Big Slide Mountain via The Brothers

MODERATE 103 reviews
#4 of 42 trails in

Big Slide Mountain via The Brothers is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Keene Valley, New York that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
7.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3126 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

views

muddy

rocky

scramble

no dogs

hiking
3 days ago

Favorite high peak yet, 8/46 for me. There's consistent breathtaking views as you wander from open rock face into shady forest and back out again. Perfect day, sunny & low 70s. Took 3 of us about 6.5 hours, going at a decent pace with a 20min break at the summit.

There's loads of rock scrambles on this trail, which keeps it interesting. I'd say it's a 50/50 ratio between rock scrambling and forest walking. The first mile and the last 0.3 mile is pretty strenuous but the views are worth it all.

**I read reviews before this hike that mentioned there were nearly-vertical rock scrambles near the top which is NOT true. The steepest rock has wooden ladders bolted into it to climb up. So don't freak out :)

Bring lots of water, start early, take your time, and bring some ibuprofen for your knees on the way down and you're golden.

hiking
13 days ago

One of my favorite hikes for the simple fact you can see amazing views so early and often. Took our time, about 7 hours round trip. But we weren't rushing. Nothing too crazy mud wise, just walk through it and you'll be fine. Steep on the way up to the brothers, but it fairly steady after until the last part - which is steep. Saw some harmless snakes that still gave me chills, but great hike and recommended highly! My gps had us about 9.4 miles RT via the Brothers.

hiking
22 days ago

Hiked (5/31/18) One of the best hikes I’ve ever done. My 3rd high peak and first solo! Started at the Garden and hike via The brothers and then hiked out John Brooks trail back to the garden. Round trip was 10 miles. Trail up was in great shape for first couple of miles. As you got closer to the summit it became more and more muddy...but nothing horrible and it was only for tiny stretches. You have astonishing views from numerous exposed overlooks on the way up...at least early on. The last mile or so you are in the woods. The last 3 tenths of mile to the summit is the most difficult...by far!! It’s exhausting but so worth it when summit. The hike out was about 2 miles longer but relatively an easy hike out...all down hill and /or flat. Fantastic day hike and highly recommended!

hiking
23 days ago

Overall good trail hiked 05/29/2018 my 10th highpeak. Amazing views on the way up. After the first initial elevation gain it is pretty flat until the last 0.3 miles which is very steep rock scrambles, Be prepared for the steepness.

hiking
27 days ago

Wow what a great trail! The rock scrambles are a challenge, but the views are totally rewarding! It’s a very nice balance though between walking through the woods and climbing. The last .3 miles to the Big Slide summit is definitely the most difficult as it is basically straight up slabs of rock. Took me a little over 6 hours round trip with time spent at the top of the second Brother and Big Slide. A great trail if you’re like me and on your way to becoming a more experienced hiker! (Also, my first 46er!) -Hiked 5/25/18

hiking
27 days ago

3rd high peak for me and one of my favorite trails I’ve ever done. I wouldn’t suggest this trail for beginners. It can be exhausting but it’s so much fun and worth it. The rock scrambles are a lot of fun and challenging! Muddy but walk through it to help preserve the trail. 100% do not recommend for young young kids or dogs. The Garden parking lot was packed by the time we got off the trail around 3:30pm (5 hours round trip) get there early. We crossed paths with a black bear! Be alert, make noise, get a bear bell and bear spray. Highly recommend this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked Big Slide today via The Brothers (5/5/2018) and it was amazing. The weather was mid-60s and slightly windy at the top. The posted sign at the trailhead said the hike was 3.9 miles to the summit, making the hike a total of 7.8 miles. The first hour or so of the hike is a total rock scramble up The Brothers, marked with blue foot trail signs and yellow markers on the rocks. There’s zero snow going up the rock scramble but once you begin the summit to Big Slide there’s a fair amount of snow and an uncomfortable amount of ice if you don’t wear spikes. But, if you don’t bring spikes, it’s not impossible; I saw several people summit without spikes although the struggle was real (especially coming down).

The climb to The Brothers is absolutely amazing because it’s an open view up the rock scramble. Once you start Big Slide, it’s all forest. You’ll know you’re close to the summit because you’ll hit a junction in the path that has a trail sign. The last 0.3 miles to the summit is relatively steep, but made much harder with all the ice.

