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Hiked Phelps and tabletop sept 30th, great hike a little mud on the trail but at the top of Phelps there were some awesome views as well Indian falls is a must to stop at you get some incredible views and a great spot to take a lunch break or snack break! I have a feeling before I finish the 46 those will get done again ! This weekend porter and cascade for the second time !

Today was a perfect fall day in the Adirondacks! Really enjoyed both mountains very much despite the mud on Tabletop! Views were absolutely stunning on Phelps! Tabletop didn’t disappoint either; how can staring at Marcy be a bad thing!?

Given the rainy weather lately this was always going to be a climb up a running stream. Very muddy along the top. I’m sure the view is wonderful on a good day.

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!

Nice, but strenuous hike. We did Tabletop first, which was a muddy and slippery hike up an unmarked trail. View was ok at the top but partially blocked by trees. The “one mile” up Phelps felt like the longest mile of my life! There are lots of locations to replenish your water. There are lots of false summits but once there, the views are excellent! Garmin logged our hike of both at 13.20 miles.

hiking
16 days ago

A challenging but rewarding hike with amazing views and fall foliage. We got to the parking lot at 5:45 A.M., and all the regular spots were filled so we had to create one that was still reasonable within the parking lot. Trail was very muddy from all the rain so wear waterproof boots because it’s unavoidable to not step in mud. Elevation gain was killer so be prepared. It took us a total of 12 hours to finish the loop starting up Macomb and ending at Dix. We stopped at each peak, but not for too long, we just had to stop 10 min after each peak to take off some layers. AWESOME HIKE - just plan ahead!

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

A challenging day but great hike! Don't get bogged down by negative reviews on here, go hike it and decide for yourself. I'd actually do this again, and I use that sentence sparingly.

Phelps kicks butt, it's the most deceptive "1.0 mile to the summit" I've ever experienced. Terrain gets gradually steeper, make sure to turn around once in a while to see the views behind you. Lots of "I think this is the top.... wait here's the trail again." Great summit views and worth it.

Tabletop was unmarked, following running water and lots of mud the entire way up. Definitely recommend gaiters and/or trekking poles to poke and test how deep mud is before you step. Easier than Phelps but the view payoff isn't as great. Say hello to Marcy while you're up there.

Our group of four took 9 hours including an hour spent on the summits. 7am - 4pm. Great day, 13/46.

hiking
21 days ago

Awesome way to spend a day in the woods! We had perfect weather! Believe me when I tell you there are AMAZING views from the top, literally 50 feet past the summit sign and you don’t have to bushwack to get to the spot. Photo opportunities of the Great, Dix, Santanoni, MacIntyre, and Seward ranges. 12 hours car to car with an hour lunch at the top and a couple smaller breaks. The slippery red slime on the rocks in the last mile can be less problematic with micospikes, which my hiking buddy had...shout out to Anthrax for getting peak #41 this day. The 8-mile approach trail passes by scenic Jimmy & Sally Ponds and crosses the Hudson & Opalescent Rivers on beautiful suspension bridges. Don’t believe the nay-sayers...I think you’ll enjoy this hike!

We parked in the Rooster Comb parking lot and walked to The Garden parking lot. A fantastic day hike, especially the climb up Gothics with the cables. Not much to see at the top of LWJ but its a nice steep climb, or at least feels steep after doing 3 other high peaks. We walked back to Rooster Comb parking lot which was a nice trail.

We camped at the sites right before phelps, dropped our packs then continued up phelps. Bugs were really bad at phelps. Tabletops view wasn’t quite as good as phelps, the trail going up was unmarked and really muddy, but wasn’t a problem for us. About a mile after the trailhead to tabletop is indian falls, which is a way better view than phelps or tabletop, so i highly recommend checking that out while your there.

