Crane Mountain Loop Hike

HARD 205 reviews
#5 of 185 trails in

Crane Mountain Loop Hike is a 3.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Warrensburg, New York that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.

DISTANCE
3.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,345 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

Beautiful Southern Adirondack trail with natural stone bridge, cliff ladders and a spring fed mountain ridge pond. Loop trail beginning at the trailhead at Ski Hi Road, Johnsburg, NY.

30 days ago

Hiked this July 1, 98 degrees after hiking Gore mountain. This loop is incredible but difficult. Shoes with some grip are a must. Would not do alone. Very steep and rock climbing is part of it. It was extremely adventurous and can’t wait to bring others on this hike. Views were amazing from many look out spots. The pond on the other side is beautiful and wonderful to cool off in. Proved to be a lifesaver on such a hot day. Hiking down just as hard as going up. Will definitely do again.

hiking
1 month ago

I live within the reaches of Crane's shadow, & as a frequent High Peaks climber, I foolishly overlooked Crane, thinking 'what's so special about that?' Needless to say, I learned my lesson. Elevation doesn't equal charm!

A great blend of sharp & steep with views of the Southern Adks; and oh yeah, a fancy pond.

Overall a moderate 3.5 mile hike, great for any day.

1 month ago

Great hike if you're up to the challenge! The second ladder is tall and a bit sketchy- especially when you get to the top! If heights bother you avoid the ladder section. The rock scrambles are fun but also demanding! A short but very vigorous hike. Beautiful views. Go early as the lot fills quickly. Overall very worthwhile!

hiking
1 month ago

the climb up was very steep and there was a lot of rock climbing involved, not to mention one tall ladder. but the view at the top was well worth it! loved this hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Wanted to provide some more information here on the cave that many seem to have found and others have missed. It's located quite close to the junction of the blue trail and the jeep path that goes to the main parking lot, and is right before the steep rise of the face of the mountain. It had a stream running through it and the trail actually went over the cave forming a natural bridge. I found it was easiest to access from the north side of the blue trail, and after climbing down into the sink/pit the cave had formed, you encounter the stream flowing through. The stream continues to the right, off into some unknown fissure that I didn't explore but could be possibly squeezed into. Going to the left up a slight crawl, the cave opens into a sizable room which I could stand in. It is decently dark so a bright waterproof flashlight or headlamp is handy. The stream flows into this room by a waterfall which was right at the end of the first sink where the stream dips underground. You could climb out this end but it was pretty steep and slick with the wet rocks.

The cave was cut through dissolution of the marble rocks, in much the same way as a limestone cave, and revealed some interesting features of slate layers and large quartz crystals within the rock from the metamorphosis of the marble. Marble caves are quite rare as compared to their limestone counterparts, and this is certainty an interesting place to explore not far at all from the trail.

1 month ago

Excellent hike!! We were so impressed with the variety of that this hike offered: lake, streams, scrambles, ladders, breathtaking views... this hike has it all!! Do it and it’ll be one of your favorites too.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s tough and you need good hiking shoes! The summit is really breathtaking. The second ladder is a little terrifying. Two hours from the top to the bottom but I feel as if I hiked for a full day! Good workout.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a tough hike, but so rewarding. I can’t wait to do it again in the fall.

hiking
2 months ago

Don't let the length of this hike fool you, not 'easy' but if you're capable and willing to do some rock scrambling you'll get rewarded with an excellent view. Next time I'll be bringing trekking poles. Definitely recommend the 'loop' (we thought loop meant avoiding the rocky section on the way down from the summit- not true, but you will avoid descending the ladders if you continue past the summit and down to the pond (more roots than rock here). Nice big parking area, too.

hiking
2 months ago

tough for us old folks but it was a blast and what a view!

