Big Slide Yard Mountain Loop Trail

HARD 92 reviews
#14 of 179 trails in

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.

9.8 miles
3,113 feet

dogs on leash




nature trips






wild flowers



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.

1 month ago

awesome hike and not even the easiest in October (25.10) but I did it in 5 1/2 hours.
In the beginning very beautiful view. later just snow in the air and ice on the ground.

1 month ago

Awesome hike . It was quite wet and muddy , fairly challenging in mid October . We hiked for about 8 hours

2 months ago

Hiked up via the brothers on 10/5/18. Parked at the last free spot in the Garden which was super lucky considering we got there at nearly 11. It is definitely peak week for the leaves in the ADKs! Didn't realize how much elevation we gained in the first mile of that hike! Beautiful views of all sides of the park on our way up to and at the First Brother. Would have been a nice hike on its own if you weren't looking to make it all the way to Big Slide. The rest of the hike from here is pretty easy until the last half mile or so. The trail from the Third Brother to Big Slide is a charming shaded birch filled forest that we really enjoyed. As mentioned, the last .3 after the junction is a bit more strenuous, lots of scrambling and a few spots where we had to lift our dog up (she’s got short little legs). Ladders to the top were easier to go up than to come down, since they were steep and slippery. Big Slide offered an amazing view of the Great Range although the summit is very small compared to some other peaks. As we had began late, everyone left the summit to head back once we arrived and we ended up having the whole mountain to ourselves! We went down via what I believe is the Phelps trail to Johns Brook near the lodge and then back to the garden. Lots more people on this side of the trail than the Brothers, which is always comforting if you’re getting off the mountain later in the evening. Took us about five hours total and recorded as 9.4 miles. Definitely would recommend.

3 months ago

Five star review is for the Brothers and Big Slide. Great great views all the way up. Just amazing. But Yard is not worth doing. One very small view and the Yard Mountain Trail coming down is a mess. Mud, rocks, roots, blowdown. I somehow got off the trail and has to bushwhack my way downhill. The walk back along Johns Brook and past the Lodge was very nice however. 6 High Peaks down! Also there is no way the mileage on the route as shown is correct. Probably more like 14-15 miles.

3 months ago

I loved this climb! The last .3 of Big Slide was the hardest part for me. I highly recommend doing the entire loop trail. The views are amazing. My favorite view was from the first two summits, Brother 1 & 2. I enjoyed the change of terrains and the John Brooke trail. Started at 10 a.m. left at 5:30. I highly recommend this trail to anyone with climbing experience or that likes a challenge.

3 months ago

Very fun loop!! Made it to the top of slide today which was completely cloud covered, so didn’t stay long. The little brothers proved amazing. Took about 4 hrs 20 minuets!!! Johns brook lodge water has chlorine in it....yukkkkk!!

4 months ago

August 8, 2018: Completed Big Slide in 5.5 hours, with about 30 minutes of breaks. Parking: The trailhead at Garden Parking (off Adirondack Rd from the village of Keene) is very small. I arrived there at 9am on Tuesday and no spots available. I usually start my hikes earlier, but this time, I was driving from Ottawa the morning of. I quickly learned that if the parking is full, you are SOL. There are no other places to park, except in the village itself at a public parking, which is what I did. In addition to the 5.5 hrs, this added a good 1hour and 15 minutes. So arrive early :) Although I heard that on weekends there's a shuttle service - don't take my word for it though. The hike itself is a nice one, but tough. There is quite a bit of rock scrambling, which I personnaly like. The summit is great, but watch out for mice - one nearly got in my backpack. I didn't do the actual loop, I went right up from the three Brothers trail and came down the same. Cheers

4 months ago

A lot more rock scrambling than I anticipated! I loved the views on the way up, stopping every now and then to get a snapshot, catch my breath, or drink some water. The way back feels long but is a nice break for your knees. Pay attention to the yellow arrow on a boulder after the waterfall on your way back. There's a herd trail going into the woods that we followed that's not the trail! Overall a satisfying hike! I'm an intermediate hiker and I finished in 7 hours, including about 30 min worth of breaks.

