Phelps Mountain Trail

MODERATE 124 reviews
#5 of 42 trails in

Phelps Mountain Trail is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Keene Valley, New York that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,158 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

snow

This is a very short climb from Adirondack Loj to the top of this 46er which as wonderful views from summit ledges. This is an easy climb from Adirondack Loj to the top of Phelps at 4,160 feet. Although the summit is wooded there are spectacular views spanning from the Great Range all the way to Algonquin with the state high point, Mt. Marcy framed in the center. You'll want to take some time at the top for photos. This is one of the easier climbs in the high peaks so feel free to bring family.

hiking
12 days ago

Added at the end of a Marcy/Table Top day hike and worth it. Mix of moderate stony path like the main trail and tree roots like Table Top made it challenging after climbing 2 other peaks already.

birding
26 days ago

Great hike with my 7 year old daughter. We started at South Meadow. Walked to Marcy Dam & then up Phelps. Wonderful weather and a very nice view. The trail isn't very demanding but it's pretty beat.

hiking
29 days ago

A really nice hike reviewed by a couple novice hikers :) We hiked on 6/16/18 and really enjoyed the nice easy climb from the Loj for the first 3 miles but the last mile was certainly steep with some bigger rocks toward the summit. The views were rewarding and the false summits on the way up even offered lovely views - I think you can definitely see Marcy, Colden & Algonquin. About a 9 mile round trip, it took us about 6 hours with a long rest at the summit.

hiking
29 days ago

Great hike, great views at the top!!! First 2 miles were easy, 3rd mile started to feel the incline. The last mile up was strenuous, but we took it slow and kept going. We were super cautious on a couple climbs up rock, but there were spaces to step into the rock or roots/branches to grab. We were glad we had hiking poles, but also used our hands at a couple bigger rocks. We were able to do this with our two kids, ages 12 and 14. The 12 year old is fit, but gets a bit tired when it’s steep, and the view was rewarding to her. Our 14 year old loved it and even did tabletop afterwards while I hung out at Indian falls. Indian falls was wonderful!!! Everyone loved their accomplishments!!! Bring more water than you think you’ll need, or a filter, especially when it’s a warm day!!!

hiking
1 month ago

The sign for the turnoff was missing. First hike of the season and so a little struggle for me--very beautiful at the top. I'd thought of doing this on the same day I did Marcy but I'm probably glad I didn't. It's definitely more than just a quick side trip--well worth it on its own.

2 months ago

great hike!

hiking
3 months ago

Saturday was a perfect day for Phelps- low 30s and blue skies. I used my spikes, although I saw plenty of folks with snowshoes. The last mile is a straight incline. There were small sections of ice, but it wasn't bad. Overall, a wonderful hike with a great view!

5 months ago

Loved this hike! Went at the end of January , high 30’s and it was perfect. I used my spikes and my boyfriend used snowshoes. The view from the top was beautiful along with some great views as you are reaching the summit. The first three miles is an easy walk but the last mile is fairly challenging. Really enjoyed this hike, my only suggestion is leave early so you can hit tabletop too!

snowshoeing
5 months ago

Not going to lie, I “Phelps” this one! I went on a relatively mild winter day. Temp was high 30s. Snowshoes were required since there was 8 in (or more) of snow on the ground. Although, I saw a few who were hiking with just microspikes. I did too, i am not used to hiking with the snowshoes and I felt awkward in them. From the Loj, I followed the blue trail. The first 3 miles were pretty straightforward, the last mile was intense. The views were spectacular! If I had a time (maybe 2 more hours of sunlight), I would have climbed Tabletop Mountain which was 2 miles away from Phelps.

hiking
5 months ago

Did this hike Jan-15-2018 as my first winter high peak. -19 degrees at Marcy Dam. The trail itself wasn't overly technical or hard, but keep in mind that climbing these mountains in winter, with added clothing and gear, drains your energy much faster than in the summer. Wore snowshoes until i got off the van ho and onto phelps trail then switched to microspikes. the trail is too rocky/icy/ narrow to wear snowshoes safely. Beautiful views in the last quarter mile and at the rock shelf at the summit. There is a rather steep ice-filled section towards the top that will require decent spikes and steady foot/hand work, but it is climbable without special gear. Keep moving and you'll stay warm, but bring extra layers if you plan to stop for more than a few quick pictures.

hiking
6 months ago

Did this hike 2 days ago in -20 degree weather. If you’d like to attempt this hike in the winter, definitely bundle up with a lot of layers and I’d recommend snow shoes. There really wasn’t any need for crampons on this hike. The hike is well marked and relatively straight forward. The view at the top is amazing and definitely pays off the effort to get up there. Took about 5 hours for the entire round trip. Definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a moderately challenging day hike in the Adirondacks.