2 months ago

Note: this mountain has no gas stations or cell service for many many miles around. Be sure you have a full tank of gas and that someone knows you are hiking here. This trailhead and mountain are VERY remote. The second ladder is very tall with a very small area from which to step off it when you get to the top. Definitely would not advise young kids or pets.

hiking
2 months ago

extremely difficult especially coming down
loved it

hiking
3 months ago

Nice little mountain to pop up, short and sweet! Be prepared for some steep climbs though!

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked the loop and it is one of my favorite hikes to date. The hike itself is lots of fun with the ladders and the trail is super cool too! Beautiful all the way. Really loved it. My only issue was that I didn't realize that the road leading to the trailhead is seasonal i.e. not plowed during the winter months. Not only did this add an extra 0.6 miles or so in the beginning, it also added another 0.2 or 0.3 at the end because you have to backtrack a bit to return to the trailhead to sign out. Other than these minor details, the hike was awesome and the views from the summit are STUNNING. Views of the pond at sunset are also quite nice.

As it says this is definitely an intermediate to expert-level hike as it is quite steep and snow/ice make conditions even more difficult. I would highly recommend snowshoes and ice crampons. Trekking poles may be strapped to your pack for the ascent (too steep to use on the way up), but are of value on the way down. Happy trails!

hiking
5 months ago

WARNING!! DO NOT, AND I REPEAT DO NOT CLIMB THIS MOUNTAIN IN WINTER WITHOUT MOUNTAINEERING CRAMPONS. Both the ascent and descent of the mountain is very steep and was littered with smooth frozen over ice melt. I made the mistake of just using mini lug crampons meant for walking and I ended up slipping falling twice in five minutes on my descent. Had it had not been for a small tree in the middle of the rock scramble on my first fall, who knows where and how far and hard I would have fallen. Im thankful for that tiny little tree. Its very steep and becomes very treacherous when it’s icy. Seriously. Invest in mountaineering crampons

ASCENT: Very steep and icy pretty much the whole way. However, there were many lookouts along the way to stop and take breaks and it has a great pine forest setting that just looks beautiful after a fresh snowfall, which I took full advantage of with my camera.

SUMMIT: the summit offers spectacular views. Much better views in person than the pictures show but isn’t that always the case?

DESCENT: The descent from the summit down to the pond is not well marked. I got nervous that I’d gone off trail so I started actively looking for a marker for at least 5 minutes and I saw not one. That may not sound like a long time but 5 minutes going down a mountain is a long way and I wasn’t looking forward to backtracking up the steep grade to get back to where I went off trail. I put faith in the footprints from other hikers that I was going the right way. Finally I saw one but this pet of the trail needs to be marked better. The descent after the pond was extremely icy. I slipped and fell twice and I was terrified of falling again. It was a very slow and methodical descent for me, planning out every step and praying I wouldn’t fall to my death. I’ll never winter hike again without mountaineering crampons. Ever. Lesson learned (the hard way)

The last leg of the hike is mostly flat but does have just enough incline to make lactic acid build up if you don’t have snowshoes (yet another rookie mistake of I made. Between the icy ascent and descent, my lack of snowshoes and my dumbass leaving my trekking poles in the car (this hike wasn’t my proudest moment), I can confidently say the hike was not worth the reward this time. If I was better equipped for winter or if I did this in summer, I’d probably feel differently. But this mountain left a bitter taste in my mouth

8 months ago

Such a nice hike

hiking
9 months ago

This is one of my all time favorite places to hike. So much fun and the views were incredible. Check out my full write up with pictures and directions.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/cranemountain

hiking
9 months ago

Loved the last review and wanted to see for ourselves ... we were not disappointed!!! Absolutely incredible views all along this trail. The scramble is fun!! This shot to the top of our favorites list. A "must do" of you love big rocks! At least this time of year, get there early to avoid the crowd - we were the second car in the parking lot at 8am ... when we left cars were parked quite a ways down the road.

