Explore the most popular rock climbing trails in High Peaks Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

great hike!

A challenging and rewarding hike. We had the summit of Iroquois to ourselves and it was gorgeous. I’m glad I had poles for my knees on the way down. Absolutely do this hike if you have the opportunity.

I didn’t realize this was a loop you could do. We originally were going to do Algonquin, Wright, and Iroquois but we ended up going back down because of thunderstorms in the region.

This is one of the hardest hikes I’ve done. It’s funny how hiking out wear 3,000+ elevation gain feels like nothing with switchbacks but not in the Adirondacks! Straight up boulders and stepping up endlessly. So worth it though.

We did Wright on the way down from Algonquin. Wright is a simple off shoot, if you make it to Algonquin you’ve done the hard part. Great views on both.

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hiking
1 month ago

Saturday was a perfect day for Phelps- low 30s and blue skies. I used my spikes, although I saw plenty of folks with snowshoes. The last mile is a straight incline. There were small sections of ice, but it wasn't bad. Overall, a wonderful hike with a great view!

A long hike but much quicker than one would expect. The 14 mile length is deceiving, a slow hiker like myself being passed by most on the trail took about 9.5 hrs. Not a problem for a summer day hike.

Trail is crowded in the summer but well maintained and of a modest grade as far as high peaks trails go. Few to no views until you get to the alpine zone. Great views from the baren summit of course.

Done in February 2010

Awesome hike. Really hard, steep and soooooo windy at the top!

Loved this hike! Went at the end of January , high 30’s and it was perfect. I used my spikes and my boyfriend used snowshoes. The view from the top was beautiful along with some great views as you are reaching the summit. The first three miles is an easy walk but the last mile is fairly challenging. Really enjoyed this hike, my only suggestion is leave early so you can hit tabletop too!

Surreal! Went backpacking for 3 days and enjoyed every moment. One foot in front of the other was my mantra for a whopping 30 miles in 3 days. Getting to the top was incredibly rewarding in many ways.

snowshoeing
3 months ago

Not going to lie, I “Phelps” this one! I went on a relatively mild winter day. Temp was high 30s. Snowshoes were required since there was 8 in (or more) of snow on the ground. Although, I saw a few who were hiking with just microspikes. I did too, i am not used to hiking with the snowshoes and I felt awkward in them. From the Loj, I followed the blue trail. The first 3 miles were pretty straightforward, the last mile was intense. The views were spectacular! If I had a time (maybe 2 more hours of sunlight), I would have climbed Tabletop Mountain which was 2 miles away from Phelps.

3 months ago

Fabulous stay in the lodge and an amazing and unforgettable hike up Marcy. A long, but not as strenuous as I expected. I would do this hike again in a heartbeat!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Did this hike Jan-15-2018 as my first winter high peak. -19 degrees at Marcy Dam. The trail itself wasn't overly technical or hard, but keep in mind that climbing these mountains in winter, with added clothing and gear, drains your energy much faster than in the summer. Wore snowshoes until i got off the van ho and onto phelps trail then switched to microspikes. the trail is too rocky/icy/ narrow to wear snowshoes safely. Beautiful views in the last quarter mile and at the rock shelf at the summit. There is a rather steep ice-filled section towards the top that will require decent spikes and steady foot/hand work, but it is climbable without special gear. Keep moving and you'll stay warm, but bring extra layers if you plan to stop for more than a few quick pictures.

4 months ago

17 miles!! Longest hike in one day! This was a great accomplishment!(May 2017)

Wow, what a hike! As an amateur hiker I hardly knew what I was getting into when my family and I decided to take the trip up to the Adirondacks and hike Mt. Marcy. It was nearing the end of May 2016 and I was wearing my old, worn-out, “banana-peel” bottom sneakers that I soon learned was a big mistake once we discovered the top third of the mountain was snow-covered and icy. It was quite an exhausting trip up the mountain, especially with the snow, but well worth the view at the top of the mountain range. While waiting for some of my family to get to the summit I ate my lunch and took a 30 minute nap. The trip took about 10 hours and was about 17 miles total.

Strenuous hike, but not too much so. Was my friend's first high peak! Took us about 6 hours round trip.

hiking
4 months ago

Did this hike 2 days ago in -20 degree weather. If you’d like to attempt this hike in the winter, definitely bundle up with a lot of layers and I’d recommend snow shoes. There really wasn’t any need for crampons on this hike. The hike is well marked and relatively straight forward. The view at the top is amazing and definitely pays off the effort to get up there. Took about 5 hours for the entire round trip. Definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a moderately challenging day hike in the Adirondacks.

super hard 9 hours total awesome

super hard 9 hours total awesome

super hard 9 hours total

Ice climbed to the summit.

