Explore Gainers - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Gainers Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Wild nature and bears. Amazing experience

NOTE: This is Hard, NOT moderate, and this route to the peak is more like 8 miles, not 6 miles. Also, don't bring your dog, unless they're very adept at hiking with you. Once you get past mile 2, the rocky bits get increasingly harder to scale and the opportunities for a fall increase dramatically. We saw at least one poor dog too terrified to climb down while the owner yelled at him to jump, and none of the many dogs we saw coming down looked happy at all.

If you try a day hike like we did, you'll want to be back to within one mile of the trailhead by dark. It was ok with headlamps, but you definitely don't want to be scrounging around near any of the false peaks after dark. Also highly recommend at least one pole for the climb down or you'll have some sore knees pretty quickly.

Challenging, gorgeous and populated with legit and polite hikers. Don't underestimate this hike, especially in the fall with wet leaves, mud and high winds when you reach the various false peaks.

Started from the lot at 6:40 and got back at 15:50. I was somewhat surprised it took me so long as I was really breezing down the last part. Upper sections were icy however, and the crampons were of great help. A lot of mud and water after Indian Falls; the ice started maybe 1.5 mile before the summit (not all over the place but enough to make you ponder your steps). Just a few people on top and met maybe 40-50 people going down - a manageable population for such a long hike.

We were bit nervous considering the other comments to complete this hike in November. However, we found this hike to be beautiful, diverse, and really achievable. We are in our late 20s/early 30s and are fairly fit. We reached the Summit within 3h30minutes, and completed the trip in 7 hours with about 30+ minutes of breaks.

Indian falls is only a few steps off the trail and beautiful. A rewarding trail, particualrly with kind people to meet along the way. You can do 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.

hiking
1 day 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/

Hiked Giant Mtn via the Ridge Trail on 10/12/2018. The views on the way up were beautiful! It was a little past peak for leaves but it was still stunning. Once we got to the peak we were in the middle of a cloud and it was snowing so we had 0 view. But given better weather I feel it would have been perfect. It took a little under 3 hours to summit with 3 first time hikers in decent shape with a few stops and 2 hours to descent. Definitely a good hike! Very steep towards the top and a lot of bare rocks to scale but overall a well maintained trail and moderate difficulty. A fun hike!

Had a great time hiking this trail with one of my best friends. Perfect weather, and beautiful foliage. 10/10 would recommend

10/8/18 was a great hike and as you continued your climb it became increasingly more steep. It was almost like a warm up for what was to come. I decided to do Wright peak first which I think was a good idea since after I did Algonquin I decided to go the “extra mile” and do Iroquois as well. Not sure I would have had it in me after both of those peaks to come back and do Wright. All in all it was a decently difficult hike. Technically 4 peaks total but boundary isn’t recognized as a 46er because of its close proximity to Algonquin, nevertheless I like to make myself feel better by saying I tackled 4 peaks. Total time for me was 6 hours 15 minutes from trailhead to trailhead using my garmin watch it somehow clocked me at 16.1 miles total. So something might have been off between my watch and the trail signs. I don’t know. The views at each peak were obscured by total cloud coverage so I didn’t spend much time at any peak really but I did stop multiple times on the lower levels to see some foliage and enjoy the beauty of the trails. Would love to do them again on a clear day if I could.

There isn’t much that I could add to what others have said. This is a tough trek, but incredibly rewarding. Make sure you are prepared: water, food, layers, and water filtration. It’s long, but amazing!

The trail is challenging due to the distance. Some scrambling but not super large boulders. The day was wet and muddy-careful not to slip. Once I reached the summit it was windy and cold. The view was limited due to the cloud cover. I will return on a clear day.

Best East Coast hike I've ever done. The trail was wet most of the way which made for some tricky footing in the middle section, but even the steeper portions weren't technical to ascend or descend. Arrived on a Friday at 10 AM and plenty of parking was left. Got to the summit at 1:15, back to the car at 5:30 after lingering at the top and at Indian Falls (also a must-see) on the descent.

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.

The crowds, that’s the only real complaint I have about this one and the only reason I’d skip doing it again. Get a super early start using a headlamp and it’ll be a lot more enjoyable. Just don’t plan on having the summit to yourself for long. Granted, it was Columbus Day weekend, but I easily passed 100-150people who were heading up as I was heading down.

As with all trails in the Adirondacks, this one has its muddy spots, but it’s not as bad as other trails I’ve been on recently. Also, if you’re looking for a challenge and some fun rock scrambles, you’re not going to find it with Marcy. Marcy is very consistent and gradual all the way up.

I will say the view at the top is great, even on a semi-cloudy day. The clouds on the day I was up there were coming and going and made for some interesting pictures and views.

Overall, a great hike with lots of views. Made a loop of this going up the AT and returning down via North Trail > Charcoal > Prairie Grass > L&NE Trails. There aren't really any views initially at the top unless you continue over the Lehigh Tunnel to the South Trail or loop back on the North Trail. The South Trail has several spots of wide views among piles of large rocks. The North Trail also provides a nice consistent view on the other side almost along the entire stretch until it declines down to the Charcoal trail (mostly exposed meadow trail which was nice change from initial ascent in shaded forest).