4 months ago

The total distance is a bit more than 9.8 miles.

If you have more than one person in your car drop the passengers off at the garden trailhead so you only have to pay for one shuttle ride.

There is potable water at the Johns Brook Lodge.

4 months ago

We hiked Big Slide on July 16 and found the trail challenging, but certainly worth it as the views along the way and at the summit were amazing!

What made the hike challenging was mostly weather and our own inexperience. It was extremely warm that day, and as this was only our second high peak, we overpacked in terms of food and so the weight of our backpack slowed us down as we made frequent stops along the way! We began our climb around 7:30am and when we returned to the car around 3:30pm, the temperature was 32 degrees Celsius!!! There were also many opportunities for taking pictures along the way, which we certainly took advantage of!

We began at the Garden Parking lot ($10 USD for parking) and returned through the Slide Mountain Brook Trail loop after we reached the summit. In total, we were about 8 hours - again, with more than a 'normal' amount of breaks along the way. The path begins moderately steep and continues that way until after the second Brother, where it descends for a bit before a steep climb (including some adventurous rock scrambles and questionable log steps) just before the summit. Unlike Marcy, which we did two years ago, the summit does not offer 360 degree views; however, the views from the Brothers are fantastic and the Great Range is right in front of you from the summit! The loop trail return descends steadily until John Brooks Lodge with some running water along the way if (like us) your supply is getting low by then! Once at JBL, the 3 miles remaining back to the Garden Parking Lot are flat and well marked.

A cooler day and a lighter backpack are the only things that could have made this any better. Truly a beautiful and rewarding hike!

5 months ago

I am 14 hikes into my 46 and I found this to be the easiest so far and had some of the best views. I hiked up The Brothers and stopped on each for photos. After the summit, I continued over to Yard Mountain. The trail is not very wide but it's pretty easy. I was not even sure at what point I crossed the summit I was moving so quickly. I was glad I did the loop because there are some pretty cool boulders along the way after John's Brook Lodge. Total distance was 11.65 miles and elevation gain was 3392'

9 months ago

Great hike, amazing views, and a lot of fun scrambles on this trail.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Took the Three Brothers up to the top. The trail was great and the views were amazing. I would suggest stopping along the way and enjoying the views from each of the brothers. They all offer different, but beautiful, views.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Awesome trail and views on 10/27

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Did the full loop on Saturday. Absolutely beautiful. Parked at Marcy field, hit the trail at 9 and was back to the Garden just after 3:30, which included about an hour of breaks. Mileage clocked at 12.3 miles. Trail off of Yard to JBL is not the easiest to follow at a point or two, so make sure to keep an eye on the markers.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Great, great hike with amazing views. I am already planning on coming back in the fall not only because a ton of people recommended it, it is easy to see that you will have some stunning views. Somewhat challenging in spots due to how wet and muddy everything was but well worth the effort. Fell into the creek on the way down but still had a great time.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Great hike. I would mark it as definitely difficult. Even though I consider myself fast and fit it's still took us more than 8 hours to do the whole thing with an hour break. My fit bit and an iPhone showed that this hike was 13 miles. Not 9.9 which added another hour and something. The hike is amazing. Very different. Beautiful and surprising. But a little muddy so grab extra socks if you get unfortunate like me and step into the mud. Would totally do it again but if you are inexperienced don't do it. It's hard and long.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Great hike! Parking at Garden Trail Head is hit or miss. I got there at 0500 and the lot was full. However, I talked to several people coming up the mountain as I was going down and they got spots at 0700-0900. It's hit of miss. Most of the elevation you'll encounter is getting onto the first Brother. After that it flows nice and easy. Once you see the sign for .3 to the summit, there is another little steep section but it isn't to bad. It only take about 15 minutes from that point to reach the summit. Great views almost all day, and it was a perfect day for me to finish my 46'ers!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What a beast she is! An incredibly exciting and challenging hike with the first 3 miles ascending 2,800 feet roughly. Now to me this trail gets 5 stars and it deserves a hard rating. The 3 of us hiked it July 4th weekend and the trail was so wet and muddy because of the rains the prior weeks, it made it that much more challenging that's for sure! We initially had planned to do the loop which starts in garden, brothers, big slide, yard, back down Johns brook trial. However we got a late jump on the day (lot is almost always full by 5:30am). Good news is that there's a shuttle that runs every 20 minutes from the airfield that's like a few miles away so don't stress it actually was really simple and quick.

