Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Dix Mountain Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
16 days ago

When does big game hunting season begin? Would I be able to park at Elk Lake trailhead next weekend and access the initial 2.3 mile trail?

hiking
rocky
scramble
26 days ago

My dad and I completed this on August 23 2019. This was one of my favorite hikes so far. The views throughout are stunning. Started from Elk lake parking lot at 5 am, there were already 9 cars in the lot and it’s not a huge parking lot, so I’d make sure to get an early start if you want a space. There is an overflow lot 2 miles away worst case scenario. I’d highly recommend going up the Macomb slide first as there is a lot of loose rock and dirt and it is steep, I would not want to descend down it after such a long day. I’ve read reviews that recommended going up on the right, but I think it’s challenging no matter what side you hike up. Right after the slide there are 2 steep sections but then you’re at the peak. South Dix was really cool on the way up, you’ll have lots of views. Grace has a huge peak with amazing views and you can walk all around to get different angles of the surrounding mountains. Hough, “huff,” was rocky with lots of roots but was a normal high peak trail as you’d expect. Also great views here and cool because you can see Beckhorn, which is where you’re headed next. Right before you peak Beckhorn there is a challenging V shaped rock. I would recommend going straight up the V. I read comments about there being a bushwhack toward the right of the V shaped rock—do not do this! I did, and it was essentially the side of the mountain and all loose dirt with super tiny roots to hold onto. Definitely not a safe bushwhack as I was crawling up using my knees. Especially if it was wet would really not recommend, the V shaped rock is the better option. Once you’re at Beckhorn you’re essentially at Dix, which also has a large peak area to walk around on. Descending the Beckhorn trail is very steep but fun with some technical pieces and beautiful views as you descend. The end was rough for us as we were tired and it was steep and rocky almost the whole descent down. It took us about 2 hours to get to the base of Macomb slide, 25 min to climb the slide, arrived at Macomb peak 30 min later, then got to S Dix in about 45 minutes, got to Grace peak in about 40 minutes, from the start of Hough trail it took us 55 minutes to get to Hough peak, and from Hough peak about 1.5 hours to get to Dix peak. All in all took 13 hours for us to complete with a total of 2 hours spent at all the peaks combined. Drank 6 liters of water each.

The trails aren’t all marked, but easy to follow. It was flat for nearly four miles. I wasn’t looking at a map and accidentally got to the split where you choose which way to go up to Dix. I had not intended to do this peak, as I was just up there two weeks ago- but it is one of the best summit views! I took the Beckhorn trail this time. This was a great trail, but I preferred the longer route from 73 if just going up to Dix- because of the pond, streams and large rock slab. Then went onto Hough and South Dix. Best views from Dix and Hough. South Dix is a closed summit, but there’s another rocky viewpoint. Many great view points along Dix Range trail, especially with the foliage. Coming back I followed the Lillian Brook trail. Really pretty coming down. The trails are covered in colored leaves and easy to navigate. Overall, this trail took me over 9 hours RT. This is including adding a couple miles to park at Clear Pond because the trailhead lot was full. Unclear if this is okay to park at (it said private), but I didn’t get a ticket.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Phenomenal hike! I did this as a day hike, went counterclockwise, and managed to hit all five High Peaks (plus Beckhorn). I started from the parking lot near Elk Lake at 7:45am (snagged the second to last spot in that lot). The first couple miles were flat and easy. The climb begins at the junction of Hunters Pass and Slide Brook trails. Slide Brook is easy to miss. A small yellow sign is in the trees just after crossing the brook. After about a mile, I got to the Macomb Slide. Pretty steep and fairly strenuous. I arrived at the summit of Macomb around 9:45am. Great views down towards Elk Lake. From there, it took about 45 minutes to reach South Dix. Pretty easy going, here. There were several false summits along the way with great views, although I somehow missed the summit itself. For some reason, I thought South Dix to Grace would be 15-20 minutes each way, tops. It ended up taking almost 40 minutes each way, even though the trail was easy to follow and there was little climbing to be done (there were a couple VERY muddy spots). Just seemed to go on forever. Pretty good views from once you get there, though. Definitely explore the area a bit. After returning to the Grace Peak/Dix Range junction, I headed for Hough. Got there around 12:15pm, about an hour after leaving Grace Peak. Like Macomb, there is only a small lookout ledge, but the views are really nice. Between Hough and Beckhorn, the elevation increases gradually, but isn't much of a strain. This section took about 90 minutes. Along the way, there are a couple of lookouts worth stopping briefly for. Also, there are a few tricky spots that involve rock climbing and can be somewhat arduous. I don't recall if it is in this stretch or between Beckhorn and Dix, but there is a spot where you have to climb up a V-shaped crevice between two boulders. A real pain and I've never encountered anything like it on other ADK trails. Beckhorn has great views from both sides. Dix itself was only 15 minutes from Beckhorn and the ridge walk along the way was really cool. Absolutely spectacular views in every direction from the summit. All in all, I needed six and a half hours to get to this point. Really a lot of "bang for your buck." On the return journey, I backtracked to Beckhorn and found the Beckhorn Trail (not easy, follow the route on the app).The first mile down is pretty steep. I think there was around 1500 feet of elevation loss. The trail is at least fairly well defined. Once you link up with the Hunters Pass Trail, you still have another four miles to go. This part proved tedious after what came before. It took a little over three hours to get from Dix to the parking lot. Fair warning, I was hustling and took no break longer than thirty seconds along the way. At the end of the day, I clocked in almost exactly ten hours and 16.4 miles for the whole day, with nearly nine hours of moving time.