7 days ago

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

This was a great hike. Most of the trail is semi flat or a steady incline with the last 1/2 mile being very steep rocks. The view from the top was awesome! Took my 3 yo dog with us and she made it but the end would be a challenge for smaller dogs or dogs that dont hike often. There is a fire tower at the top with 360 degree views too!

I am 49, an ultra runner and pretty fit. This hike took me 4 hours up and 3 1/2 down. I took zero breaks and only spent about 10 minutes on the summit because it was an incredibly cloudy with no view (and cold!). The last mile is strenuous as it pretty much becomes rock scrambling. This is a great hike but do not underestimate the elements and the time it may take getting up/back.

This hike is unbelievable. It was my very first time hiking any of the 46 ADK peaks, and I started right in with Wright & Algonquin! They were amazing to say the least. We did Wright first, very steep 0.4 mile from where the trail splits into Wright or Algonquin. The views were BREATHTAKING! Heart lake looked glorious from up there, and there’s the plaque in dedication to the helicopter that crashed there in 1922 (i think?). The way down was actually just as challenging, which I never took in to account! Very slippery!
Algonquin was 0.6 from trail split, not as challenging but not easy. Unfortunately by the one we got up there we were in a cloud, which was actually quite interesting, but you couldn’t see anything. Looking forward to doing it again, hopefully with a view!

Amazing hike. It was super wet since it rained a lot the day before but after the first one or two miles I just accepted my fate that my feet were gonna be soaked. Left at 7:30am and came back to my car at 13:30. Took me 3 hours to go up, 30 minutes at the top and 2 hours and a half to come back. I did not take breaks going up or down except at the Indian falls since it was beautiful and relaxing. The view was impressive because of the fog with the mountains coming out. My legs are still super sore and I would certainly recommend this hike, foggy or not.

Wife and I knocked this one out today. Both active hikers/bikers. Actual mileage is 6.5+. To be fair, we did the hike the morning after the region got 1+ inches of rain. Low clouds all day so we never got more than a fleeting look at he the high peaks off in the distance when we near or at the top. Truth is, this hike beat me up a bit. Not sure if it was the constant moisture or slick conditions, but by the time we hit the summit and were on the way back down (5.5hr total trip) the grind was on. Down was much more treacherous than I would have expected, as every slick stone and exposed root slide required focus to not slip and bust my arse. Will do again on a clear day and see if it rates easier. Under these conditions - easier up than down. A good challenge for sure.

Loved this trail but somehow ended up being 11 miles according to my phone.

First mile is strenuous uphill, but after that, take north loop which is scenic and relaxing. Great views of the valley. The AT is relatively flat, gently rolling. Great hike overall, don’t let the first mile discourage you. Pace yourself up the climb, you will be rewarded!

Beautiful hike, lots of rock scrambling and mud making going down a bit tricky, but the views were endless and vast. Fall colors were starting to pop up on the high peaks across the way! 9/29/18. We got to the trail head around 8 am and there were still some parking spots left. Lots of people on the trail but the traffic flowed pretty well that you still had the trail to yourself most of the hike. Began at 8 and we’re back by 2:30. Took a bit longer because we stopped a few times up and down, definitely doable in <6 hours.

Great hike, definitely challenging even for experienced hikers. Would recommend for backpacking. Be prepared to spend about 5-6 hours in total depending on how long you chill looking at the views.

Mileage seems like it’s a little longer than what’s listed, but that’s just me.

Incredible hike, views at the top are 110% worth the challenge towards the top. Beautiful the entire way!

Unbelievable hike! Starts off relatively flat and gets increasingly harder as you make your way up. There is a lot of big boulders and rocks as well as big flat rocks that can be quite slippery coming down. The last little bit starting at the fork between Wright & Algonquin peak is quite strenuous, but the views make it totally worth it! We did both Algonquin & Wright which took us about 6 and a half to 7 hours. We did this hike without hiking poles but I would probably recommend them due to the scrambling/slippery rocks. Don’t forget to pack warmer clothes because it is very cold on the top of the mountain. We had our dog with us and she did great! We were advised it can be tough for dogs but it is definitely do-able for anyone wondering! Overall this hike is a very fun one, although quite difficult.

As an out of shape office worker with -10 of upper body strength, I would rate this as hard, but not impossible. I had 2 moments of wanting to turn back and actually started a decent at one point, but knowing I was half way there I pushed on. I was very scared of slipping on the way up, but the way down made me laugh at myself. It helped to have encouragement of other hikers and my boyfriend. We don't use poles so a hand here or there is nice. 1L of water was fine for each of us. Took 9 hours with at least 2-3 hours of rethinking the climb, talking to hikers, and lunch at the top. Beautiful day, just wet from overnight rain. View was minimal due to clouds.

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.

view was amazing definitely a challenging trail, but well worth it. Didn't get to do Cornell because of time

Load More