Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Mount Haystack Trail is a 15.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Keene Valley, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 15.9 mi Elevation gain 3,825 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Cross country skiing

Hiking

Nature trips

Snowshoeing

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Snow

Fee

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

A challenging hike in any season, but particularly so in winter. Haystack is the third highest peak in New York State. From the trailhead, hike along the trail that follows the north side of Johns Brook. At Bushnell Falls there are two shelters and the trail crosses to the south side of Johns Brook and continues on to Slant Rock where there is an additional shelter. This is the last shelter before the two Haystacks. The Shorey's Short Cut trail then heads steeply upward and intersects with the Range Trail. Once on the Range Trail it rises quickly and peaks just as you reach Little Haystack. From Little Haystack you can begin to see Haystack, but before the final gentle ascent to Haystack, there is a serious step down to the Haystack ridge trail. This step is about 20 feet and very exposed, especially in winter, as the terrain drops away quickly into the valley to the east. In winter this area is very icy and requires some competence with an ice axe and crampons. After descending the step the route to the Haystack summit is clear. The return trip simply retraces the outbound route.

Park at the trail head at the Garden parking area in Keene Valley. The street name changes from Adirondack Rd to Interbrook Rd. (some maps show this road as Johns Brook Ln)

Head to toward Lake Placid NY via Interstate 86, then Route 73 and Route 9 toward Keene Valley.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (93)
Photos (518)
Recordings (78)
Completed (286)
Michael Cushing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking

AllTrails starts this hike on an abandoned trail, best to hike on the Yellow Phelps trail. Despite the storm the other day, the trails are in good shape and the high water bridge was not needed

View Michael's Recording
Karleigh R.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking
View Karleigh's Recording
Dan Studt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2020
Hiking

These trails range from easy walking to rigorous ascents and even steep rock scrambles. They are well-marked and well-maintained. The surface ranges from bare rock to rocky to smooth walking and even slightly muddy sections. Streams provide plenty of water for filtering.

View Dan's Recording
Brendan Drachler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsGreat!Scramble

Be prepared for a long day! Haystack is notoriously a tough peak in the Adirondacks because of its remoteness. The 6.5 miles to Slant Rock are quite easy and at times monotonous, especially on the way back. From Slant Rock to the junction with Marcy is a bit more strenuous and quite muddy at times as you are walking through a stream bed. The climb from here is tough and filled with scrambles. I would highly recommend using this route over using the shortcut to the Basin-Haystack junction. This route allows you to experience what I call Little-Little Haystack which gives an excellent view of the landscape between Marcy and Little Marcy. Continuing onto Little Haystack and Haystack is tough but that's only due to the many miles you've hiked to get there. Views from Haystack are some of the best in the Adirondacks. On the descent, I would recommend using the shortcut between Basin and Haystack or just hiking over Basin and Saddleback. I've read that the streams in this region are known to be contaminated with high levels of E.Coli. Therefore, we packed 6 liters of water to avoid having to drink any from the streams. It was a 90+ degree day though so maybe you won't need as much if you plan accordingly. Also, bring trekking poles for the muddy spots and bring ducktape incase the mud snaps your trekking pole like it did to my wife's. Thanks to the nice hiker who had some ducktape to fix it up! As for parking, the garden area is always a pain. We were there at 5:40am and the lot was full but we got lucky and someone left as we arrived. This may have been due to the holiday weekend. At other times of the year, getting there by 6am is generally sufficient for finding a spot.

Margaret McGohey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
HikingBugsFeeMuddyRockyScramble

We arrived around 5AM. It said Parking Lot Full, but when we pulled up there were plenty of slots. Parking fee is $10. There weren’t that many bugs and limited mud. The hikes were definitely rocky and fun. I’d do them again, just maybe not all together :).

View Margaret's Recording
Greg Auffredou
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 19, 2020
HikingBugs
View Greg's Recording
Hireni P.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 20, 2020
Snow

Another beautiful hike! Did it on March 7th, got really lucky with the weather. Clear day with beautiful views. Climb both little haystack and haystack in our snowshoes. Summit was little icy but nothing that our snow shoes couldn't handle.

Serena U.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 26, 2019
HikingBlowdownIcyScrambleSnow

12/21/19 Major blowdown on trail until Slant Rock. We broke trail from Slant Rock on. Crampons a must Little and Haystack. Beautiful 360 views. Very experienced hikers only due to the very icy conditions on the mountains and length of this hike.

Zachary Meyer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 6, 2019
HikingMuddyScrambleSnow

This was a great hike although quite tough especially with the icy conditions. The views from the summit are virtually unparalleled in the Adirondacks, the best view of Mount Marcy I’ve ever seen. That being said the icy conditions made this hike semi-dangerous and certainly tough especially the last mile.

Bri H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 5, 2019
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Long relatively flat with 4mi composing most of the elevation. Good views. Most of hike not marked, esp. at one river crossing. Lots of river crossings. Icy near top. very muddy and wet.

View Bri's Recording
Jeff Fabiny
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 21, 2019
HikingRockyScramble

the trail itself is in good shape. I am just so exhausted from it. from route 73 (we didn't know about the shuttle, trailhead parking was closed) it was a 15 hour day. our plan to do basin and saddleback was not in the cards at all. I'm not unfit by any means, but I am DEAD. People are crazy to do this under 10 hours. must be 100 pound trail runners.

View Jeff's Recording
Katy Leidel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 25, 2019
HikingBugsMuddy

We hiked via Adirondack Loj, as the Garden lot only has shuttles over the weekend. We’ve heard that is the better way to go when available. We started at 8:45am and completed at 10pm. The hike RT for us was a little over 23 miles. It probably would have taken 12 hours with rest stops, but we got lost for about an hour coming down little haystack because the sign to head back toward marcy was laminated and placed on a rock?? And we missed it... we were also told by multiple people that there was a sign at the split of Marcy and Haystack for Haystack. Not the case. So we took another wrong turn. Just know to take Phelps trail. Really sunny and buggy. Definitely need repellant for the black flies. Overall, the views on Haystack really can’t be beat. I had debated saving it for my last 46er, but happy to go today. I realized tomorrow was the day I did my first high peak two years ago at Marcy (and fell in love with the high peaks) and this seemed similar. Definitely recommend.

Taylor Topping
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2019
HikingBugsMuddy

6/10/19 hiked in from ADK Loj (didn’t want to deal with the garden shuttle service bc we didn’t know how long the hike would take us). Took us 3 hours to get to the Marcy split and then another 2 hours to the peak of haystack. Completed just under 10 hours round trip (which included 3-4 15 minute breaks). My wife and I are in pretty good shape and are moderately fast hikers. 60-70s and sunny. It was muddy but not crazy by any means. Gorgeous day and amazing views. Some patches of snow in the col between Marcy and little haystack but nothing that impeded the trial. The most difficult part of the hike besides the overall mileage (17.5-18miles round trip) was the part from Marcy to little haystack and haystack. This part was up and down steeper and more narrow than the trail up to Marcy.

Showing results 1 - 13 of 93