Ampersand Mountain Trail is a 4.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Saranac Lake, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until March. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,742 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

This hike is not one of the 46's but at 3352' Ampersand is a fun, challenging hike with great views from the top. Some steep, tough areas with rockface and some bouldering but it is well worth it.

hiking
3 days ago

Enjoyed this winter hike, fresh snow and great views. It was a bout a 4 hour up and back. Rock was icy at the top, spikes would have been helpful. Completed on nov 11th

5 days ago

Awesome winter hike

28 days ago

Hiked this in the misting rain about two weeks ago. My sister’s pastor recommended. A bit muddy and foggy on the way up but great scenery in spite of the fog. Made it up to the Adirondacks to catch peak leaf changes. Sat in the very humbling clouds one we reached the top. Very kind hikers along the way. Challenge, but worth it for any view.

hiking
1 month ago

Great 360 views all around!

1 month ago

Love this trail, definitely difficult though!

hiking
1 month ago

This was my first experience in the Adirondacs and I absolutely loved it! The trail is very nice and requires some skill when closer to the top. The view at the top is spectacular. It does get muddy when it rains. Our ascent was dry but it started raining as we begun our hike back.

1 month ago

This old guy made it to the top and what a veiw! Just push through it,had my son with me that was inspiration!

hiking
1 month ago

What an amazing hike! Definitely challenging but absolutely well worth it! The 360 views are spectacular at the top! Do not underestimate it! You will definitely get a great workout! It took me a hour and a half to get to the top and a little over an hour to get back to the bottom and that's movin!

hiking
1 month ago

Completed today very wet and very windy at the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

I absolutely love this trail! I find it a bit of a challenge but the incredible views from the summit more than make up for it. I’ve hiked it multiple times and always find something new, like the small field of pink lady’s slipper I saw last time. I tend to make the hike in early summer because there’s pools of water on the summit that add a lot to photos. Definitely bring your camera.

hiking
1 month ago

We are by far not experts at hiking, but decided to give this one a go today because we were feeling adventurous and Saranac was near peak for leaves. For those who are in the same place as we are as moderate hikers looking for a challenge, I’d suggest a few things:

1. Be prepared, bring water, snacks, hiking poles, warmer clothes for the summit and wear appropriate footware, this hike has a lot of rocks and steep sections that you will regret wearing sneakers.

2. Start your ascent with enough time to enjoy the summit and enough time to come back down. We hiked this starting at 1145 am, and by the time we got back down it was 445pm, and it was starting to get dark in the wooded sections. I can’t imagine traversing the steep sections with little eyesight.

First 1/3 section was by far “easy” beautiful walk through the woods, gentle gradient and a few cool features including some bridges and downed trees.

The next portion, the gradient increases and once you start at the “stone staircase” the gradient is steady and moderate. After a long portion of climbing you will reach the “bouldering” section. There are a few options here, 1.) ascend as you see fit, 2.) stick to the trees/roots to the left side, along with the mud and water, 3.) cross the large rock and “boulder” up the far right side.

We ascended doing #3, descended doing #2. From this portion there are some very physical sections mixed with ascent and wet/mud.

The view at the top was phenomenal, 360 degrees of view and it was very breezy and cold for us. We packed coats and were thankful we did.

The decent was long and the first portion with the bouldering was difficult. Hard to find places to step going down feet first. We took our time and after this portion, we seemed to be able to go down easily.

All in all, no matter what level you are you can complete this mountain. Just a question of how long it will take and how much help you will need.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome walk through the woods :) so many mushrooms! The views from the bald summit are well worth this small trip, got out around 10am and had plenty of time to hang out on top.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome!

1 month ago

belle ascension 1h45 avec escaliers en pierre naturel a plusieurs endroit un peut plus difficile vers la fin et un retour agréable sur les 2 derniers kilometre qui sont plus plat!

2 months ago

Difficult hike but worth the view. The views were amazing, 360 degrees. Many of those that were with us don’t hike regularly. They felt it was difficult but were able to complete it. The last bit would be difficult for elderly, younger kids as it’s a lot of scrambling and using hands.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing 360 degree view. The climb is definitely worth the view!

trail running
2 months ago

Good fun. Pretty views and a nice workout

2 months ago

Tough first climb of the the year. Celebrating my wife’s 69th birthday hiking Ampersand. No speed records but we thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and of course the view.

hiking
3 months ago

Got to the parking at 7:30 AM on a perfect Friday morning. I recommend the early start. By 9:30 I had the spectacular summit to myself! Loved this mountain. Definitely challenging for that last half mile. More climbing than hiking particularly at the end. 2nd of the Saranac 6 for me.

hiking
3 months ago

9:30am start with a clear shot to the top on an overcast (by beautiful) day. Just pretend you’re going to spend an hour on the Stairmaster, and you’ll be fine

hiking
3 months ago

The view at the top is beyond beautiful but the hike up is tough! My boyfriend and I are not avid hikers but we are athletes so we thought we would be able to do it pretty easily. Well, it took us 90 minutes to get up.. maybe more and we took a lot of water and resting breaks. The first 1.9 miles are fine but the last .5 up are hard. A lot of rocks. You need to wear hiking shoes because Nikes were not supportive and we were slipping everywhere. We got there at 7:30 and we were one of the first ones up which was special. Definitely an amazing workout and like I said, the views and the big rock up top were phenomenal!

hiking
3 months ago

The trail starts very easy: a walk in a forest for about 3 km. The last 3 km are pretty steep, lots if climbing on cliffs. Advise for people with dogs: i saw some dogs blocked on the way down because they were afraid to jump off cliffs.
Beautiful view on top.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a doozy, but the 360 degree views on the top are worth it! We arrived at 7:30 AM on a Tuesday and had the trail to ourselves all the way up. We passed LOTS of people on the way back down though. This hike is hard work and feels further than 2.7 miles up (that’s the mileage on the trailhead sign), but slow and steady is the way to go.

3 months ago

Great trail. Definitely steep uphill but good workout. Some scrambling near the top but do—able for anyone in good shape and who is comfortable with scrambling. Views from the top were fantastic

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was innocuous at first, with the first part of it fairly flat... then came the climb. It was like climbing steep stairs! But when you finally get to the top, it was breathtaking. I pulled my shoes off and went along the rock face. There were pools of water up there too that were refreshing to my bare feet. The streams on the way up and down were essential to staying refreshed and cool, so take advantage of them!

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this today with my 14-year-old son. We are both in considerable shape, but the last mile is absolutely 40 to 50% grade. Both of our legs were burning and we wondering if the summit was worth it. Once we got up there it definitely was. There’s a 360° view of the Adirondack mountains. If the weather is a bit cloudy may have trouble seeing the surrounding area but on a clear day it is amazing. Very glad that we chose this one.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail was easy to follow except a couple of spots near the summit where it looked like others had taken alternate routes, although all seemed to converge back to the same point. Definitely a workout once the trail starts to climb. The spectacular view from the summit is well worth the effort.

hiking
3 months ago

This was an awesome hike, with beyond amazing views at the summit. My husband and I used this hike as a workout and were able to summit in 1 hour 10 minutes, but wow that was a bit tough! A ton of rock stairs that will get your quads burning. We hiked this on 7/21 and started at 0900, I recommend an early start because when we arrived back down at the trailhead it was packed!

backpacking
3 months ago

Great hike pretty steep the last mile but view is worth it

hiking
4 months ago

Perfect morning hike. Some steep rocky patches, but worth the climb for the amazing views. 3 hrs round trip plus time to enjoy to top

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