Haystack, Basin, Saddleback Trail

HARD 14 reviews

Haystack, Basin, Saddleback Trail is a 17.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Keene Valley, New York that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

17.5 miles
6059 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips






wild flowers



This hike takes you to 3 amazing 46er peaks including Mt. Haystack, Basin and Saddleback. It is a bit difficult getting over the rock scrambles up to Saddleback. Start off by parking at the Garden Parking. Head up to the trail towards John Brooks Lodge which is about 3.6 miles. Stop by and check out what it has to offer. From here head in the same direction towards Mt. Marcy. You will come to an intersection where you can head right towards Marcy or left towards Haystack. It's not long till you reach a small rock out cropping with great views. Just before little Haystack, you will see an intersection towards Basin. Once you reach Little Haystack the path looks difficult however most people make it in about 20-30 minutes. Once you have tackled Haystack back track and now take the path towards Basin. It is long and there are some steep inclines but you will have some great views. Keep going and it's only a mile till Saddleback. Hopefully you have some help because getting up these are crazy steep and hard. After you tackle this third mountain, keep going for .5 miles and turn off towards John Brook Lodge. Once you reach the slide you will see some very welcoming stairs. Follow the path right back to JBL and then back out to Garden Parking.

5 months ago

This trail rock !!

8 months ago

Started at the Garden Lot and headed to Saddleback. Muddy start and steady ascent. Fun climb to Saddleback including a fast climb up a ladder/stairs on the Basin face and with decent views up top. Down and up to Basin with a mad scramble. One of the more exciting scrambles I've done so far but definitely a rough trail, especially with prior and impending rains. Views opened up in almost all directions but fog kept rolling in and out making this a brief, summit visit. Haystack was next as the rain began. The earlier hiking was difficult in wet conditions, but the trail leading to Haystack was another beast in itself. False summits, rushing water, mud, rain, harsh winds and tricky rocks to navigate. By the time we made it out of the woods, Little Haystack taunted us in the distance. The winds picked up, so did the rain and the cairns were all we had to guide us. Down Little Haystack and a slippery traverse up to Big Daddy Haystack. We made it, wet, cold and full of views as far as 20 feet in front of us. Neat. Our hike down was going to be about 10 miles back. We decided to cut down the Marcy Trail to Phelps Trail instead of hoofing it back to Slant Rock to cut down on mileage and re-climbing peaks. The descent to the Phelps Trail was probably the most dangerous of the day. The hike out was long and arduous but surely beat the revisiting of peaks in the rain. Total trip time was 9 hours and 41 minutes. Be prepared for a tough go of it if you decide to do this loops but definitely one that's worth it. We will be back for Haystack views.

9 months ago

We only did Haystack and Basin with a side hike to Bushnells Falls. This was a hard hike that had great views from both summits. It was super windy up there today along with wet rock where we had to take our time.

11 months ago

did this last October long day trip but is awesome. defiantly glad I took haystack, basin, then saddleback. because I would not want to go down from saddleback towards basin because getting up it was already intense

Sunday, March 12, 2017

We made the ascent to the summit after we couldn't do it last week. What a difference the weather made for the water crossings. We only hiked Saddleback Mountain today.

Friday, March 03, 2017

We tried hiking Saddleback only today. The Range Trail was horrible. It looked like a mine field. The trail had places where it was undercut and you could see water running beneath the trail. The water crossings were not easy in some parts. We made it to the slide where the weather took a turn, so we called it and hiked back out.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Went from Saddleback to Basin. I have climbed many of the 46ers as well as the highest mountains in Vermont and New Hampshire, and this was easily the most difficult terrain I have come across - getting down was substantially more difficult than getting up. Thus I seriously underestimated how long it would take and had to skip Haystack. The views, of course, are spectacular and well worth it, but do not attempt if you aren't in shape. Will be returning for Haystack next season.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Extremely long day but so worth it. Took nearly 13 hours so bring a headlamp. JBL has some amazing people staying there and working there. Bring a friend or two along for this hike because getting up Saddleback from Basin is very steep.

7 months ago

10 months ago

Friday, October 14, 2016

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Saturday, July 09, 2016