Overall trail was fairly muddy/wet but that’s because it rained the day before. I met someone who summited Big Slide via The John Brooks trail and he was miserable. The John Brooks trail requires crossing a few streams which wouldn’t be all that bad in the winter or deep into the summer, but he ended up having to cross 15 foot wide streams/rivers because it flooded a ton. He ended up coming down Big Slide via The Brothers.

Lastly, parking at the Garden is very convenient and this early in the season, it’s free (although I think parking is 10 bucks in the late spring and summer). However, the parking lot is really small and if it’s a nice day (like today), you’ll want to hit the hike early so you can grab a parking spot.

This is my 5th high peak and by far my favorite (cascade, porter, Whiteface and Esther). The views are amazing and the rock scramble was something new. It took me 3 hours to get to the top and 2 hours down with a few minutes at the top of Slide and Brothers

6 months ago

The closest I’ve been to rock climbing without actually rock climbing. I’ve only done four of the 46 high peaks, but this was definitely my favorite so far. There were constant challenges which kept things interesting.

hiking
6 months ago

3 rd high peak for me. Loved it

hiking
7 months ago

A bit of ice and snow. Excellent views of the high peaks.

hiking
7 months ago

I enjoyed the hike but the shuttle wasn't running on 10/21/2017. This adds 1.2 miles each way from the closest parking when garden is full. Please plan on this if you are looking at doing this hike soon.

hiking
8 months ago

Loved this hike! My 4th high peak...
Weather conditions today were perfect. About 60 degrees and needed a winter hat/gloves at times bc the wind got a little chilly. Took us about 5 hours total and we hung out at the top
For a while. Parts got a little muddy but nothing too bad. A few pretty steep rock walls to climb up too which were exciting. Overall great day and my favorite so far !

8 months ago

Short and sweet! Steep at times, great views from the brothers.

hiking
8 months ago

Excellent hike with a variety of terrains and experiences. The trail starts out in the woods with you typical trail settings. It then opens up to reveal an excellent view of the surrounding high peaks. Next it takes you into rock scrambling and traversing over flat rock surface with great views again before finally returning you to the woods for a significant time before you reach the summit of Big Slide. There are steep areas throughout but this is broken up by nice stretches of flat areas which let you catch a reprieve. If/when you need to rest, wait until you get to one of the brothers because you get excellent views from there. The trail is very well marked throughout with blue markers and yellow paint. Only one time when the trail split where we lost track until we saw an orange arrow on the tree in the distance. Great views. Varied terrain. Level areas at points. Well marked. I would highly recommend this trail!

Things to know:
- Parking is at the Garden and it costs $10 now, not $7 as listed elsewhere
- The sign at the trailhead states it is 3.9 miles to the summit so it is a 7.8 mile round trip, not 6.4 as stated above
- I would NOT recommend this hike for young kids
- On the way up after one of the brothers there is a cool rock ledge/overhang that is easy to miss on your right on the way up but is noticeable on the way down

9 months ago

Beautiful views over the Brothers

hiking
9 months ago

This trail is actually about 8 miles. I frequently hike but this is my 5/46 and so far, my favorite! It rained the day before so the trail was a little bit soggy but not dangerous. Absolutely recommend!

hiking
9 months ago

so this trail is closer to 8 miles. but worth every step awesome views all along this trail pretty moderate hike love this one!! After Whiteface and Esther this was a great one to do!!

hiking
9 months ago

Started out this hike at the garden. Lot was almost full. I was lucky to find a spot. Started out this hike on a totally beautiful day. What an awesome hike. The brothers were a total blast. Such a fun hike. I met up with Dan and his wife and their dog Zoe. Both 46ers! Great people who let me tag along and listen to their experiences on their quest for the 46. Made it such a great time. Made it up to Big Slide, An absolutely amazing view of so many peaks. I can't say enough about how great Dan and his wife were! As we headed down we came across a guy named Tyler and his dad. Tyler was finishing up his 46 on Big Slide, with his dad! One day before he moves back to Vancouver. What can I say, a totally awesome day! Do not miss out on this hike.

hiking
9 months ago

What a great hike! This was my 5th and favorite High Peak because of the amazing views throughout, challenging rock scrambles and ease of accessibility. We hiked the Brothers on the way in and decided to take the John's Brook Trail on the way back, which is slightly longer but more gradual. All-in-all, this was a full day hike, taking around 8 hours.

hiking
9 months ago

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. It had some nice variety. There were tons of great views throughout several portions of the hike, there were a few tricky rock scrambles but options to go around many of them if you like, and not much in the way of mud. The terrain also goes back and forth between rather steep sections and then flat sections in between.