Ok back to this beast. We just ended up doing the out and back (about 10 miles) The way down was just as hard and challenging and the views were awesome! The good news was that on that Sunday July 2nd the weather was amazing with nothing but sun and blue sky which made the views going up and down the brothers some of the best I have seen! This trail is not for everyone as we saw a few people really struggling coming down (just as an FYI).

I love adventure and would hike anything and this trail is a must on the to do list for those of you out there that haven't yet. Definitely going back to compete the entire loop either in the fall or next summer!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Went from Garden over the Brothers to Big Slide. There are amazing views going up and you can't help but stop to soak it in. The last climb up to Big Slide was steep and fun. It got a little crowded on top but not too bad. Skipped the Yard loop and went south down the rocky creek to Johns Brook trail and then looped back to the Garden trail head. This is a longer hike so bring enough food and water. Also, get to the trailhead early, I was there at 0530 and got the second to last parking space.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

This trail is challenging, even harder when it is muddy.

Initially, we aimed to hike Big Slide, The Yard and down Johns Brook loop. We only made it to Big Slide via the Three Brothers - out and back. It had rained for 2 days straight with flash flood warnings prior to our hike. The trail that day was in bad shape and extremely hard as we jumped from stone to stone trying to avoid the 3-4 inch deep muddy trail for almost 7-8 hours. So fair warning if it has been raining for days to reconsider. Should you decide to do this loop, know that there will be a down stream brook you will have to cross. Ask the ranger about the current Brook condition, which could be a calm few inches to as high as waist deep with strong currents that could wipe you off your feet. On our day, we heard it was an extremely strong currents as high as our waist and we were not prepared to get that wet. We choose to be safe and hiked back out.

There are a few spectacular views from the Brothers and Big Slide - all which were very rewarding. Once at the first brother, I finally saw why hikers started at 4am to catch the sunrise at 7am. For me personally, there were a few huge rocks where I felt nervous climbing up but once we got to past it, we saw the blue markers and continued the hike.

1. The Garden parking lot was full by 5:45am but there is a free public parking lot 2 miles away with a $10 shuttle to take you to Garden lot - Ask the Ranger. We got there around 10:30am and 4 cars left during the 20 mins it took us to drive to the public parking lot and catch the shuttle. I wish we waited about 15-20 mins.
2. Bring the 100% deet. There are swarms of biting black flies, which are no fun. We saw tons of people with mosquito net hat.
3. The youngest child I saw was prob the age of 9-10 - Def not a trail for small children.

I'll be revisiting the hike next summer better prepared and hoping for better weather that week... til next time Johns Brook.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Really good trail, quite challenging but not in a "stay away from it kind of way". We went in mid June and there were a lot of flies once the sun came out. Be prepared.

