Lower/Upper Wolfjaw, Armstrong, and Gothics Loop Trail

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High Peaks Wilderness

Lower/Upper Wolfjaw, Armstrong, and Gothics Loop Trail is a 15.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Keene Valley, New York that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length15.2 miElevation gain5,065 ftRoute typeLoop
BackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsSnowshoeingDog friendlyForestViewsWildlifeMuddyRockyFee
Description
Waypoints (5)
Tips
Getting There

SEASONAL ROAD CLOSURE: Roads leading to this trailhead are subject to seasonal closure in Winter. Beginning May 1, and through Oct. 31, 2021, DEC and AMR will require reservations for the 70 available parking spots at the AMR parking lot for daily access to trails on AMR property, as well as the Round Mountain and Noonmark Mountain trailheads accessed through AMR lands. Walk-in users without a reservation will not be permitted. Those arriving to Keene Valley via Greyhound or Trailways bus lines may access with a valid bus ticket from within 24 hours of arrival. Those arriving by bus must check in at the AMR hiker parking lot. The AMR parking lot is only accessible between the hours of 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily, with the exception of overnight parking. Advance reservations are required and can be made between 24 hours and two weeks in advance. Visitors can make reservations for day or overnight use, including overnight parking. It is not necessary to have a vehicle to make a reservation to hike. Those being dropped off and those arriving by bicycle must check in at the AMR hiker parking Lot and produce a valid reservation. All bicycles must be left at the hiker parking lot where a bike rack will be provided and portable restrooms will be available at the parking lot for visitor use. Visitors can begin registering at the new Hiker Reservation web portal, hikeamr.org, which will go live on April 15, with reservations beginning May 1. In an effort to keep the area safe, clean, and enjoyable for all users, parking is limited at other popular trailheads along the Route 73 corridor. Visitors should come prepared with back-up plans in case trailhead parking lots are full: Roadside parking on Route 73 in the vicinity of AMR is dangerous and illegal. Visitors should park only in designated lots and adhere to posted parking restrictions. Illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed and potentially towed at the owner's expense. Other restrictions for recreation on the AMR Conservation Easement continue to apply. These include, but are not limited to: Bicycles are not allowed past the parking area; Hikers must stay on marked hiking trails; Dogs are not allowed on the property; Hunting, trapping, and fishing are prohibited; The public is not allowed to enter on the shores, swim, or boat on any and all lakes, streams, or rivers, or cross the frozen lakes in winter; Entering buildings is prohibited This trail is a great way to tackle four Adirondack Fourty-Sixers in one single day hike. This trail takes you to the summits of lower and upper wolf jaw, Armstrong mountain, and Gothics. There are opportunities to camp overnight near Johns Brook Lodge in order to break up this trail in multiple days. Trail begins at the Garden trailhead in Keene. Just a little over three miles to where the trail begins where you either go straight for the Gothics (or Saddle) or left for the Wolfjaws. Please be aware that although dogs are allowed, this is not an easy trail for dogs and we do not recommend pets along this route.

If hiking in the summer, it is recommended to bring gaiters as the trails can get quite muddy. If hiking in the winter, it is recommended to wear snow shoes for this trip. Also recommended to start early, as this trip has a lot of elevation gain/loss for nearly half of the way.

Drive up to Keene, NY and enter the Garden Trailhead. Parking is available for about $10 a day. Start early as parking spaces fill up here quite quickly.

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Reviews (155)
Photos (1,695)
Activities (128)
Completed (522)
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Justin S
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SnowshoeingGreat!
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Michael Bailey
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Hiking
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Matt Kop
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Good

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Tara McLaughlin
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HikingGreat!
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Sammi Leigh
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HikingIcySnow
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Nathan Mandsager
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HikingBugsGreat!MuddyScramble

We did this loop a couple days ago on 10/23. To date we’ve done 17 of the 46, but Friday was probably the most challenging to date. Saddleback (don’t remember anyone noting the killer “stairway to heaven”), Gothics (with its crazy cables near the summit - many of the “cables” are now just garden hoses so be careful!), Armstrong (this was a great hike over from Gothics), Upper Wolfjaw, & Lower Wolfjaw. The return to Garden after Lower Wolfjaw felt super long after such a long day on the trail. Although the day was overcast up in the mountains, it was a warm Fall day. First day of hiking all season we saw bugs during the first couple of miles. No ice at all, it was damp and wet all day, but no rain. Wish we could have taken in the vistas from each of the summits but it was good to finally have some clearing on Lower. No problems parking at Garden. We started at 5:45am and finished at 7:00pm.

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PJ Regan
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Hiking
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THOMAS KING
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HikingGreat!

Started at the Garden Lot at 5:15. Lot was filled by 5:30. Headlamps for a few miles. Needed traction at the Stairway to Heaven and Gothics cables. Amazing hike. Back to the parking lot around 6.

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William Varade
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Wow, what a hike! At 6:15 AM the lot was about 2/3 full. We started at 6:30 and the hike took over 9 hours, covering just under 15 miles excluding Lower Wolfjaw. Going up Gothics first was exhilarating, but it is slippery - nearly impassable in some spots - when wet. The views are fantastic and well worth the strenuous climb up. If it is dry, I'd highly recommend doing Gothics first. Armstrong and Upper Wolfjaw offered some great views, too. And they felt a touch easier after conquering Gothics. Overall this hike kicked my butt, but it was well worth it.

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Benjamin Rosenthal
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Hiking
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Kirk Moon
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HikingGreat!MuddyRocky

Walked to the Garden tailhead from 73 (lot was full by 0600) at 0645 and took the Gothics first route. The terrain was wet and muddy but manageable. Gothics assent was actually quite challenging but I was rewarded with amazing, clear fall views from the summit. Ran into a handful of other hikers and even hiked with another group for a while! About 18 miles total and a very good nights sleep!

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Shaun Rouse
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HikingGreat!MuddyRockySnow

The hardest thing I’ve ever done. Rain and snow. We went the reverse order. The cables and stairs were fun! It’s all about the climb!

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Taylor Yvonne
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Hiking
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Shea Murphy
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Hiking
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Chad Corcoran
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Hiking

Wet. Hard. Awesome.

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Travis DeRusso
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Hiking
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Vrushali Chavan
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Hiking
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Adam Laroche
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Hiking
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Saleem Ismail
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HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Hiked gothic via pyramid from ausable club parking and went to Armstrong upper wolf and lower wolf returning after 10 hours to parking lot. I recommend going this route rather than doing wolf jaw first. Makes descent quicker and smoother. Few tight and challenging spots but manageable for a moderate hiker in 50s. Start early, go steady take time, doable!

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