Mount Colvin, Nippletop, and Dial Mountain Loop

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Dix Mountain Wilderness

Mount Colvin, Nippletop, and Dial Mountain Loop is a 18.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Keene, New York that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is best used from March until November.

Length18.3 miElevation gain6,122 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingRock climbingForestRiverViewsWaterfallwild-flowersWildlifeNo dogs
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (88)
Photos (2,264)
Recordings (81)
Completed (480)
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Amy Morris
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Hiking

Hiked 11/6/20. Incredible, but difficult long day. Completed this loop in the way it is shown here ( Colvin, Blake, Nippletop then Dial) and I would say that is the best way to go. Started the Hike to Colvin at 6:30am from St Hubert’s lot. There were steep sections and slippery melting slushy snow made it more tiring but we made it to Colvin at 9:40 am (with many little breaks on the way to catch my breath). Beautiful views!! Hiking over to Blake was a lot longer than expected given it’s shorter mileage (1.3 miles). It’s just a messy trail with lots of blowdown mud and some latter sections. We reached Blake at 11 am!! This was almost an hour to go this 1.3 miles... tough and unrewarding. Long hike back up to Colvin and the decent down to the junction for Nippletop took about 2.5 hrs. We started our ascent up Elk Pass around 1:10pm through the beaver pond area. Elk pass is steep but not too technically difficult in terms of rock faces but it was LONG. We reached Nippletop finally at 2:45pm and were rewarded with beautiful sweeping views. Couldn’t stay long because we knew the sun was starting to set soon around 4:30 with many miles back to the car. We had headlamps but didn’t want to do too much more ascending in the dark. Luckily we made the relatively easy jaunt up to Dial by 4pm and were again rewarded with awesome views on the rock ledge and powerful winds. We were exhausted but no where near done since we still had to hike home about 5 miles. The sign says 3.8 to St Hubert’s parking but it’s NOT. We had to do some slight ascending up Bear Den Mountain and Noonmark shoulder but the rest was a long and technically easy descent in the dark with headlamps. We reached the Lake road and we were so happy to be on flat ground again. Arrived to car at 6:40pm so over 12 hrs. Recorded closer to 20 miles, over 6000 ft elevation. Tough tough day.... be prepared!!!

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Scott Seals
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HikingIcy
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Nick Favata
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Did this a couple months ago. Pretty great views on Dial, Nippletop, and Colvin. Blake has no views at all. Definitely do Colvin and Blake first because I did them last and it sucked. Don’t do Blake unless you’re going for your 46.

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Corey Strong
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Hiking

Quick trek to colvin, blake was very muddy. Nippletop was very icy and windy. Did not stay at the top long. Going down dial is definitely the best way to go. All in all 10.5 hrs. Was only 17 mi.

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Kyle Murray
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HikingMuddyPrivate property

Overall very well kept trails. Very very wet from rain the previous day. Went on October 14th. Very muddy and slippery between Colvin and Blake. Beautiful through Elk Pass and up to Nippletop. Very slow day for me given the wet trail conditions. Great hike.

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Cheyenne Inge
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HikingIcyMuddyWashed out

Completed Oct 11th. We did the loop backward, starting out with Bear Den and ending with Colvin and Blake to save our knees from the hard descent from Dial. Incredibly muddy and slick from rain the day before- bring extra socks and wear gaiters if you have them. The wet leaves were slick and icy rocks made the hike a little treacherous, but spikes were my saving grace. The temp was a crisp 34° at the base and was really frigid and windy on top. Layer up and bring hand warmers. They helped us on the descent when we weren’t working as hard. Bring headlamps as it gets dark early and is practically pitch black on the trail. My watch died on the ascent to Colvin, but my phone stayed alive with 28% to spare. Power banks might be ideal if you plan on using your tech frequently. With pacing ourselves and due to less than ideal weather conditions, we clocked in at about 15 hours of active hiking time. It is a hard hike physically, but it was definitely more mentally challenging than anything. Overall though it was rewarding. I got some incredible pictures and the of course the bragging rights.

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Cameron Georgi
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HikingMuddyPrivate property
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Amy Lynn
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Hiking
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Alex Kochnev
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Hiking
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Dustin Hilton
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Bike touring
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Carley Mulligan
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Hiking

Challenging hike, fantastic views. Started at 4:50 AM and finished at 2:30 PM. GPS watch: 18 miles, 6800 feet elevation, 8 hours 22 minutes moving time. Definitely do Colvin & Blake first, then hit Nippletop & Dial. From Dial down is a hard descent on the knees, but all in all a very rewarding hike.

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Raghav Puri
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Hiking

A very difficult hike relative to most ADK peaks because of the long day. we started at 6.30am and completed the hike at 8.30pm. The toughest part was the hike from Colvin to Blake and back. The parking at St. Huberts gets filled the night before. Plan to park in the parking lots nearby (we parked 0.7 miles away from St. Huberts). Views from Nippletop, Colvin and Dial were fantastic. Please make sure you carry water, headlights and power banks for phone (my battery died just before Nippletop).

