Mount Marcy via Van Hoevenberg Trail

HARD 224 reviews
#1 of 21 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 only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
14.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3431 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

no dogs

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.

backpacking
20 days ago

Surreal! Went backpacking for 3 days and enjoyed every moment. One foot in front of the other was my mantra for a whopping 30 miles in 3 days. Getting to the top was incredibly rewarding in many ways.

1 month ago

Fabulous stay in the lodge and an amazing and unforgettable hike up Marcy. A long, but not as strenuous as I expected. I would do this hike again in a heartbeat!!!

1 month ago

17 miles!! Longest hike in one day! This was a great accomplishment!(May 2017)

hiking
1 month ago

Wow, what a hike! As an amateur hiker I hardly knew what I was getting into when my family and I decided to take the trip up to the Adirondacks and hike Mt. Marcy. It was nearing the end of May 2016 and I was wearing my old, worn-out, “banana-peel” bottom sneakers that I soon learned was a big mistake once we discovered the top third of the mountain was snow-covered and icy. It was quite an exhausting trip up the mountain, especially with the snow, but well worth the view at the top of the mountain range. While waiting for some of my family to get to the summit I ate my lunch and took a 30 minute nap. The trip took about 10 hours and was about 17 miles total.

hiking
2 months ago

super hard 9 hours total awesome

2 months ago

super hard 9 hours total awesome

2 months ago

super hard 9 hours total

backpacking
2 months ago

Ice climbed to the summit.

backpacking
3 months ago

I've hiked all over the country, and this is by far one of my favorite hikes. The complaints below are laughable and should be disregarded. "A lot of stones and mud on the trail"? Really?

hiking
3 months ago

A beautiful hike and totally worth the summit views. out 10 and 12 yo daughters.. and us parents... were exhausted by the time we finished but we feel accomplished!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike, gorgeous views. Loved every minute!

4 months ago

Me and my wife did this hike on Wednesday and I tell you it was the most challenging hike that we have done but we managed to do it no matter what this hike offers beautiful wilderness River Forest and view on the top of Mount Marcy be ready for a lot of rocks and a lot of mud but it’s worth it. Make sure to wear proper foot wear and bring extra socks.

4 months ago

great trek

4 months ago

Traveled here 10/14. 9 hour out and back at relaxed pace. Shitty visibility at the top but a good climb none the less

hiking
4 months ago

A lot of stones and mud on the trail

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing hike! Difficult mostly because of the distance, not too technical until the last half mile up the peak. The peak was very cold and socked in fog when we got there (around noon), but it was beautiful and clear just below the summit. Wonderful hike, just make sure you're prepared for lots of mud if it's been raining!

4 months ago

Long and no views until you get to the 1.2 mile marker that shows you just how far you have left to get to the top.

Go on a clear weather day.

Brace for ice-rock climbing / slipping often unless experienced or durable enough to handle a slip on your butt like what happened to me 

This hike will more-so show you what you're made of with a very scenic end that will leave you saying "cool!" When you see the view at the top but also saying "crap... that's a lonnggg way back" on the way down.

Did the whole round trip in 8 (30 minutes spent at the top / we stopped to talk to people to give them an idea of what they had left and what to expect)

Good luck and enjoy!

We went on October 1, 2017

hiking
4 months ago

Nice reward at the top. A good day. It took us 8 hours

hiking
4 months ago

This was hands down one of the best hikes I ever went on.

The elevation gain and distance would make this a difficult hike overall, but a very rewarding one. The first two miles are moderate. From Marcy Dam you begin climbing up very rocky terrain and this persists most of the way from there on. You follow Phelps Brook, and once you diverge from that the real climbing begins. I recommend boots with great ankle support. The last 1.2 miles is the toughest climb of all but the payoff is one fantastic view of the Adirondack landscape from the highest peak in the state.

Due to the popularity, this trail is both heavily traveled, well maintained, and very well marked. I made it up to the summit in 3.5 hours and back down in 3. However, many hikers may want to plan for it taking longer than that.

I went in late September. It was so crowded that the main parking area was 100% booked and we had to park more than a mile down the road, and we arrived at 8am. I wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt and was comfortable all day, even at the summit. For reference, it was around 80 degrees at the base. I had heard it can be chilly at the summit so I had a fleece in my pack. I had heard reports of snow and 40 degree weather in July and August, however, I saw none of this on the day I went.

I brought 100 oz. of water and drank the last of it just as I finished.

This is an amazing hike; a great challenge with a big payoff. Enjoy!

hiking
4 months ago

It was the longest hike ever done in my life and an amazing views!!! it was worth the hike!! What a beautiful mountain!

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