Did Phelps then TT. Phelps is a bit more open at the top with about 200 degree view, whereas TT was a bit more narrow but awesome view of Marcy. TT was a bit muddy as you get close to the summit so be prepared for that. I would consider both easy to moderate, no significant rock scrambles but it could be trickier when raining or slick. Overall an awesome workout with nice reward at the top!

I did this trail in 11.5 hours, I didn't think I would make it as I didn't bring a head lamp but that was good motivation to move fast. It was raining and half the trail was flooded. Was tough but I was super happy I was able to do all 3 summit. Also the view was amazing and the best training mountain for high altitude if you in Ontario.

I'm convinced this range is cursed. Our 2nd attempt. Hit Santa & Panther, not enough sunlight for Couch. Did Santa first, which wasn't bad. Stayed on Panther peak to watch the beginning of the sunset before hiking the 1.5/2 miles back to the lean-to area. We followed the herd path down from Harold sq and it seemed to come to a dead end. Backtracked to find where we went wrong, but got turned around. Tried to use the Alltrails app, compass, and paper map to get us on trail, but didn't have any luck. We ended up bushwhacking with our headlamps for an hour until we hit Bradley Pond. From there, we new we were close. Don't rely on ONLY the app. My compass was the only thing that brought me to safety.

29 days ago

Awesome hike!

Parking- I didn't realize the trailehead and parking lot is located on private property. Driving up Elk Lake Rd you'll come across many private property and posted signs. That confused me, but the parking lot is public. The lot was full by 6:30am. I spoke to a hiker who got there at 6pm the night before and he said there were only a few spots. Another hiker said the lot was full when he arrived at 4:30am. The overflow lot is 2 miles down the rd. from the trailhead.

I went up Macomb and down Dix. I did this simply because I wanted a view on my way up the mountain. Dix is all forest until you're at the summit. If you go up Macomb at least you have an awesome view if you take a break. The trail is great and easy to follow. It was pretty muddy. The only hiccup I ran into was missing the turn for slide brook trail. It comes on quick. It's right at the campsites about 50 ft. before the lean to. If you hit the lean to you've gone to far. Each summit has a great view. I was lucky enough to have each summit to myself for at least 10 minutes.

I left the trailhead at 7:30am and got back at 6pm. I spent 15-30 minutes on each peak. My Fitbit clocked the loop as being 20 miles not 14.3. I brought 2L of water. There is water on the descent from Dix in which I was able to fill another liter. Lots of rock scrambling- especially on the descent from Dix. I think I'm in pretgy good shape and was able to run a bit of the trail. I still found parts of it challenging but totally worth it. Met a lot of nice people on the trail but was able to be solo for most of it.

hiking
30 days ago

This was my second time hiking Allen. The hike in to the base was quick, but I was slow going up and down that last mile of elevation gain. I took nice pictures of the ponds just off the summit.

Peak number 4 for me. I felt it was easier than the Santanoni/Couch/Panther trio, but this mountain was still a hell of a climb. I completed the hike in 8:42, but after getting my ass beat on the other three I mentioned, I’ve been working hard to get into halfway decent shape before doing this one. All but the last mile is relatively easy. It took me about an hour to complete the last mile going up and about an hour to get down. It’s slick and you will get your feet wet. Take your time and you’ll be alright. As of middle September, bugs were pretty much nonexistent. The trail is fairly well marked and easy to follow.

Unless you are set on completing the Adirondack 46, I’d skip this one. I will not do this hike again.

This was definitely a tough hike. I left the ADj lot at 7:30am, and arrived back at 4:00pm. Tabletop was an interesting experience, and a nice introduction to the unmarked and unmaintained trails. That being said, I wouldn’t do it again, just got it for the 46 count. Phelps is tough from the start. It’s a long, steep climb with several challenging sections. Beautiful views. I chose to do Tabletop first, and then Phelps on the way out. Even with the difficulty, it was a great day!

hiking
1 month ago

This was a tough hike, especially Redfield. We hiked in from Upper Works with full packs so that we could camp at Uphill Lean-to. While the walk is gradual into Colden Dam, it’s long enough to be tiring with weight. The section from the dam to the lean-to is beautiful with the river to your left. It is also a steady ascent. We switched to day packs at the lean-to, easily found the herd path to Redfield and Cliff and began the serious ascent to Redfield’s summit. I did not enjoy the trail - rocky and rooty. Views were nice here and there but it was mostly just a long slog. If you don’t want to be a 46er, I would skip this one.

