Giant Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge Trail

HARD 54 reviews
#1 of 14 trails in

Giant Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge Trail is a 18.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near New Russia, New York that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

18.4 miles
9,173 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




nature trips



bird watching





wild flowers






This hike can be done as a hike through, shuttled car ridge hike up Giant and then descending east down Rocky Peak Ridge to enjoy two more Adirondack High Peaks. As you begin up the Ridge trail towards Giants massive summit you will walk through beautiful woods, cross a log as you pass by Giants Washbowl and then enjoy some excellent exposed rock hiking. You will see (and pass by) the trail intersection for Rocky Peak Ridge - dont worry, you'll head that way on the way down. After a few false summits you reach Giants 4,626' open rock summit with incredible views. The view into the Great Range and beyond is amazing and well worth a ling lunch break. After enjoying the summit you will head back down to the junction and head towards Rocky Peak Ridge (RPR). On the way to RPR you take a short but steep hike down into and back up out of the col and come out to another beautiful summit at 4,383 feet. It is from tis point on that the hike is fairly incredible - the ridge hike allows you to summit three additional smaller mountains (Bald, Blueberry and Mason) while enjoying incredible views along the way and a walk through a picturesque lower forest.

14 days ago

Clear day with amazing views!

30 days ago

1 month ago

Rocky peak will almost always require full crampon in the deep winter months. Steep, slippery climbs up Giant then a large dip into the col and another steepish climb to the summit of RPR. Lots of ups and down can be tough on the legs. Sunrise summit highly recommended.

2 months ago

GIANT Mountain: on a beautiful sunny winter day with no wind, few people, 30 degrees..steep climb right time to warm up!!.this is my favorite MOUNTAIN so far..great views at every turn..make sure you keep turning around to part sliding down at least 1/3, if not more..was a glorious day.

5 months ago

Started in New Russia traversed the East Trail then down the Ridge Trail to Chapel Pond. Very unique hike as both trails have many open rock plateaus with great views that impressed me more than the actual summit views. The summits are farther from any other big peaks therefore lack the spectacular big mountain views of the great range. Lower elevation views are stunning in peak fall foliage. Hauled ass while in the trees to be able to take many 5 minute breaks on the open rock plateaus to enjoy the views.

East Trail was an easier hike with more roots, dirt and a few minor scrambles to the rock plateaus. Only steep section was before Lake Mary Louise, it felt as relentless and rocky as the climb up to Giant from RPR. The decent from Giant felt never ending and was a tough end to the day. Despite the short mileage this hike makes you work, always gaining or losing altitude with few flatter sections. You actually summit 4 peaks.

If you like to get the hard work out of the way early I suggest starting at Chapel Pond and ending in New Russia. East Trail is more gradual. Total time was just under 8 hours with about an hours worth of breaks. Great hike to push hard at times and then stop and slow down to just be in the moment, taking in the many views.

5 months ago

Very rewarding hike all the way up and to the summit of Giant. The clouds were moving in and out as the sun was beginning to come out and it was a unique experience. Felt like we were above the clouds. The drop down to the col of rocky peak was very steep and unforgiving, and was also wet but well worth it when you get to the summit of Rocky Peak which was probably even better of a view than Giant.

7 months ago

Beautiful trials, unfortunately we went on an overcast day so we didn’t get any views until our descent. The upside to that was we basically had the trail to ourselves. This hike was challenging with a lot of open rock climbing and a couple of false summits. The most challenging part was the trail to RPR, I found it to be very steep and slippery. All in all it was a great day in the mountains!

7 months ago

Great hike! Outstanding views up to Giant, at the peak and at Rocky Peak. Probably the most difficult portion is the initial descent to Rocky Peak (.3mi?) and then back up towards Giant. We left the trailhead at 5:45 am; views on the way up were great but the summit of Giant was overcast. Views from RP were great and you can see Lake Champlain and beyond. The ceiling was clear on the way back so we hit Giant's summit again for outstanding views. It is a very short walk back to Giant from the trail to RP so worth a 2nd look, 8 hours total with a total of 30 minutes on Giant and 20+ on RP

Monday, November 13, 2017

Challenging but great.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Amazing! Husband, our dog and I hiked with full gear from New Russia and spent the night at the campsite just east of Mary Louise Lake. Anyone hiking in to camp should know that the yellow sign about 400 feet prior to the Lake stating Privy will lead you to where the primitive campsite is. There are about four sites.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Best hike yet. Amazing views the whole way.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

