Nippletop and Dial Mountain Loop

HARD 32 reviews

Nippletop and Dial Mountain Loop is a 13.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Saint Huberts, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October.

DISTANCE
13.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4130 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

A great loop hike that descends a long ridge with fantastic views of the Great Range while also ascending two 46ers. This is a great 15 mile loop hike that will take you down a beautiful Lake Road towards Lower Ausable Lake and then climb to the top of two 4,000 foot peaks. From Nippletop you will have great views towards the Great Range over Colvin and descending the ridge over Dial and then the smaller Bear Den you will also get glimpses of Dix Mountain before returning back to the trailhead.

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great Hike. Hiked Lake Rd to Gil Brook Trail. Lots of little waterfalls along the way. Took the short trip to Indian Head before returning to Elk Pass trail. You walk by a few nice ponds before heading up Nippletop. Fairly steep but not to bad. Great views. Very windy when I was there. Trail over to Dial is easy. Small rock ledge to see some views. Then it Was Bear Den Mt, the shoulder of Noonmark, and some small Mt that didn’t show up on my map. Great views though. After that it was a hike back to Lake Rd and out. The hike was 14 1/2 miles. Including breaks it took about 9 1/2 hours.

1 month ago

This hike has a little bit of everything in it...

Starting out from the Ausable golf club and trekking down Lake road is a nice (but fairly long 4 mile) start to warm you up if you don’t like getting out of the car and immediately inclining.

We looped counter clockwise to get the long road trek out of the way first and took a detour, adding less than a mile, to the loop by checking out Indian Head and Fish Hawk cliffs. It’s 100% worth the effort when you’re so close and you wouldn’t want to miss it.

From there until you get to Elk Pass it’s not too bad but I’ll admit it was a pretty tough stretch to scale Nippletop as you gain over 1,000 feet in a mile or so. However once there it’s totally worth the view. Has to be one of the top in the peaks. We spent a good 40 minutes at the summit and then descended to Dial which was another 3 miles.

The road to Dial was pretty gradual and like Nippletop had a great view. From there we continued our descent and passed over Noonmark shoulder and had a pretty cool time walking through the newer stretch of trees grown after the fire years back. The shoulder also had some nice views and it’s really the only time you’ll have to ascend again.

From there the last 4 miles are pretty steep downhill until you’re back on Lake road with only a mile left to the club.

I personally like to get all the heavy lifting done in a short span and the real challenge here is the 1,500 feet you’ll gain in one area going up Nippletop. The rest of the hike can pretty much be dedicated to great views and enjoyment.

I’d recommend reserving 8-12 hours for this hike. We spent about 1.5 hours on summits and taking pictures and we moved at a somewhat slower pace than we had planned and it took us about 10 hours total.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! 15 and 16 for me :) We went up clockwise via Bear Den then Dial and Nippletop. I like getting elevation out of the way first and this was a good route for me. The decent from Nippletop was steep (wet from snow melting) but doable it eventually levels out. The elk to gill brook was pretty flat and I enjoyed a cool but long flatter decent. If going counter clockwise seems you'd walk flat a long way before ascending Nippletop. The hike from Dial to Nippletop was fairly flat, easier ascents and had some snow. Views at Nippletop were spectacular. If I had to do this again I'd go clockwise.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was my first high peaks adventure, and reminded me that I am no longer a young pup.

It was a blast! We took the "clockwise" loop. From what we experienced, and what the other hikers that went the "counter clockwise" direction looked like climbing the final ascent to Nippletop, I'd say we took the easier route. Our route was a climb right from the get go and got the engine pumping hard, but after the descent from Nippletop to Elks Pass it was a decent hike out with a nice flat road to finish up.

Bring lots of water (I went through 4Liters). The only suitable water source for filtering was Gill Brook on our descent. Elks Pass was kind of stagnant and questionable in terms of use in a filter.

If you have ailing leg joints, be sure to bring your braces. The descent did a number on my knees as well as my partner's knee and ankle.

All in all, it was physically painful on the body, but was well worth the views and exercise.

hiking
2 months ago

Really cool hike. Ascent begins immediately on way up Noonmark shoulder to Bear Den to Dial, gradual fairly easy meander to Nippletop, fairly steep descend down Nippletop to Elk Pass and beautiful views of Gills Brook on the way back to the road. Summit was in the clouds on both peaks but great day hiking otherwise! From parking lot to parking lot took our group of three 9 hours and 40 minutes with multiple rest stops along the way.

2 months ago

great hike, beautiful views. We did the counterclockwise loop, taking the third left from the road in ausable club and going up through fish hawk cliffs. We stopped off at Indian head 1st, a tiny but very worth it detour. then up the steepest section to nippletop first, and finally down to dial and bear. this way is great because if you get an early start you don't run into many people and there is less road time at the end. super enjoyable!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

Super awesome, challenging hike. Granted, we did it with the intention of camping, so the weight of our packs made for an additional challenge. Going up Bear Den to Dial to Nippletop felt like the best way to go, getting the steep incline out of the way, and camping in along Elk Pass, so that all we had for our second day was the descent.

We could have done it all in a day if we didn't have huge packs, and if we did it again, we would do the loop as a day hike.

The views were 100% worth it, but the trail conditions were super muddy and slick.

hiking
3 months ago

Incredible hike -- but so steep until the top of Dial

hiking
3 months ago

Dial and Nippletop was a nice fun day, lots of uphill, and a dozen great views. We started by heading up over Bear Den Mountain. Lots and lots of bear tracks so keep a watchful eye. No markers that I could find for Dial or Nippletop. But the views were great. From the intersection near Nippletop, it says .2 miles, just keep in mind its a long .2mile. The day I went it was extremely muddy. Heading down Elk pass was steep but fairly easy. Once getting back onto Lake Rd it was an easy return. Overall time was 12 hours from car to car.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Reasonably challenging hike. I made two wrong turns as the GPS trace witnesses: one in the beginning - started on a wrong trail (to Noonmark) and then after the beaver ponds. Great views from both Nippletop and Dial; from the Noonmark shoulder too. I have done it counterclockwise: steep climb to Nippletop and then gradual descent for the rest of the loop.