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Guillebaldo Cepeda
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Hiking
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Josh Kraines
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HikingGreat!Private property

This was a great hike. Tough, but fun. I did this on a Sunday, both lots were full at 7am so I had to park about half a mile up the road. Starts out of the ausable club, so there’s an easy few miles on either end of the hike. Trails are well maintained and not very muddy. I did this in the order Colvin - Blake - Nippletop - Dial. This is the way to do it, doing Blake last would be demoralizing. Besides, Nippletop has the best view, so you’ll probably want to get there later in the day to avoid morning fog. Overall, this hike took me 9 hours, but that was at a fast pace with very few stops. My watch counted this hike at a little over 20 miles with 7000 ft elevation gain.

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John Maye
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HikingPrivate property
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Joseph Isgro
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HikingGreat!

great trail! easier than giant and rpr. very do-able. 7 hours about round trip from car. only a few butt slides and grabbing onto rocks.

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Bob Young
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HikingGreat!

Sat. Aug 1. I arrived at St. Huberts around 4:50AM. Lot was full, but I was fortunately able to get one of the last spots across the street. 5:30 Signed in at rangers station, 7:45 Dial, 8:45 Nippletop, 10:45 Colvin, 11:45 Blake, and signed out at ranger station a little after 3. I had decided to do the clockwise loop because of the lack of water sources in the Dial - Nippletop area. This was a good choice for me because I ended up refilling a water bottle from the Gil Brook on my way out. Drank around 5L while hiking plus about 1/2 L from the Gil Brook, then 2L more at my car. Weather conditions were great, trails were dry, air was cool in the morning, and even later in the day, you aren't that exposed to the sun for long. I most enjoyed the climbs to and from Colvin-Blake, although my legs eventually started to tire. My second solo hike. It is was a long day, but a good one. I went to McDonalds for a Big Mac.

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Lisa Triano
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HikingBugsOff trailOver grownPrivate property

Here's an alternative route for anyone hiking these 4 peaks with a dog. We began at 4 AM at the Round Pond trailhead and then followed the trail for Dix Mountain, making really good time until we reached Gravestone Brook. There are large boulders to the right and a small staircase straight ahead if you're unsure you've reached it. Follow the brook up and to the right for as long as possible, then bushwhack up to the H G Leach trail. You'll come out of the woods somewhere between Bear Den and Dial. It took us under 5 hours to summit Dial, then 1.5 hours over to Nippletop. The views of the Great Range were beautiful! From Nippletop we could see all of the Colvin Range and Elk Lake all the way to the left. Descending Elk Pass was very steep, but I'd prefer that to ascending. At the bottom there was a campsite and our dog took a nice swim in the pond. We collected water for him; he'd already finished 1L. The trails on this ridge were very dry the day we hiked. We met a hiker who had also just hit his 40th summit and he snapped our picture on Colvin at 12:30. The 1.3 miles over to Blake was tough--it was midday and hot by now, it was the 4th peak of the day, and I felt that was a difficult section of trail for a peak that's not even 4000 feet--and took us over an hour. After that we continued in the direction of Pinnacle. It was evident immediately that not many people hike this trail. The ground was very soft, dry, and littered with pine needles. Several "bumps" over a 2 mile stretch lost some elevation were tiresome but not strenuous. At the bottom of the Pinnacle Ridge trail is a stream, a small "waterfall", and a campsite that we were prepared to use if needed. We rinsed off, cooled down, and collected 4L of water here. Around mile 17 we reached the junction for the Elk Lake-Marcy trail, with 5 more miles to Elk Lake Lodge. Exhaustion kicked in around here because the trail ascends AGAIN and not just a little bit, close to 1000 feet. I trudged through and I complained and the bugs got worse as the evening progressed. We got to Elk Lake as the sky was really changing colors and while it was pretty, we still had over 2 miles to walk on gravel road as the lodge is closed for 2020. We powered through that in about an hour. I had my shoes off, clothes changed, and Powerade in hand by 9 PM. The amount of daylight, the temperature, the distance, and the weight of your pack will all be working against you. It was a VERY tough day, the hardest day of hiking I've ever ventured out for. The things we will do for our fur baby!

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Bladen Reese
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Hiking

Great hike!

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Rachel Daley
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HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Did this loop today, starting with Dial and Nippletop over Bear Den. Was a long and consistent, steep hike for majority of the hike in to those first two peaks. Amazing views from both so well worth it. Our thought was to get the steep incline over first and have a easier end to the day. We then went down to Colvin and Blake. Colvin was a steep rocky mile incline. Good views but not an enjoyable hike. Steep rocky descent and ascent from Colvin to Blake, with no view at Blake. The ladders were missing boards, this was manageable but not great. Rock scrambles were strenuous. Going from Blake to Colvin and then back down Colvin was the worst part of the day. We were running low on water but got some from the stream on the way out. Overall this took us about 11.5 active hours hiking, dragging our feet towards the end. Very long day, lots of water needed for this one.

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