One of the most beautiful hikes in the Adirondacks.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Started this hike with the intent of hitting Giant and RPR out and back. Once at RPR we meet a great guy and his daughter that offered to take us back to the chapel pond trail head if we chose to head back to New Russia. we jumped at the opportunity knowing from some prior research that this route offered some stunning views. It did not disappoint. marie Louise pond was just one of the highlights(see photo). Hitting some of the minor peaks in succession got to be a bit grueling on the knees at some points being that we already had the ascent up to giant and then that gnarly decent to RPR already under our belts. It was a long day of hiking and we were glad to reach New Russia once we got there.[ FitBit recorded 44,697 steps for the day.] Hope to do this again someday but not anytime soon.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Started from new Russia hiked rpr and then giant came down ridge trail to chapel pond. Was absolutely beautiful the entire way but was very difficult. As the day went on each up and down got harder and harder. Coming down between rpr and giant seemed endless and then going back up was extremely wet and steep. Had to take it bit by bit in small sections.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

RPR is one of my favorite peaks in the ADKs. I'd suggest doing this hike starting from Giant because the trail from Giant to RPR is tough in general and even tougher when you've already been hiking all day. There's parts where you have to pull yourself up by the roots of trees on the side of the trail if its wet (not sure if you can just steeply climb up when its dry, its been wet both times I've done this).

Overall great trail thats challenging and has a ton of nice views.

Monday, December 12, 2016

I've only done Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge as an out-and-back on the ridge trail so can't speak about the trail after Rocky Peak on the Rte. 9 side. There's a lot of climbing involved just in that portion, about 4,600 ft according to my GPS. It allows you to gain elevation quickly though. Not long after the trailhead you break out of the trees and have breathtaking views. I went during the peak of fall colour on the foliage and it made it even more spectacular. Don't underestimate the portion that continues to Rocky Peak Ridge; it's a pretty big drop between the two peaks. I did the hike in 6 hours and jogged on the way down because I had to be back at a certain time. Definitely want to revisit and take more time to enjoy it.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

All the reviews on underestimating this trail are accurate. Since I had already done Giant I decided to do Rocky Peak from New Russia and it didn't disappoint. It's seemingly a lot longer than what the markers indicate. The push to Bald peak is somewhat intense as it stands alone and is isolated, but once at the top is worth it. There is still another 2.5 miles to the summit of Rocky Peak but most of it is open and the views of the valley are great. I think this hike proved more difficult than most I've done because there were so many elevation changes and twists and turns along the way. This will take you most of the day to complete.

Friday, November 18, 2016

I hiked this trail as an out-back from the New Russia Trailhead. I had completed Giant 2 weeks before from Roaring Brook Trailhead, with the intent on ascending RPR but was prevented due to time and weather. Therefore, I choose to ascend RPR along the ridgeline following Blueberry Cobble, Mason MT, and Bald Peak. As an autumn hike, this was by far the most amazing and beautiful trail I have climbed so far in my career. Although it is a ruthless uphill climb of 5000 ft ascent, it offers amazing views of St. Huberts Valley, Dix range to the south, and the Giant Wilderness and Hurricane Wilderness Areas to the North. At 2.2 miles from the trailhead you can take a 0.5 mile course around Blueberry Cobble before ascending 500 ft toward Bald Peak. Bald Peak is in itself an amazing hike with views comparable to any in the High Peaks at 3067 feet. after crossing Bald Peak ridgeline you descend into Dickerson notch before ascending a steep 1300 feet climb to Rocky Peak ridge and Marie Louise Pond at ~ 6.2 miles. This little pond is a gem tucked into a small col between Rocky Peak false summit and Rocky Peak-- very quiet, serene, with some areas to pitch a tent. An additional 400 feet of climb and 0.4 miles you finally reach Rocky Point, with fantastic views of Giant, the slides and a commanding panoramic view of St Huberts valley-- indescribably beautiful and breathtaking. Overall the hike is not for the faint of heart- 13.3 miles and over 10 hours of hiking make this a definite dawn to dusk experience. Bring plenty of water and food and be prepared for extra layers for the temperature drops at the summit. Leave early before dawn during the late fall and winter seasons to make sure you have plenty of daylight for the descent...its along way back to the trailhead. a definite A+ hike!