hiking
1 month ago

Best hike I've done in the Adirondacks, with amazing views for 4/5 peaks. Did the first portion Friday late at night, from the parking lot to the campsites at slide brook, took one hour with all of our camping gear. Stayed there overnight then did all 5 peaks the next day, total time nearly 12 hours, with brief breaks at each peak. We went counterclockwise so we wouldn't need to go down the big scrambly rockslide on Macomb. The hardest/worst part was the long steep climb down from Dix, 2.5 hours of steep descending was hard on us. Stayed the second night at the same campsite, then hiked out to the car in the morning, again about an hour. Parking lots were busy and the lean-tos were full but it was mostly quiet when on the trail, and plenty of room at the primitive campsites.

hiking
1 month ago

9/20/2019 - The lot was full at 4pm on Friday but there was just 1 other car in the lower lot (2 miles away from the trailhead) there were several empty tent sites near slide brook to pick from. I spoke with another hiker who came in on Saturday morning who told me that both lots were full at 6am. but he had a bike in the bed of his truck and made the 2mile trek a bit better.. not a bad idea. . .Started at 6am with headlamps and went counter clockwise to macomb slide. It was light by then which was a good thing. The slide wasn't terrible but would have been in the dark! Macome at 7:55am South dix was just a marker on a tree and I arrived at 9am. on the grace by 10am I didn't see a marker on that one. Its worth going an extra 50 yards or so for a great view. went back to South Dix and hung right towards Hough. 12:30 and the marker was on a tree with a small lookout. I reached Dix at 2:25pm. by careful on the ridge leading up to it. i found two markers in the same general area. Beautiful views. I back tracked a tiny bit and went headed down. I had to slide on my butt a bit at the start. The hike down took awhile and was a bit steep at first. I reached the campsite at 5:20. there were a lot more tents set up when I got back. I went through 2.5 liters, but would have drank a bit more if I had it. Overall a great hike, but a long day for sure!

