Explore Aspiring Adirondack 46'er Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Aspiring Adirondack 46'er Hikes Map
VIEW FULL MAP

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?

Hiked on 12/29/18. Trail conditions: clear and down leaves near trailhead and first incline, increasingly muddy towards giants ledge, and hard packed ice and snow beyond that. Microspikes and poles were extremely helpful. Summited in about two hours and returned in the same time and took very few breaks. Very nice views along Giants Ledge, but you get more or less the same from the rock outpost near the summit. Overall, a good challenge for a first time hike of this trail.

I hiked Giant Ledge solo last year and liked it so much I brought 3 friends up this past Oct. We hiked up to Panther Summit then back down to one of the Giant Ledge campsites and stayed overnight. Weather was warmer than normal so it was very comfortable. At night it went from great views of the stars to total cloud cover and windy. Great views especially at sunrise. Overall it was challenging but not too bad. Muddy in spots if there is recent rain. Pack as light as possible and make sure you use trekking poles although you will need to climb in certain areas. I went during the week so crowds were not an issue. Overall a great experience and I would definitely go back.

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.

Nice long hike (6.5 hours). Used spikes almost all way. Nice top but no visibility.

This was definitely one of my favorite hikes while visiting the Adirondacks! It’s a difficult hike, but it’s worth it. The views are amazing along the way and get even better when you reach the top of the mountain.

Pleasant hike with nice views from Giant Ledge. Hiking over to Panther is not really worth it though for the view itself, but walking around in the woods there is really soothing. The forest floor is covered in mats of bright green moss and it feels like walking in an enchanted forest.

awesome hike and not even the easiest in October (25.10) but I did it in 5 1/2 hours.
In the beginning very beautiful view. later just snow in the air and ice on the ground.

Awesome hike . It was quite wet and muddy , fairly challenging in mid October . We hiked for about 8 hours

awesome hike to panther mtn. over ledge. views are spectacular. a bucket list hike for sure

Awesome hike! I did this with my dog last week, for the most part it was pretty easy terrain, towards the top it did get a little rocky and I did have to lift him up at some points because he couldn’t jump that far. It was very cold and windy at the top as well which he wasn’t a fan of. Overall the hike was great! So beautiful. It got pretty muddy half way through so make sure to wear appropriate boots for it!

Almost run entire way up in 2.5 hrs to make sunset, exhausted. What a race!

Very beautiful sunset!

From autumn colours to snowy winter on top and iced road at the end, you would experience huge different landscapes which makes the hiking very exciting.

Very muddy in certain area indeed.

Coming down taking memorial highway, which closed in Oct. Took 2 hrs. Clear night, star shining and Milky Way is high up in the sky. But it ends in a different trailhead. We were so lucky to meet a family from Tennessee. They drove us to our car. Big thanks here!

Overall, perfect and excellent hiking.

Great hike with beautiful views. Views from giant ledge are better than panther. Deff longer than 6.3 miles if you go up to panther.

hiking
3 months ago

What a great hike. We started from the observatory parking lot and of course added Esther for a total of 10 miles. Check out my full write up.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/whitefaceandesther/

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!

We went back to this beautiful trail yesterday. The trails were mostly dry views were amazing! Foliage should be peak by the weekend.

Hiked up via the brothers on 10/5/18. Parked at the last free spot in the Garden which was super lucky considering we got there at nearly 11. It is definitely peak week for the leaves in the ADKs! Didn't realize how much elevation we gained in the first mile of that hike! Beautiful views of all sides of the park on our way up to and at the First Brother. Would have been a nice hike on its own if you weren't looking to make it all the way to Big Slide. The rest of the hike from here is pretty easy until the last half mile or so. The trail from the Third Brother to Big Slide is a charming shaded birch filled forest that we really enjoyed. As mentioned, the last .3 after the junction is a bit more strenuous, lots of scrambling and a few spots where we had to lift our dog up (she’s got short little legs). Ladders to the top were easier to go up than to come down, since they were steep and slippery. Big Slide offered an amazing view of the Great Range although the summit is very small compared to some other peaks. As we had began late, everyone left the summit to head back once we arrived and we ended up having the whole mountain to ourselves! We went down via what I believe is the Phelps trail to Johns Brook near the lodge and then back to the garden. Lots more people on this side of the trail than the Brothers, which is always comforting if you’re getting off the mountain later in the evening. Took us about five hours total and recorded as 9.4 miles. Definitely would recommend.

This hike isn’t easy, but it isn’t hard either. There just are points were you feel like you’re rock climbing rather then hiking. Just prepare for that. Also plan to get there either early or super late; the parking area fills up quickly!

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.

It was an excellent hike. After Marble Hill the trail does get pretty wet, and I’m not even talking about the trail to Esther. No visibility from the top today but it was still worth it! It took me 3 hrs and 20 min up and 2 hr and 20 min down.

3 months ago

This was a really beautiful hike with great fall colors. It was pretty muddy, especially Esther, but still a fun hike!

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!

Great hike with beautiful views from the ledges!

This was a nice hike with great views from the ledges. The trail was like a mini river and muddy in most places. Overall not a bad hike but the trail was busy with people.

I solo trekked this nice and slow with stops for photos on the way up. From this starting marker is 10.4 miles round trip not including Esther, so that should be updated. It was very muddy after all the rain last night. Worth the hike but took me about 8.5 hours solo with my short legs with some breaks and soaking up the sun and at the top.

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

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderful views from this peak. Highly recommend. The final portion of the hike was fairly steep and challenging. Great Hike!

I would have brought thin gloves with me as it was cold and starting to ice towards the summit. Long sleeves and another layer would be appropriate. It was a beautiful day and challenging hike. There was a lot of water on a lot of the trail too.

Load More