The trail is also marked quite well. There are a couple of turnoffs to watch for, and of course I missed one because I was looking down instead of up for the sign. Only went past it by two minutes, no biggie. But just be aware of that.

Another reviewer below mentioned the hike is 8 miles, not 6.4, but that isn't the case. If you look at the various recordings they mostly show 6.4 - 6.8 miles. Mine showed 6.7 miles.

I hike with my 110 pound German Shepherd and he did great. I used the rope to help him in a couple of sections over the steep slabs but he handled 99% of it himself. If you take a dog or younger children you might have to assist a little. No big deal though.

Nice challenge, fantastic views, good mix of terrain, doable for children and dogs if they're in shape for it.

hiking
10 months ago

Started up the Brothers at 6a. Sunrise was wonderful. The views are some the best in the Adirondacks and convinced me to hike back down the same way. The uphill was strenuous in the first stretch and again right before the peak. Great hike!

hiking
10 months ago

My boyfriend, dog and I did this hike mid August and we really enjoyed it. We got to the garden parking lot at 1pm and the sign said full so we parked at the Marcy Field parking lot and took the shuttle up (they allow dogs) only to find out there were actually a few spots open, the people just hadn't switched the signs yet. It took us 5 hours but we moved quick on the descent because it was starting to get chilly - only took us about an hour to get down.
It's super muddy at the top even considering it hadn't rained in a few days so make sure you have good waterproof hiking shoes or extra socks. Also, there's a bit of scrambling here and there so be prepared - we had a small/medium sized dog that needed some assistance. Definitely bring plenty of water, we ran out.
The views along the three brothers are absolutely amazing, that alone makes the trip worthwhile
All in all it was a hard but great hike, would recommend to anyone with a half day and some energy to burn.

10 months ago

This was a great hike that I probably would have enjoyed more if I wasn't so sore from hiking Wright, Algonquin and Iroquois the day before. You'll find yourself stopping a lot to take in the amazing views. In my opinion the best views are from the 2nd brother. I was out there for about 7 hours, but 2 hours of that was probably just sitting on one of the brothers or the summit taking in the views/relaxing. Trail was pretty muddy in spots, but overall I'd rate it as a moderate hike. Last .3mi to the summit is pretty steep

hiking
10 months ago

Great views - the first brother in particular. Was very wet when I went, had rained two days earlier so it does take time to dry out. Also, if you like blueberries there are tons of wild ones along the route.

hiking
10 months ago

Amazing views, fun slides. My only gripe is the brothers are not marked and there is no medallion at the summit of Big Slide. Minor gripes, so go for it!!

10 months ago

Some of the best views I've gotten on a high peak hike, possibly only rivaled by Giant. It's a must.

hiking
10 months ago

This seems to be a common sentiment throughout the previous reviews, but i'm going to parrot it anyways: You will get great views throughout this hike. With excellent views of Porter to the north and the lower Great Range (Gothics, Upper and Lower WJ, Armstrong, etc.) to the south, this short range should not be missed.

Some great scrambling/climbing sections- one just before the 1st brother and quite a bit between Bro 1 & 2. The 3rd brother adds the most elevation gain and loss of the 3 but does not have a vista. Like a few people have already stated, the last .3 can be steep. Muddy on wet days, but the ladders on a few of the slides do help.

Definitely an easier, family friendly range worth hitting up for a nice half-day romp- was able to complete in 4 hours 30 minutes Garden-to-Garden (includes summit stops).

hiking
11 months ago

Several great views on the way up and at the summit. Some fun scrambling.

11 months ago

Great hike. Never have seen so many different views. Hike to first brother is a steady incline with great views along the way and on the summit. Hike to second brother is very easy. Hike to third brother is a steady incline as well. Not sure where the actual summit was. Last .3 miles is a good workout. Several spots on all of the mountains where scrambling is required.

hiking
11 months ago

This was a great hike with great views at the top. We left out of garden parking lot and at 6:30 on the weekend it was already full so plan on being there early or taking the shuttle from Marcy field (which happened to be broke down). We parked at the bottom of the hill and walked up. Muddy but understandable for the amount of rain we were getting. Taking the loop back makes you cross a stream multiple times so be prepared to get wet. Overall great time!

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