This was an awesome day! Not too wet, some areas with puddles, but overall not very much deep mud. My hiking partner did this loop counter clockwise, beginning with Hough, so we could ultimately tack Macomb on the end to make a bigger loop. Ended up being a 13 mile day, with four beautiful summits! Only real beast of the day was going down the Macomb slide, which was a fun, technical challenge. Amazing waterfalls as you hike in, great views on Hough, Grace, hiking down South Dix and on Macomb! Took us 9.5 hours, with about 1.5 of breaks.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

What an epic hike. This hike is not easy but I’d have to say the most difficult part of bagging the Dix Range is securing a parking spot. I tried to hike this in July, arriving at 11pm on a Friday to see the lot booked. I came back to complete this on 9/7. The lot was full shortly after I arrived the evening of 9/6. I saw cars come and turn around due to no spots from 8pm all the way to 3am the next morning. Began at 3:15am. First 2.2 miles to Maccomb turn off were quick. Maccomb ascent is steep, a strenuous start to the morning. The slide was really fun, probably more fun to do when the sun is up. Got to summit of Maccomb around 5:30am. Was still dark so tough to say what view was like but could see elk lake glow below, city lights to north. Hike to south Dix was only 30 min, the ascent is fun slabs. Saw sunrise from there and took 15 min break, expansive southeastern view. Trip to Grace took a bit longer. Got there around 7:15am. Be sure to check out the the northern outlook, my favorite view of the whole hike. The trip from south Dix to Hough is steep and tiring. Hough has a nice view a well but of the other side of the wilderness area. We got there around 8:45am. The hike to the Beckhorn is steep but really fun. Lots of views along the way. Make sure to stay on trail for the crux of the climb, there’s a ton of lose soil if you don’t climb the boulder. Got to the summit of Dix around 10am. One of the best summits, a narrow spine of rock. The trip back downhill is a knee crusher but has cool views. Solid 3 hours to get from Dix summit back to car.

hiking
2 months ago

My favorite hike to date! Beautiful views, with a variety of terrain and overall my most memorable hike!

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Great hike overall if you don't want to go over Macomb. Easy trip in to the turn off for the Lillian Brook trail. The trail was marked by two cairns (see in photos). Lillian brook trail was easy enough to follow, cairns help guide the way but the path was clear regardless. Slow elevation gain until the last ~0.7m to the summit of South Dix. South Dix to Grace (East Dix) and the return was quick with minimal elevation change.Toughest part of the hike was the climb from col to the top of Hough. On the return, Hough down to the Lillian Brook trail was quite steep, I would not recommend doing this trip in the reverse direction. Overall views were better than expected despite cloudy weather.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Really fun and challenging hike. Great views, good amount of people. Both Lillian brook shelter and camping sites and the one at the bottom of Macomb were full on Thursday and Friday nights in late August.

hiking
2 months ago

I did the Dix Mountain loop over the Memorial day weekend. The hike was fun but the walkout along Dix pond to Elk's lake was boring. unless you're trying to do all 46 high peaks don't waste you time hiking to Grace Peak. During the spring the trail to Grace Peak is a bogg. The view from Dix mountain was spectacular.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this loop two weeks ago. It was 65 degrees and partly cloudy except for one rain shower. Everyone says bring 5 liters of water but i only went through about two liters but again it was cooler weather. I’m sure on the macomb slide i would have drank more if it was hot. Macomb slide was epic! It wasn’t as crazy as i expected but i wouldn’t want to climb down it so make sure you hike up. The macomb trail was well traveled but not well marked. Making your way up the slide, just go up! At the top of you hug the left there is a trail. It seemed like people went right and had to back track. Once you make that push up to macomb you mostly stay up in elevation until heading to hough. Macomb to south Dix went by very fast and was easy until the rock scramble. The rock scramble wasn’t difficult but it did take some energy out of you. Lots of great views. South Dix to grace was also a nice trail, pretty well maintained and a quick hop to get there. There is a trial on the backside of grace that goes literally 1-2 minutes and has great views of the backside. Worth the quick detour. Once back to south Dix the trail to hough is again not marked and it’s not very well maintained at first. At the bottom of the trail before you start to hike up again there is a flat spot and that is where the Lillian brook trail is and again not marked. You could easily pass it if you weren’t looking for it. Great views from a false summit and great views from the actual summit. Onward to Dix.. it was more of a push than expected. The junction trail to go down isn’t until the summit of beckhorn (.2 from Dix). You have to go up and over this very difficult v shaped rock. Even for myself being physical fit and an athlete i had trouble. You could go around but it looked very sketchy. Once you go over to Dix and back to beckhorn you make your way down i think 2 miles. Trail is steep but not as steep as i expected. Once at the bottom it’s 4 miles of pretty flat ground back to the car. All in all amazing views on every peak, the trails are well maintained just not well marked. You shouldn’t have issues following them.