9 months ago

Great adventurous hike. Would keep small kiddos home and definite no dogs. Would also make sure not to do in rainy, wet season. Several spots with amazing views! Would do this one again for sure.

hiking
9 months ago

Wow! Couldn't wait to leave a review on this trail! Best views I've gotten yet in the Lake George area (way better than Prospect Mtn. that's for sure. Also liked it better than Thomas Mt., the Pinnacle, Sleeping Beauty and Potash Mtns.). Ok, so there's no way to get around the rock scrambles if you park at the main trailhead. At the TH you can take the yellow trail to the left at the sign in (longer hike to summit, takes you to pond first before summiting) or you can take the red trail to the right at the sign in (takes you straight to summit ascending almost immediately as you leave the TH). Rock scrambles and rock scrambles! So awesome! Leave your trekking poles in the car; they'll do you little good and will just get in the way. You're going to need to use your hands for support in climbing the rocks, for leverage and that's it. You'll never be on your knees or do any cliff like climbing at all. It's rated as hard because it ascends quite a bit on both the yellow and red trails and because you have to use your hands to grab onto tree branches/rocks for support in your climb. This is by NO STRETCH a cliff climb so don't worry about that. Think Hadley Mountain but steeper, so you use your hands for support and to help push yourself up in a few spots. If you're in decent shape and don't mind rock scrambles, then you totally got this. Views are as good as they come and there must be 10 great spots for taking pics at the top. The pond is majestic and serene and some locals said there's a cave just past the pond, but I couldn't find it; dammit!!!! I'll try again next time for it. The descent on the yellow trail has tons of rock scrambles too, but nothing dangerous if you take your time and use your hands for support. I never once had to sit on my rear to slide down or anything. It's really not scary at all in my opinion. That said, the elderly, really small, inexperienced children, those with really bad balance, and doggies should prolly stay at home for this one. At the end of the pond, the red trail (which I took to the summit and down to the pond) splits into the yellow or blue trail (take the yellow to get back to the trailhead parking lot). You still have a ways to go once you join the yellow trail there at the split. No Portajohn at the parking lot and none along the way. Also, make sure you gas up your car in advance as I didn't see any gas stations from Warrensburg to the parking lot (about 30 min drive from WBurg).

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing hike! A super challenging, short hike with a spectacular view. Lots of steep climbing over boulders, plus 2 ladders. So much fun - we loved every minute of it. A must do near Lake George.

hiking
10 months ago

favorite moderate mountain hike in NY

hiking
10 months ago

This is a beautiful hike, the lake is gorgeous.

hiking
11 months ago

This was our first hike and it definitely was a harder trail for us to choose for our first time. However, it was fun and the experience was amazing! The views are just breath taking. We also took our 3 (will be 4 in 2 weeks!) went with us and hiked the whole thing herself! We took the route to Long Ladder however she was afraid to take the Ladder so we hiked back down and went around Crane Pond and back up! Can't wait to do this one again!

11 months ago

great views and steep climb loved it

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful hike! Just make sure to stay on the trail as I accidentally got off and ended up having to navigate some crazy rock ledges. Over all, it's a great hike with so much to see and do as you make your way around the loop!

11 months ago

Great trail! Not very busy. If you take the climbers trail marked with orange tape to the immediate right of the start of the Crane Mountain Loop it is a lot more difficult and challenging, rejoining the red route at it goes up to the summit. Some beautiful views from the top.

hiking
11 months ago

Found this hike challenging, with plenty of beautiful scenery. The pond is definitely worth spending time sitting enjoying the serenity. Note that the Blue Trail drops you in elevation to below the parking lot and you must hike 1.5 mile back up to your car.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

This was an awesome hike! Challenging and fun, with lots of technical rock scrambling and even come ladders! Despite its relatively short ascent, this one definitely fits its hard rating. The ascent is quite steep, but offset by how remarkably enjoyable it is! The views at the top are well worth the effort to get there though! Highly recommend this one to any that enjoy more technical hikes and a good challenge!

hiking
Monday, August 07, 2017

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