenty of spots steep enough on the descent that you can literally sit down and butt slide 20-100 feet at a time to save energy (just use an ice axe or trekking poles to steer and stop) and have some fun. The only downside to this hike is the long approach up the access road you have to walk, but otherwise the views and the trail are 10/10

hiking
3 months ago

Took the short trail, make sure you’re warm! -8F at the top. Might need snow shoes if going the long way. Lots of snow on the trail right now.

Quick, easy hike with great views.

hiking
5 months ago

nice !

hiking
5 months ago

I hiked this trail on the same day I was driving home, so I didn’t want to over do it. I had done Porter and Cascade Mountains the day before. It took me 50 minutes to reach the peak as I’m a bit slower, but I’m a firm believer in “ stop and smell the coffee “ motto. I’m still new to this hiking in the peaks region, and am planning my next trip already!

hiking
5 months ago

sawteeth pyramid gothics and armstrong loop. awesome. left parking lot at 830am and back to parking lot at 6pm. forgot to turn off recorder when back at parking

hiking
6 months ago

Great short hike with amazing views of the High Peaks. Short Trail is challenging enough to get you sweating on the way up even though this isn’t a high peak.

Great Hike. Hiked Lake Rd to Gil Brook Trail. Lots of little waterfalls along the way. Took the short trip to Indian Head before returning to Elk Pass trail. You walk by a few nice ponds before heading up Nippletop. Fairly steep but not to bad. Great views. Very windy when I was there. Trail over to Dial is easy. Small rock ledge to see some views. Then it Was Bear Den Mt, the shoulder of Noonmark, and some small Mt that didn’t show up on my map. Great views though. After that it was a hike back to Lake Rd and out. The hike was 14 1/2 miles. Including breaks it took about 9 1/2 hours.

Beware that no dogs are allowed and this restriction is strictly enforced. The parking is across the highway from the Roaring Brook access to Giant Mt. and is at the southerly of the two junctions of Rt. 73 and Ausable Rd. (not "Ausable Club Rd.") On a busy weekend, you will likely have to park on the highway. From the parking area, walk 1/2-mile up the road past a golf course. Just before reaching he large clubhouse, turn left and down between two tennis courts to the gate house and trail register.

hiking
6 months ago

Beware that no dogs are allowed and this restriction is strictly enforced. The parking is across the highway from the Roaring Brook access to Giant Mt. and is at the southerly of the two junctions of Rt. 73 and Ausable Rd. (not "Ausable Club Rd.") On a busy weekend, you will likely have to park on the highway. From the parking area, walk 1/2-mile up the road past a golf course. Just before reaching he large clubhouse, turn left and down between two tennis courts to the gate house and trail register.

This hike has a little bit of everything in it...

Starting out from the Ausable golf club and trekking down Lake road is a nice (but fairly long 4 mile) start to warm you up if you don’t like getting out of the car and immediately inclining.

We looped counter clockwise to get the long road trek out of the way first and took a detour, adding less than a mile, to the loop by checking out Indian Head and Fish Hawk cliffs. It’s 100% worth the effort when you’re so close and you wouldn’t want to miss it.

From there until you get to Elk Pass it’s not too bad but I’ll admit it was a pretty tough stretch to scale Nippletop as you gain over 1,000 feet in a mile or so. However once there it’s totally worth the view. Has to be one of the top in the peaks. We spent a good 40 minutes at the summit and then descended to Dial which was another 3 miles.

The road to Dial was pretty gradual and like Nippletop had a great view. From there we continued our descent and passed over Noonmark shoulder and had a pretty cool time walking through the newer stretch of trees grown after the fire years back. The shoulder also had some nice views and it’s really the only time you’ll have to ascend again.

From there the last 4 miles are pretty steep downhill until you’re back on Lake road with only a mile left to the club.

I personally like to get all the heavy lifting done in a short span and the real challenge here is the 1,500 feet you’ll gain in one area going up Nippletop. The rest of the hike can pretty much be dedicated to great views and enjoyment.

I’d recommend reserving 8-12 hours for this hike. We spent about 1.5 hours on summits and taking pictures and we moved at a somewhat slower pace than we had planned and it took us about 10 hours total.

Great hike, even in the rain. We started at St Hubert’s and followed Lake Road out to Pyramid. We summitted Pyramid, Gothics, and Armstrong in the rain and wind. Even though we missed out on the views this time, it still felt like a great accomplishment. The weather broke around noon, so we had sunshine on Upper Wolfjaw and Lower Wolfjaw. We took our time and were cautious in the rain and wind, so it took us about 12 hours. Excited to hike this loop again in better weather.

Great hike! Definitely take the short trail up and long trail down. The views are amazing. Took my two dogs up the mountain and they loved it too.

hiking
6 months ago

For how short a hike that this was, I am really impressed with the payoff view at the summit. My wife and I did the short trail up and the long trail down. They both take about the same time to ascend; around an hour, but we were working pretty hard on the way up the short trail.
This is a trail that is good for everyone. We saw older folks and young kids making their way up.

