Mount Colvin, Nippletop, and Dial Mountain Loop

HARD 10 reviews

Mount Colvin, Nippletop, and Dial Mountain Loop is a 16.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Keene, New York that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until December.

16.8 miles
6,122 feet



nature trips

rock climbing






wild flowers


no dogs

4 days ago

We consider ourselves to be average hikers in decent shape. This was a 20 mile day that took us 13 hours. I’ve done a few multi peak hikes in the ADK but this has the most elevation I’ve done in a day. Pretty steep everywhere. We parked in the Ausable club hiker parking near 73 and went up the Gill Brook Trail to hit Colvin first. Lots of waterfalls for the first mile or so.
I can see why most people say to skip Blake if you’re not trying to be a 46er. Although there are some views during the hike down there isn’t much to see at the top. To do Blake you also need to summit Colvin twice. The back side of Colvin is a very steep climb.
Lucky we had our water filter with us too. We were out of water by the time we hit the Elk Pass campsites. The two lakes and streams looked big on the map but are actually small ponds. There is no other opportunity for water nearby.
The longest uphill climb of our day was Nippletop but we were also rewarded with the best views of the day.
It’s only 6 miles out from Nippletop but you have to go over 3 other mountains on the way. Dial, Bear Den, and Noonmark. I haven’t seen Aspen Groves on any other peak like the ones on Noonmark.
The final 3 miles were steep and pretty brutal on our tired legs. We were very happy to be done and felt pretty good to have conquered this hike

12 days ago

An exhausting day! Took me 13 hours including break and walk up from lake road and down at the end to return to my car. The steep downhill of Elk Pass and Colvin were brutal on my knees. Start as early as humanly possible and bring tons of water, food, and a headlamp just in case!

17 days ago

12 hours from parking lot to parking lot. Did Dial-Nippletop-Colvin-Blake-Colvin. this give you a long but fairly easy walk out in the end. Good views from all but Blake.

26 days ago

All trails app recorded 19.9 miles from car round trip. It took us 13 hours, fit mid 20s couple, we did Giant+Rocky in 8 hours a previous weekend. it was nice to crank out 4 high peaks in one day. You will be walking the road for a few miles from the trail head. There are camp sites along the way. Nice views on nippletop, dial and colvin. No view on Blake. Drank a lot of water and ran out right near the end, I'll be buying a water filter or purifier for my next hike for sure. bring a headlamp incase you're taking longer than expected

1 month ago

11 hours total car to car with around 40 minutes of summit breaks total.
- I started at 4:30am at St Hubert’s parking, signed in at 4:45am. Walked to the leech trail where I went to Dial first. The trail starts out going up up up gaining a ton of elevation quickly and getting the heart beating from the start. Immediately climbing for quite a while until reaching the top of noonmark shoulder (some good views). Then the trail continues up to the Bear Den wooded summit after passing through some cool spots of aspen trees and a fun and unique stretch of trail. The leech trail goes over Dial to nippletop. Dial summit is a Boulder with no summit sign, decent view. Getting to nippletop wasn’t bad and has great views but another small summit with no sign. From nippletop I took elk pass down to the Colvin trail which was very steep getting down. Trail leveled out once going between two ponds. Colvin trail up wasn’t too bad, pretty gradual. Once at Colvin (another small summit with good views and no sign) the trail down Colvin to Blake was brutal. So steep. The “down Colvin, up blake, down blake, up Colvin” portion of the hike was the worst part of the day. Took an hour over to Blake’s wooded summit (a trail sign pointing to Colvin marks the summit), and then an hour back. Blake is totally wooded and a worthless trip other than having to bc it’s a 46’r. After getting back to Colvin from Blake I went down the gill brook trail to the lake road, using the cut off trail to get to the road as fast as I could completing the loop. The lake road made for a mellow but long walk out (like always). This entire trail is marked extremely well, so many signs pointing you in the right direction with mileage, a real treat. A long, challenging, and rewarding day in the woods.

9 months ago

actually closer to a 19 mile loop, and 6000ft cumulative elevation change. account for 10 hours. you will be hiking up Colvin twice. dogs are not allowed through the AMR.

1 month ago