The part that surprised me the most is the difficulty going downhill AFTER the Big Slide towards Yard Mountain. The larger loop had some challenging aspects further compounded by rain the prior day. If you want to do Big Slide but are concerned about difficulty I would cut out the larger loop and go straight down towards the lodge from big Slide (skipping yard mountain completely)

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hiked Big Slide 3/19/2017. I knew from the forums that the trail had been scouted and packed down properly by @KVStreamer & crew. Started up from the Garden at 7am sharp. Made it to the first brother and was completely blown away with the views. I'm only on #8 but I think this may have been the best I've seen so far. I was surprised at the amount of wooded forest there is to do. I was expecting huge slab rock and ice etc etc. The walk was much simpler than anticipated for sure. By the time i got to the junction I had only passed by some really low level hairy spots. Had them in mind but wasnt very worried. The last section is for sure steep but nothing unmanagable. Made it to the top by 11:30ish and was more than fine with that time. On the way up I met forum member @MAlexander & crew. They passed by and I chatted with them again as they buttslided down after summiting. They assured me
I was close as close could be. After summiting I was greeted by a group of three, a man (Chris) and two women who were from I think it was Geneva, somewhere in Western NY. Nice people, chit chatted a bit. They had done Allen the day previous. I parted from them and headed back. Got to experience some higher speed buttsliding for the first time and i'll tell ya, it felt good! ;) Made it across all my concern spots and made excellent time down. Was in the car and happy as hell to have finished incident free by 2pm. All in all, a somewhat challenging hike but doable for most people. Except for the couple with insanely cute baby in Osprey crazy backpack thingy who waved and said hi & bye in passing. They were making the decision to turn around before the first brother :( He was ambitious to go but girlfriend was not amused and had made the call, lol. Hope they made it down safe. All told it was a killer day. Thanks for reading :P

Last 2 cents. If your really short you may need a hand up onto some things but all in all this can be done by anyone. It can be steep and is low level scary on a few open rock spots. You'll spend most of the time in a wooded forest on an almost flat to modearte grade, if you fell youd be fine, lol.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Hiked Big Slide via the Bros. at the end of September. Ascended at 6am and got to the First Bro's summit at sunrise. Definitely worth getting up at 4:15am! Many stops along the way; very picturesque. Took the loop trail back to the Garden going through the woods and walking next to a large stream, totaling 9hrs. Beautiful walk down the mountain- be sure to bring poles for assistance.

Monday, October 10, 2016

If you start to follow the trail along first and second Brother, end with Big Slid. You will ascend with Great Range along with you and Mt. Marcy lies on the west. This 3.7 mile ascending trail is steep. The 1.4 mile from Big Slid to Yard transaction is very mild and smooth. The return trail is steep but short between Yard and Johns Brook Lodge. The last 3.8 miles to Garden is in the valley. It is pleasant walk in the woods.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Did this loop in the fall, so was extra rewarded by views of the beautiful changing leaves.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Big Slide via The Brothers was a great hike with panoramic views from Brothers 1&2, and the summit of Big Slide. Moderate hike with some tough spots. Hiked The Brothers/Big Slide loop in 9 hours (with multiple breaks at the summits). Hit the trail head at 6AM and caught the sunrise at the summit of the first Brother. Definitely recommended.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I found this hike to be very enjoyable. I would recommend it for most moderate to experienced hikers. It doesn't seem that difficult due to the fact you're constantly admiring the views on the way up. The trail has a lot to offer including many different points of scenery. There are 2 or 3 360 views on smaller brother peaks you will pass on your way up and a few ascending rocky cliffs you will pass that boast great views mid way up. The final few hundred feet is a bit steep but once you're up the summit has a 180 view of the higher peaks and is very rewarding.

There's 2 slightly longer trails to take going back down if you want and one of them contains a long mossy stream you'll follow. The last 2 or 3 miles is a straightaway and is a good way to finish the trip without too much effort. It will probably take about 6 hours to complete at a normal pace with some stops. Whichever path you take, it will be rewarding.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Definitely hard... might not be as tall as Marcy, but it gains a lot of elevation quick & really works your lungs. Good bit of steep, flat rock face that helps if you really lean into the mountain for & the ladder near the summit is surprisingly sturdy and safe. That view makes it all so worth it, though!

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