After hiking Grey and Skylight on day two, we climbed Cliff on day three. The mud is ridiculous at the start of the trail and occasionally thereafter. But it is the cliffs that provide the interest. The several scrambles require attention but were actually fun. There is a work-around for the biggest rock face, and someone has nicely left a rope for rappelling if you want to go straight up (or down). So everything is do-able, even for someone who’s very small in stature (me). The walk along the ridge is a nice respite but the col before the final peak can be a heart-breaker.

The return to Upper Works is long and boring but pleasant enough. Taking beaks to enjoy the Opalescent, the lake at the dam, The Flowed Land, and the Henderson Monument helps pass the time.

Very challenging hike. I clocked 18.2 miles. Gray had a much better view than I was expecting. The Four Corners was my favorite part of the hike; being able to shoot up Gray, Skylight, and Marcy in a short amount of time was very rewarding.

on Dix Range

hiking
1 month ago

Day trip, all 5 Peaks. My iWatch logged 19 miles, which is far more than the OP’s 14.1 or other reviewers’ ~16. Went up the Macomb side which has a several hundred foot sandy rock slide that was steep but doable, could see it being challenging to unsafe as a down climb. First three miles are pretty flat but it gets steeper after the camping area, then moderate to flat once you get up into the range. Nothing so challenging as the rock slide before Macomb. Downclimb from Dix is steep but safer. Clear herd paths the entire way after the camp area both sides of the loop. Bring plenty of water — I didn’t and didn’t have purifiers for any of the streams in the last 3 miles back. 8am-6pm for a 10 hour hike total, with ample stops on Macomb and Dix and rests in other places (~1 hour total?)

hiking
1 month ago

We did this back on 9/1. The forecast was only 15% chance of rain for the day and of course when we got out of our car at the Upper Works east trailhead lot at 5 am it started raining. And didn't stop for most of the day... so obviously the trail was wet and muddy. The trail was easy to follow and flat the majority of the way. Except that last mile-ish up to the top (after the waterfall with the cairn marking the trail to the right). Most of it really wasn't as bad as I had heard, and in fact I think there may have been nice views going up to the peak if it hadn't been cloud-covered and raining. We got to the big rock slide and went up the right side. Wrong choice. There is a very small cairn at the base of the slide, go up the left side here. We ended up having to bushwhack up to the peak because the right side of the slide doesn't bring you back to the trail. Other than that part of the hike we actually didn't mind this trail. It took us almost exactly 12 hours roundtrip, I think we were a little slow making our way up to the summit due to the rain making an already slippery trail that much more slippery, so we were trying to be safe/cautious. Also, the 2 new suspension bridges kept us out of the deeper water. Any other crossings were shallow enough to cross using just the rocks as steps.

If you’re hiking Allen you’re typically trying to hike all 46 high peaks. This hike took me 9.5 hours car-to-car. The first 7 miles is flat terrain getting to the base of the mountain. It’s boring but at the same time is kind of neat and unique and a lot of time can be made hiking this portion quickly. There aren’t other trails like this while hiking the high peaks. Lots of open meadow-type clearings, hiking along old abandoned roads, lakes, going over multiple suspension bridges, and an abandoned cabin. It’s actually cool just really long. Going up Allen however is super slippery (the Red slime is real and very slick). Trekking poles and/or micro spikes are very useful on this trail due to climbing all the slippery slides/slabs. Fully wooded summit with summit sign. A few clearing views throughout the hike but there’s a reason people often don’t care for this hike; a lot of work/miles with little payoff. But it’s not as bad as some people make it out to be in my opinion.

