Mount Marcy via Van Hoevenberg Trail

HARD 380 reviews
#1 of 33 trails in

Mount Marcy via Van Hoevenberg Trail is a 14.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Placid, New York that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
14.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,513 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

snow

Mount Marcy peak is the highest point in New York state within the High Peaks Region. This is a challenging hike due to its length. Starting on the Van Hoevenberg Trail from the Adirondack Loj or near Heart Lake, the trail is easy until you reach Marcy Dam. Once you have reached the dam, you begin climbing up rocky terrain, as the trail is mostly boulders, and this persists most of the way from there on. Stop and take a rest by Phelps Brook and Indian Falls to take in some excellent views. You will want to refill water bottles here as there are no streams the rest of the way. The hiking gets harder as you get closer to the summit. The last 1.2 miles is the toughest climb of the hike and the last push is bedrock that feels steeper than it is. However, the payoff from the Mount Marcy Summit is a fantastic view of the Adirondack high peaks, Mont Royal in Montreal, Canada, and the Green Mountains in Vermont all from the highest peak in the state. This is a popular route within the Adirondack Mountains is heavily traveled, well maintained, and very well marked, however it can be rough on weak ankles. Hiking boots with good ankle support are recommended.

hiking
1 day ago

Wonderful, although heavily trafficked, hike to a breathtaking view. Bring a head lamp if you are getting a late start, and a windbreaker for the summet. Proper hiking shoes with ankle support highly recommended, as you are mostly hiking up boulders to the top. There are a few places to camp near the start of the trek; bear-proof cannisters are required and can be rented at the lodge.

hiking
2 days ago

So the Hike Begins at the back of Parking Lot 1, and continues to the Marcy Dam. However, they were doing some construction at the dam but no biggie. However, when you cross the bridge initially do NOT go left, I made that mistake and I went down the truck trail for 2 or so miles before realizing my mistake. I then went back onto the correct trail and signed in at the dam sign in area. The hike is a little mucky/muddy but if you have some decent dry boots you'll be fine expect to have your foot submerged once from a misstep but other than that great hike. Made it to the top and got some bomber views. I was gonna go down the Lake Arnold side but decided against it because it would have been even more muddy and I didn't have a physical map, just my phone and the app. All in all took me about 8 hours because of my detour and completed 19 miles with a 30 minute break at the top and a couple 5 min breaks on the trail.

hiking
6 days ago

Definitely a challenging hike but well worth it. I'd done Mt Washington a couple weeks earlier in December and I found Marcy to be significantly more difficult than any of the other state high-points in the northeast. I completed the hike with snowshoes on my pack but never put them on. A state ranger let me know on the way down that you can actually be fined for not wearing them with ten or more inches of snow.

9 days ago

Great overall hike that lives up to its reputation. Definitely challenging but doable and well worth it. I am in my late 20’s and an avid runner and somewhat experienced hiker. It took my friend and I 6 hours round trip at a faster pace plus a 30 min rest at the top. We arrived at the Loj around 7:30 and the lot was almost full so I definitely recommend getting there closer to 7am. Bring layers as the temperature varies throughout the hike (today it was approx. 65 at base and 35 at summit). Trail is well trafficked and clearly marked (follow the blue markers). Bring plenty of water and snacks. And don’t forget $10 to park at the Loj.

hiking
9 days ago

A lot easier then I thought it would be 7.5 hours round trip with few stops along the way with 30 mins at the top. Not a technical climb but does require some agility because of the many rocks and endurance from pure length! Proper hiking boots and lots of layers this time a year is ideal! Single female hiker, started around 9am,summit At 12:45 and and finished at 4:30!!

hiking
12 days ago

There is no way to cut it- this is a hard hike !!!! I consider myself a pretty fit person and intermediate level hiker and this beast took about 11 hours round trip. This included several stops and about 30 min at the top. The hike technically is not hard other than a few rock scrambles the last hour and lots of rocks to step through- the challenges is in the endurance required! The journey is hard and the reward is big ! A few pieces of advice:
- wear sturdy hiking boots. This is not to be done in sneakers.
- Bring sufficient food and water. We brought 10L for two guys and still ran out with 3 hours of hiking remaining. I’m a huge sweater so I lose water fast.
- I’ve seen people comment that they did this round trip in six hours. You have to be really fit and fast to do this.
- We had perfect weather, including at the top- a nice 70F the whole way. I can see how weather can be bad at the top so check it first.
- It rained a few days before we hiked and we had basically to walk through a stream for half the hike. Not really a big deal other than prepare to get wet !
- Met some nice people on the hike Lots of high pointers!
- Start by 8am at the latest.
- Take an epsom salt bath afterwards

12 days ago

not to be taken lightly. expect to be out there all day for your average hiker. the distance is serious and don't forget you have to get back down. the final push is easy, the part that got me was the constant pounding for several miles beforehand. very tedious hike, stop at the falls to take a break it's worth it. glad to bag this peak but there's more fun hikes out there.

hiking
14 days ago

Too many people deciding that their one hike for the year is going to be Marcy.

Pick something easier that you're not killing yourself on, and enjoy nature instead of sucking wind! So many unprepared people today, poor footwear, a single water bottle, no rain gear, etc. If you're not enjoying yourself, there are plenty of other hikes to enjoy yourself on!

More on the high level of moderate than hard. Once you get past the dam the trail turns to walking up small boulders with water running down. Sturdy shoes, poles, and you should be good to go. 6:22 with a stop at the top. Nice to have options for water refills on the way up and down if you bring a filter.

Started dumping rain a couple minutes away from the parking lot, and we saw a lightning bolt hit the mountain a couple minutes later. Watch the mountain weather forecast!