Monday, October 17, 2016

With 15 peaks down this was absolutely the best views of all the peaks. It had over 100 awesome views parked one car at New Russia (500 ft elevation), Then drove around to Giants washbasin(elevation 1400). Left at 7:30 was at the top of giant at 10:00 am, rocky peak Ridge at 12:00, the best part of the trail was rocky Ridge onward including a stop for lunch at the perfect spot on an alpine pond. The fall Foliage was unlike anything I've ever seen.. We lucked out and got the perfect weekend to go. Jaw dropping views of yellow orange, reds. Views continue for what seemed foe error as you have to cross over three more mountains on the way down to New Russia parking. We underestimated this hike it is very hard but short (9 hours). Took us 4 hours to get from Rocky Ridge to the parking area.. Seemed like it would never end. BRING LOTS OF WATER (3-4 liters min) . The only spot to get water is from the pond so plan accordingly!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wow! We did not know what to expect going into this hike and figured we would jump right into to our first high peak, being inexperienced! Definitely harder than I thought it was going to be! We started at the east trailhead on Rt 9 and made it to blueberry cobbles. The trail was great and we loved all the views with the fall foliage! We definitely want to try it again after getting a few smaller peaks under our belt!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

This hike is incredible. I'm not in the best shape and I made it all the way through just under 8 hours and couldn't be happier for pushing myself. We started on rte. 9 in New Russia at the blubbery cobbles trailhead and finished at the chapel pond trailhead where our other vehicle was waiting. What an intense and magnificent hike! Highly recommended for all that seek to challenge themselves but know that this hike is very difficult for an out of shape person like myself. I hike a lot but this was much more difficult than I anticipated. After barely being able to walk up and down stairs for 3 days after this hike, I can still say it was totally worth every aching muscle!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Only hiked one way so It was 11 miles total. Two cars were needed parked on by Giant mountain and the other on Rt 9 new Russia area. Started at Giant mountain which was 3 miles to the peak. The hike up Giant has a lot of rock scrambles and is steep in spots. The views once on top are amazing. After the peak on Giant we pushed on to Rocky peak ridge by going down the back side of Giant. The decent here was extremely steep in places. Then hiked back up to Rocky peak ridge. The views were amazing with lots of photo opportunities as we walked the ridge after the summit back to our car. Also crossed over Bald mountain as well. Overall this is a hard hike but definitely doable.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

It was hard!!

Friday, June 03, 2016

I only did Giant (was unaware that it could be paired with rocky ridge).
Short hike distance wise, but brutally steep so make sure you have a few hikes under your belt before trying this one.
My favorite view was from the top of the falls so make sure to find time to stop there and check it out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I absolutely loved it!!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

This was a challenging but fun hike. I would rate it as moderate to hard and I consider myself a above avg hiker. It took us 1 hour 45 mins to the summit of Giant. We only spent about 15 mins at the top then went to Rocky peak ridge high peak. Which was 1.2 miles from the summit of giant. Straight down half the way then back up again until you reach the summit. Which in my opinion held a much better view than giant. It was well worth it. Coming down these mountains was very strenuous on our knees.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Très belle randonnée la montée comme la descente est très technique. Mon épouse et moi l'avons fait en 4.50 hrs pour 9.4 km par la ridge Trail. Avoir su qu'il y avait une plage juste prêt de notre départ, nous aurions apporté nos maillots.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The point-to-point route for this hike has the greatest views. On a 85 degree day though, it was very slow going and the bugs were swarming in full swing. Bring more water than you'll think you'll need and bug spray. Beautiful views!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fantastic trail- lots of elevation change up and down again, but the views are magnificent. We started from the Giant Mt side and camped at one of the designated spots 0.7 mi in from the trailhead. Great spot! Then up to Giant which was shrouded in cloud and down and up again to Rocky Peak Ridge and the clouds started to clear. A large portion of the hike down from Rocky Peak Ridge over Bald Mt had marvelous views. Was beautiful in July and can also imagine would be glorious in the fall. Definitely bring enough to eat and drink as this is a strenuous all-day hike. We were happy to see our shuttle car at the end!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

It was amazing! Breathe taking and an all time majestic experience.. Can't wait for the next one..

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