1 month ago

Hiked the Dix range 8/31/18. Started the ascend via the Macomb slide. Macomb slide wasn’t to bad, just make sure you make your way to the right as soon as possible and go up the right. Enjoyed views from the first 3 peaks then the clouds rolled in. Views from east Dix are amazing! The hike to Hough was the toughest in the range but definitely doable. Spent about 30 mins on each summit which made a day really long day. Descend via the beckhorn trail. Total moving time 10 hours. Definitely look forward to doing east Dix again to enjoy the views again. I will also go back to do Hough and Dix to see what views I was missing but I will probably ascend the Lilian brook trail. Amazing hike and all trails helped me tremendously to make sure we were on the right herd path

It’s a long hike just to get to the base of Allen. The trail is easy to follow. The hike was generally boring, with not too many views. The climb to the top followed a stream that was filled with slippery wet rocks. The summit had a few nice views, but to effort to get here should only be done if you want to complete the 46ers. There are many better hikes with much less effort that offer a greater wilderness experience.

As far as herd path hikes go, I’d say this is the best one and my favorite. Trails feel like maintained trails. I finished all 4 peaks, car-to-car, in 12 hours 20 minutes. Took Calkins Brook trail up to Donaldson, 3 hours, has a clearing and good views but not a big summit (best of the day though). Then 45 minutes over to Emmons which was uneventful. Fully wooded summit. Took 90 minutes to get from emmons (back over Donaldson) to Seward. Another fully wooded summit. Very steep trail down Seward back to the trail at the bottom. Took a right and went the .5 mile to a cairn on the right marking the start of Seymour. Seymour was relentless, very steep, never lets up, lots of steep slab climbing via roots and praying your shoes grip do not slip. There’s a false summit that was devastating at the end of the day. The true summit is nice with great views and a clearing to hang out. A long, hard day but a very fulfilling one as accomplishing this whole range in one day is very respectable. Definitely does not need to be done in two trips or via camping, though it certainly could be thanks to multiple lean tos and camp sites.

did this trail on a monday and the lot was nearly full at quarter to 7 so get there early if you're worried about finding a spot.

hike was rough, went up the gothics and down the wolfjaw and can't imagine doing the alternative route. real steep going up the gothics and by steep I mean climbing and sliding down rock face and using the provided rope and steps. gothics had a real nice view and was lucky to have three hawks/falcons circling looking for some grub when I summited.

continued to armstrong and upper wolfjaw was some what tedious. skinny trail, muddy and climbing down and up rocky creekbeds was not necessarily pleasureable, especially considering the gothics had by far the best view and summit yet a ways to go.

didn't want to do lower wolfjaw as I was running low on water and the streams and creeks past john brooks lodge were small. I brought somewhere around 3.5L's and ran out at the end so I definitely recommend bringing a filtration system to keep you moving.

Took me about 8 hours total and it was brutal from the ascent up Gothics. hard to say if it was worth it past the Gothics so I hope the ADK's offer more worthwhile hikes than this, at it was my first.

8/11/18 my two sons and I started early arriving at the trailhead 640 am and was packed and still arriving knew that it was going to be a busy day. took are first break below the cutoff to the expressway enjoyed the brook. up and up we went we let four groups pass.so really great views on the way up, summited 1030 met two Canadian people who were going to finish on panther. love the ridge trail tightness it bites,but gives you a preview of the day to come.1230 time square and off to couchsachraga went in with a positive attitude, arrived at couchsachraga with good attitude arrived at times square hating couchsachraga back at 420pm spent ten minutes at herald square on to panther for 23 of 46.4 others were finishing up their 46 nice job. 5pm told the boy's we needed to get going down to Bradley pond and out to trailhead at 9pm long day ps bog was not bad got muddier elsewhere on the way.

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