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
2 months ago

first full range in one sitting. I'm glad I went this way and ended with the slide. very narrow pathing most of the trip after Dix summit. Never yelled at so many branches. Dix and Grace were my highlight views, I'd say. No water refills after designated camp space 4mi in.

hiking
2 months ago

I agree with other reviewers: GOOD LUCK finding a parking spot. If you can, this is an epic day hike, not for the faint of heart. There are a few bail out points with the Lillian brook trail, though. If you enjoy camping/backpacking, that may be the best way to tackle this range. I did it as a day hike, with an early start time of 6am. Went up Macomb, down Dix... I would not recommend trying to descend the Macomb slide. I carried 3L of water at elevation, which was just enough for my dog and I to share until we reached the first water source descending Dix, where I could filter more. 4L probably would've been a safer carry amount. There are a few tricky spots to maneuver with a dog, but if your dog is an experienced hiker, (mine currently stands at 22 HPs) accustomed to rock scrambles, and a good listener, they should be just fine. Views are epic, especially off the northern part of Grace and the Dix summit. The hike down the beckhorn trail is steep, but doable. Out via hunter's pass trail is long, long, long, and feels like it may never end. The car is a beautiful sight by then!

hiking
blowdown
muddy
off trail
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

If you are planning on making this a multi day hike, do not approach from the 73 - unless you want to summit with full packs. South Fork river is a great trail (though unmarked) however there is limited designated camping on the east side of the range, and no way to retrieve stowed gear without doubling back. Ideally, parking at Elk Lake gives access to designated campsites and leantos at the base of Lillian Brook trail, and better access to summit trails. Contact Elk Lake Lodge for matters of parking, and consult the official High Peaks map for seasonal closures of the Elk Lake area (private property, hunting etc) Also, consult the actual map for trail classifications (dots vs. dashes). Grace, South Dix, Macomb are considered "lesser 46ers" so the trails are herd paths (unmarked, unmaintained etc). We had planned to do all 5, but weather and gear issues sent us out after only two. Our only option (from Lillian Brook camp zone) was to skip Dix summit, and take Hunters Pass up and over, to the North Fork trail back to the 73. Hunters Pass was rather treacherous, though doable. Again, consult actual trail map (old fashioned, fold out) as well as local resources (staff at Mountaineer, ADK Lodges etc) before tackling this range. All that to say, it was a great trek, at the mercy of nature (as it should be). :) We will be returning to bag the 3 summits that eluded us.

hiking
3 months ago

What a day! Macomb slide is absolute wild and amazing, it was a lot of fun and less difficult than i expected. Overcast and mild temps were nice for the slide so we didn’t sweat our butts off. None of the trails were marked that good but very easy to follow none the less. Trek from macomb to south Dix and to grace was great. Very good views from all. Heading back to the intersection at south Dix to hough we started to hit light rain but wasn’t too bad. At the summit of hough we hit hard cold rain that held up until Dix. Climb to Dix was the most challenging of the day probably because we were getting tired. At the top of beckhorn right at the junction of beckhorn trail and Dix trail note there is a very difficult v shaped rock to get over. I am very athletic and had a hard time getting up it. If you are less athletic or alone .. good luck! The option to go around is very sketchy and is a bush wack. Climbing down beckhorn trail looks very steep on the map but wasn’t as bad as i thought.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Trails were in great shape, just with typical Adirondack mud. I reversed the loop in AllTrails and went from Macomb to Dix. It took just under 12 hours. There were some tricky boulders on Hough and Beckhorn that we’re a bit difficult for me (5’4” woman). I was able to pull myself over them, but it would have been helpful to have another person to give me a boost. The long walk out is... long and very rocky.

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