15 days ago

Great hike! 4 hours up and 6 back. Worth all the time and effort to get up. I hiked this with my 11 year old daughter, am 41. A bit less challenging going up than we thought through the first 5. Last 2miles will get your heart pumping- and the first 2miles down hill were knee killers especially with the trail being so wet.
Was cloudy so no view- we’ll definitely be back to do it again.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked this trail on Labor Day weekend. Started at 6:45am and got back down at 4:30pm. The hike would be a challenge for those who don’t do any physical activities, hence why it’s labeled Hard. I thought that it wasn’t bad since I run often and do kickboxing 3-4times a week, I would love to do this trail again for a better time. Very well marked, kind people all around. The last 1.2 miles- a lot of it requires climbing boulders.

hiking
22 days ago

A really well maintained trail, several stops along the way with great views and atmosphere. Indian falls in particular was a pleasant spot. Other reviews have mentioned that the last mile and a half to the summit can be rough but I think it’s probably closer to the last half mile that gets you good. The trail nearer the summit is also pretty narrow, and with the sensitivity of alpine vegetation, so hikers should take care when they get there. Absolutely worthwhile, and not as long of a hike as others have indicated. I think an 8 hour round trip is probably average.

24 days ago

Started around 6:45 am. First time so enjoyed every minute solo. Stopped at Indian falls 10 minutes to fill up bottle of water and enjoy the view. Slow pace took me 3:50 to summit. Was 20C at bottom and 1C at summit! Bring proper gear. 360 view on top is amazing.

29 days ago

Don’t do it with a fullruck

29 days ago

I completed this hike in July. I recommend starting early, at sunrise or even 30 minutes before to beat all the traffic. Lots of people make this hike during the summer and the trail can become very crowded. The hike is a nice balance of flat terrain, forest, open hiking above the tree line, climbing, and even some rock scrambling. It’s hard on the feet and ankles as there are lots of rocks to maneuver on the trail. This is the most difficult ~5500 elevation hike I’ve done, but the payoff at the peak was worth it. You get 360 panoramic views of the high peaks region.

hiking
1 month ago

a family bucket list hike. we started from the loj at 6am and we’re back around 4:30pm. it was a LONG HARD day but so worth it! the views from the top are amazing!

we took three long breaks - at indian falls on the way up and back, and again at the summit. so we probably could have finished faster but the breaks really helped keep everyone from bonking.

the entire family is still sore today (wednesday) and we did the hike sunday!

1 month ago

Absolutely stunning views at the top, even with fog. Hiked it with another girl (we're both mid 20's) took us 8.5 hours total, with about a 45 minute stop at the top and minimal breaks. Definitely tough for the last mile and a half, but so worth it! also my Fitbit said it was closer to 18 miles.

1 month ago

lots of fun worth the work for the views

1 month ago

my 1st high peak, and what a hike it was! I wasn't quite ready for the last mile and a half of rock scrambling but I made it and it was well worth it! Breath taking veiws. Took me longer than most, 12 hours. I took many breaks, I think most people can probably conquer this trail as long as you're in good health and have good endurance! good luck!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome view. Clear day. Tough climb down.

1 month ago

3.5 hrs To climb
3 hrs to comeback.
I had a very good pace.
So expect 8.5 to hike the top.

1 month ago

GREAT hike! We started at 6:30 am and we’re done just before 4. Bring more water than you think you’ll need. We had two 72 oz water backs plus three bottles and drank it all before we were finished. Stop by the creeks on the way down and soak tired feet. It’s a great way to rejuvenate! There’s a $10 parking fee at the LOJ too.

1 month ago

Extremely well marked, gradual incline till the very end, and a very nice 360 degree view at the top. Quite muddy in some spots! Bring lots of water and snacks for this one, becuase it's a long day. Start early! I'm an intermediate hiker and finished this in 10 hours, going from 6 to 4, including breaks. There are some nice rest spots along the way like at Marcy Dam or Indian Falls. If you are a regular hiker and have good stamina, this is a great hike for you!

surfing
1 month ago

The view at the top of the wave was amazing. Hang Ten!! As we got to the top the gravity thinned out and a friend of mine was swept into space. I’m mad because he had the pop tarts. Very fun trip and worth anyone’s while who enjoys sea bass.

1 month ago

Challenging but doable. I love the varied terrain and the view is fantastic.

1 month ago

Amazing views- awesome person to answer questions provided on the summit. Phenomenal experience. Coupled with tabletop and Phelps it was a once in a life time experience. Pay particular attention to your water levels and ankle support is a must

1 month ago

easy going in hard coming out, it can be done in a day but you definatly want to be in shape before you tackle this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

I climbed this for the second time with my 2 daughters, age 46, 17, and 15....We began at 6:44 and got back between 4:30 and 5 with about an hour break on top...it has some steep parts but then levels off occasionally to give you a break...the trail is well marked and you don’t really need a map(I never looked at mine)..I did have a print out with trail descriptions that I liked...the view on top are amazing...the top as really steep with lots of rocks to climb up on, I would not recommend this for first time hikers though if you are really out of shape. The trip down was actually harder for me because of my knee starting to hurt. Takes lot of water, you will sweat!

hiking
1 month ago

great hike. stayed at one of the lean tos around marcy dam, so it made the hike a wee bit shorter. other than the length and last half mile of the hike, it's not too crazy. good views up top

hiking
1 month ago

The summit of Mount Marcy is breathtaking. The terrain is very rough and a boot with ankle support, that’s waterproof, and cushion is a must.

backpacking
1 month ago

this trail was amazing. a must do for backpacking or day hike. give it a go. you won't regret it. just be prepared.

Load More