Great hike! 15 and 16 for me :) We went up clockwise via Bear Den then Dial and Nippletop. I like getting elevation out of the way first and this was a good route for me. The decent from Nippletop was steep (wet from snow melting) but doable it eventually levels out. The elk to gill brook was pretty flat and I enjoyed a cool but long flatter decent. If going counter clockwise seems you'd walk flat a long way before ascending Nippletop. The hike from Dial to Nippletop was fairly flat, easier ascents and had some snow. Views at Nippletop were spectacular. If I had to do this again I'd go clockwise.

hiking
6 months ago

This was me and my wife's first real hiking experience. We are fairly active, her more then myself, and we brought our 18 month old daughter. If we would have had a better child carrier for her it would have been much better but all in all it was not too hard of a hike. We took the short trail up and the long trail down which I would definitely recommend, the long trail is much easier on your legs. Beautiful summit for a short hike! I think it took is about 2 hours total including the 15-20 minutes we took on the summit to hang out. We went mid-day on September 26th and only saw about 10 other people the entire hike and only had to share the summit with one other person for a short while, but I think we got lucky.

This trail was my first high peaks adventure, and reminded me that I am no longer a young pup.

It was a blast! We took the "clockwise" loop. From what we experienced, and what the other hikers that went the "counter clockwise" direction looked like climbing the final ascent to Nippletop, I'd say we took the easier route. Our route was a climb right from the get go and got the engine pumping hard, but after the descent from Nippletop to Elks Pass it was a decent hike out with a nice flat road to finish up.

Bring lots of water (I went through 4Liters). The only suitable water source for filtering was Gill Brook on our descent. Elks Pass was kind of stagnant and questionable in terms of use in a filter.

If you have ailing leg joints, be sure to bring your braces. The descent did a number on my knees as well as my partner's knee and ankle.

All in all, it was physically painful on the body, but was well worth the views and exercise.

This trail was my first high peaks adventure, and reminded me that I am no longer a young pup.

It was a blast! We took the "clockwise" loop. From what we experienced, and what the other hikers that went the "counter clockwise" direction looked like climbing the final ascent to Nippletop, I'd say we took the easier route. Our route was a climb right from the get go and got the engine pumping hard, but after the descent from Nippletop to Elks Pass it was a decent hike out with a nice flat road to finish up.

Bring lots of water (I went through 4Liters). The only suitable water source for filtering was Gill Brook on our descent. Elks Pass was kind of stagnant and questionable in terms of use in a filter.

If you have ailing leg joints, be sure to bring your braces. The descent did a number on my knees as well as my partner's knee and ankle.

All in all, it was physically painful on the body, but was well worth the views and exercise.

Incredible views, moderate and enjoyable hiking trail to summit.

hiking
7 months ago

Completed this hike along with my 2 Siberian Huskies. Started out a little earlier in the morning and didn't encounter anyone until the summit. Took the long trail up and the short trail down. A nice length trail for someone who hikes with dogs and a beautiful view at the top for all

This was my first high peak and it was tough but so worth it! You do have to park and walk down a paved road through a golf course for a
Few miles which was interesting. Trails were pretty clear and dry. I don't have much to compare it to but the view was breath taking. It took us about 4 hours to get to the top of dial. We were pretty slow getting up there So I'm sure a more experienced hiker can get up quicker. Can't wait for my next one !

hiking
7 months ago

Didnt hit the entire range this trip but did create a lolly pop loop with Saddle Back and Basin. Started early at the Garden trailhead, hiked along Johns Brook and then cached my gear at a campsite just past JBL on the right. The hike along JB is a peaceful easy climb, about a 1000ft in 3 miles. Good warm up for the steeps ahead. After lightening the load, headed upstream about a mile then turned left at Bushnells Falls. This is where the pitch starts to steepen a bit. Steady climb to Slant Rock then another left toward Haystack and Basin. Some cool views of Marcy and Haystack along this section. Turning left again at a trail split is the final ascent up Basin. Some ladders and super steep sections then summit. The climbing is hard although its worth it! The views from Basin are some of the best. Haystack, Marcy, and Skylight are front and center. Johns Brook Valley sits below and the rest of the Great Range is laid out like dominos to the right. Its breathtaking and at the same time daunting, glimpsing the rugged path ahead to Saddleback. Its another mile to Saddleback, culminating at the infamous Saddleback cliffs to summit. Steep, exposed, and definitely anxiety provoking. The sights from Saddleback are great as is the view of Gothics sheer face as you make the descent to the Orebed Trail split. After summitting 2 peaks, i pointed toward base camp. Orebed trail follows the path of a newer slide which allows some nice views of the valley and Big Slide in the distance. I crashed at camp for the night, then hiked out in the morning. Long and challenging but an awesome hike.

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