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Big Slide Yard Mountain Loop Trail is a 9.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Keene Valley, New York that features a river 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 but must be kept on leash.

Length 9.8 mi Elevation gain 3,113 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Snowshoeing

Bird watching

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Fee

Description
Waypoints (6)
Tips
Getting There

Big Slide can be done as an out & back (via The Brothers) accessed by John's Brook in Keane Valley or can be done as a loop (which is longer). From the parking lot you will start climbing immediately up a steady course to an attractive brook crossing. Past this point you will climb steeply to the amazing views from the 1st Brother. After a short descent you will climb steeply again up the slopes of the 2nd Brother and gain even more amazing views. Past the 2nd Brother you will drop into an open valley and start a much longer and steadier climb to the mostly wooded summit of the 3rd Brother. After another descent you will climb much more moderately to the second route, outlined below. From this intersection the trail becomes its steepest as you make the final push to the summit, where some of the best views in the NE can be awarded. (The trail continues over the top to Yard Mt. and another possible loop that includes Johns Brook Lodge.) For the most common loop, return to the base of the steep climbing and continue straight on a trail that eventually crosses Slide Mt. Brook several times before reaching the Johns Brook Trail. Turn left, and then left again at the trail register. After a brief climb from the register, the trail is mostly down to the Garden parking area. This return is 1.5 miles longer than returning over the Brothers.

The Garden Parking lot is easily found by following the signs for it in Keen Valley on Route 73. To get to Keen valley Take exit 30 off I-87 and head towards Lake Placid. There is a $7 a day fee to park in this lot and if it is super busy there is an overflow lot with a shuttle.

Primary Trailhead: Leave Lake Placid on Route 73, follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue through Keene and into Keene Valley and take the right after the Ausable Inn. Follow here to its end at the Garden Parking Area. ($7 parking fee as of 2013). Also note that parking is limited and the lot fills up early most weekend mornings. Most weekends a shuttle bus runs from the overflow parking at Marcy Field north of Keene Valley.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (124)
Photos (1101)
Recordings (33)
Completed (489)
Calin Stock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsFeeGreat!Over grownRockyScrambleWashed out

about to lose the current trail up yard due to erosion. got to garden & 12 & waited ten min for a spot clocked 11 miles from garden in 5 HR rest of hike is amazing W/ great features id skip yard & just shoot down big slide.

Grace Opderbeck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020

Got to the garden at 5am Saturday morning and the parking lot was full. We parked in town and walked a couple miles in. The Brothers and Big Slide were great! The trail after Yard mountain was AWFUL. For a minute I was panicking because I thought we were lost. The trail is not marked well, trees down, a lot of mud and just not fun. If I could do it over, I would of gone back over the brothers. We clocked 16 miles when we got back to the car.

Thomas Bewick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
BackpackingOver grown

The trail up to Yard mountain and over to Big Slide is well worn from past years, but I don't think it’s used much these days. It is badly in need of maintenance. I crawled under at least 6-8 downed trees and the foliage is very over grown. Also it needs more trail markers, if not for the wear on the trail to find my way there were spots I went a long way before I found a marker. Not suprizingly, I got a tic on my arm. Beautiful trail though! it's a shame it's not being kept up or used more. My son tells me it’s because of the virus which I guess makes sense? But I’m thinking why weren’t they out there while everything was shut down and no one was out there and cleaning up the trails? Anyway it’s a really nice hike and i recommend it just be aware you may have to crawl under a few trees... All trails recording said it was 11.5 miles, and I believe it, not the 9.8 that’s listed. The all trails app is off on where it says the trail actually is, it kept telling me I was off the trail...

View Thomas's Recording
Lisa Dunkelberg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsFeeMuddyOver grownScramble

July 4, 2020 - We logged 11.1 miles and not the 9.8 miles that this says. There is a fee to park at the Garden parking lot. We were there by 6:30 am and it was full. Parked 1.5 miles away on the main road in Keene Valley (so add another 3 miles to the trip - 14.1 for our group). Steep ascent to the The Brothers with amazing views. Buggy in spots so bring a face net. Top of Big Slide (4240 ft) - great view! Took the loop through Yard Mountain (4009 ft) down. That trail is NOT well marked in many spots and lots of trees blown down - it’s easy to accidentally stray from the trail. Easier descent and a nice small waterfall and several toads and snakes. Stopped at Johns Brook Lodge for extra water and pretty straight trail back to the Garden.

Michael Bonadonna
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
Hiking

We originally set to bag just Big Slide. We put down the three brothers and Big Slide in two hours, and the views of the Great Range the whole way were awesome. We were still craving more, so we continued to Yard, then ventured to Johns Brook Lodge and back. The blowdown was either easy to scale or had a new herdpath around it. There was one mud patch that required walking on a log, but our shoes were bone dry the whole day. The trail is well marked despite the blowdown, so if you don't see a tree marker for a while, double back and/or check your GPS. If you have a miserable time on the back side, you need to up your up hiking game and/or attitude. The alternate route back had a completely different feel and the valley is legit. We were rewarded with seeing JBL and nearby camp areas, much of the conversation back to the trailhead was plotting a multi-day trip basing from there. We did the loop in 5:37 (5:07 moving). Parking was full at 0830. There's free public parking next to Valley Grocery. That adds ~3 miles round trip.

View Michael's Recording
Alan Shashok
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 25, 2020
HikingBlowdown

Trail up Brothers to Big Slide summit was wonderful. Little to no mud or bugs. Though we arrived at Garden at 7:30am on a Thursday, it was easily 3/4 full. Evan so , ran into under a dozen people on that leg. Summit is small, but with just a few people there, no issues. We decided to take Yard Mtn trail down with the thinking it was a more gradual decent though a bit longer, and who doesn’t enjoy a good loop. If you like very narrow trails, with many old and new blowdowns to navigate (mostly easy) and zero other hikers, this ones for you. There was also more mud here, but nothing overwhelming. I loved the more rugged , underused nature of this trail, really offers the sense of being in the wilderness. No rock scrambles or boulders, almost all nice forest floor easy on the feet. Due to blowdowns however, trail can get lost so pay attention and you’ll be ok. Again, no other hikers encountered. on the Yard trail or Klondike which it intersects with and you take to JBL. Started to see maybe 6-8 people on Phelps as we made our way out. Overall, a great day and our 3rd 46r. Isn’t that quaint, 3 of 46.

View Alan's Recording
Michael Olmoz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 16, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsFeeMuddyOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out

To start, the brothers trail up to Big Slide is an amazing trail, worth it on its own. The views from the first brother are amazing. Once on top of big slide, the backside trail heading towards Yard is a bit of a mess. Lots of blowdown and some decent blogs along the way. The way down Yard towards the Klondike trail was a lot worse with blowdown and dense forest (we even lost the trail once or twice). However, once on Klondike it was pretty much a straight shot back. Overall I’d say this was a 6/10 difficulty for the 46ers and we clocked 11.1 miles.

Sandra Sun
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 14, 2020
HikingBlowdownOver grownRockySnow

Very interesting hike. Muddy on high altitude. Almost impossible to park at trailhead on a Saturday morning. We parked in town and walked 1.7 miles up.

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