5 months ago

I went up on Nov 14th to bag another of the 46 high peaks. It had been a couple days after the first snow fall of the year, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m still new to this peak climbing , and hadn’t done any in the snow/ice. On the drive up from Buffalo I climbed Arab Mountain as a warm up for the following day on Phelps. Arab Mountain wasn’t too bad...a gradual climb and though a little icy in spots, it was doable....The 4.1 mile hike to the base of Phelps wasn’t bad at all. Gradual up and down paths through the woods... crossing a river...good views at the opening near the river beds....The real work started at the initial ascent to the peak. The first 10 minutes or so was your typical rock scrambling, then the path started to get really icy. I didn’t have any micro spikes, so had to move very slowly. I scaled ( bypassed) 2 ice walls on the way up....bushwhacking through the trees on the side of the path....then when I was within 200-300 feet of the summit, I ran into an ice wall that was impassable. I don’t think spikes would have helped, I didn’t have climbing rope with me, and I was hiking solo. So after analyzing it for 10 minutes or so, ( and pissed that I was so close),I had to start my descent back down. I’ve been told that climbing in the snow is easier, as it takes a lot of the rock climbing out of the equation, but I’ll have to research that a bit more before I try to attempt that. Any input????? Drop me a tab....Kiernanfam96@aol.com... thanks, and happy and safe hiking!!

Did this yesterday...Lots of ice but so fun. This hike was not for the faint of heart though.

Nice day, a little wet and muddy in some spots. Easy for a high peak!

I've hiked all over the country, and this is by far one of my favorite hikes. The complaints below are laughable and should be disregarded. "A lot of stones and mud on the trail"? Really?

A beautiful hike and totally worth the summit views. out 10 and 12 yo daughters.. and us parents... were exhausted by the time we finished but we feel accomplished!

Amazing hike! Rocky, technical, amazing views at the top. We had three dogs with us some hard parts to do w a dog but not impossible! Windy at the top make sure to bring a jacket if you want to stay up there for awhile.

Great hike, gorgeous views. Loved every minute!

My wife and I hiked this trail on a very busy Saturday. Arriving at the Loj at 8:15 a.m. we were already parking almost a half mile down the road as the lot was full. The trail starts easy and flat for the first mile. You arrive at an intersection which is only visible from the front initially. READ BOTH SIGNS ON BOTH SIDES OF THIS POST!! The trail to get to Algonquin and wright goes straight at this point and follows the YELLOW blazes. If you stay on the blue trail it will take you to Marcy! At this point the trail becomes very rocky, and I don't mean large slabs of smooth rock, I mean many medium to small sized rocks. If you don't have good footwear here you could be looking at a rolled ankle of very sore bottoms of your feet by the end. The trail is very easy to follow, takes you mostly through the woods the whole time with little views until the summit. There are plenty of streams and a waterfall on this trail to supply you with drinking water on your hike. approx. .5 a mile from the summit of Algonquin you find the intersection to wright and a toileting area. Straight to Algonquin gets steep and seems to last forever. There is one slab of smooth steep rock that can be tricky especially. This is the first high peak that Ive done that I needed my hat and jacket. Algonquin is windy and cold at the summit. Speaking of which, make sure you get all the way to the summit! The 360 views do not open up until you get right to the very peak. If you don't make those last few hundred feet you are shorting yourself of an incredible experience!
We approached Wright on the way down from Algonquin and even though its "only" .4 miles, it is a steep .4 miles and again there is a rocky section that takes some creativity to ascend/descend. The wind and temperature was much better on Wright and the views were fantastic 30, but after just seeing the views from 1,000 feet higher, it seemed a little less impressive. In hindsight, I would do Wright first and save Algonquin for last.
We are not 46ers so we did not take the time to get Iroquois but I heard people say it was a very steep climb.
Overall, an incredible hike, incredible views, and a great day!

Things to know:
*As always, Parking on the weekend at the Loj is a disaster
*There are plenty of options for water along this trail if you run out and have filtration
*This is a very rocky and turbulent trail, very few "smooth" trails after the first mile

Me and my wife did this hike on Wednesday and I tell you it was the most challenging hike that we have done but we managed to do it no matter what this hike offers beautiful wilderness River Forest and view on the top of Mount Marcy be ready for a lot of rocks and a lot of mud but it’s worth it. Make sure to wear proper foot wear and bring extra socks.

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