7 months ago

I went up on Nov 14th to bag another of the 46 high peaks. It had been a couple days after the first snow fall of the year, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m still new to this peak climbing , and hadn’t done any in the snow/ice. On the drive up from Buffalo I climbed Arab Mountain as a warm up for the following day on Phelps. Arab Mountain wasn’t too bad...a gradual climb and though a little icy in spots, it was doable....The 4.1 mile hike to the base of Phelps wasn’t bad at all. Gradual up and down paths through the woods... crossing a river...good views at the opening near the river beds....The real work started at the initial ascent to the peak. The first 10 minutes or so was your typical rock scrambling, then the path started to get really icy. I didn’t have any micro spikes, so had to move very slowly. I scaled ( bypassed) 2 ice walls on the way up....bushwhacking through the trees on the side of the path....then when I was within 200-300 feet of the summit, I ran into an ice wall that was impassable. I don’t think spikes would have helped, I didn’t have climbing rope with me, and I was hiking solo. So after analyzing it for 10 minutes or so, ( and pissed that I was so close),I had to start my descent back down. I’ve been told that climbing in the snow is easier, as it takes a lot of the rock climbing out of the equation, but I’ll have to research that a bit more before I try to attempt that. Any input????? Drop me a tab....Kiernanfam96@aol.com... thanks, and happy and safe hiking!!

8 months ago

Nice day, a little wet and muddy in some spots. Easy for a high peak!

hiking
9 months ago

Nice hike, rain held off but very humid. No view at top due to heavy fog. Glad i had my coat as it was very cool and windy at top.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike with my dogs easy for a high peak

hiking
10 months ago

Fantastic experience. Beautiful summit views. Last mile or so is challenging like others have mentioned but we took our four kids along (between the ages of 7 and 14) and had a great time.

10 months ago

As many people say the first 3 miles or so are a walk in the park...but the last mile was very difficult. Slippery rocks, 3 or 4 rock walls and no way around and nothing on the side of the trail to hang onto. Very muddy and wet. The top is fantastic. At the summit there are little herd paths that split off to little look-outs. Take the trail from the boulder down through the very, skinny and wet trail through the evergreen path and it will take u to the true summit! Although there is no plaque, hikers left rocks around where it used to be. You gets views of Marcy, Tabletop, Algonquin and so much more from the summit! The way down is difficult. Very good day hike. Also could be combined with Tabletop! I would save this Peak for probably the 5th or 6th 46er you do. (This was my 6th high peak). It just depends on your stamina and your legs and feet.

10 months ago

Wow.

hiking
11 months ago

First three miles are easy, last mile is rough - We hiked the first three in an hour and ten, and the next in an hour and ten. About 2 1/2 hours from the Loj to the summit at a brisk pace. Gorgeous views of the neighboring peaks!

backpacking
11 months ago

Long but the view from up top is totally worth it! Make sure you bring gaiters or waterproof boots it gets very wet and muddy!

hiking
11 months ago

It's a long mile from the trail split, first half isn't too bad, gets harder near the top, the false summit views are amazing, summit views are also amazing! Went ahead and did Table Top after we got down from Phelps.

11 months ago

Took roughly 7 hours including an hour at the top to feed the little one and for her to take a nap. Climbed with our 11 month old on the back and our Boston terrier. As stated previously it is 3 easy miles out and one steep climb to the top. Definitely some scrabbling the closer you get to the top, but the way down is way easier than we thought it would be. Trekking poles were a huge help.

hiking
11 months ago

Relatively easy 46er. It is an 8+ mile hike that feels more like 2.5 miles, as a large portion of the hike is flat or with a gradual ascent.

As of the time of this review, the LOJ has been modifying the portion of trail between the MacIntyre junction and Marcy dam- bringing the trail through some muddy spots.

This would be a great double peak hike with Tabletop. Having already done Tabletop, and starting the trail after work @ 3:30pm meant I was doing Phelps by itself. I don't know where Lakeplacid.com got its 6 hours (experienced hiker) completion time because I was able to complete it trail head - to - trail head in 3 hrs and 45 minutes. A great mountain to view some of the larger, interior High Peaks with its summit balcony (very similar to Mt. Vanhovenberg), but if you were looking for something either a bit more difficult or looking to be ON one of the larger mountains (not looking at them) look to the Macintyres, Colden, or sections of the Great Range.

hiking
11 months ago

3 easy miles out and one inconvenient mile to the summit, nice views looking south to colden and marcy, do with Table Top if you're going for 46. Not a great hike by itself but is a great place to begin in the high peaks.

Moving at a brisk pace doing phelps alone should take you a little under 4 hours not accounting for rest at the top.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

This was High Peak #21 out of the 46 for my husband and I. It's given a rating of 5 out of 7 for difficulty, but we think that number is a bit high. Maybe it's a 5 for an inexperienced hiker, but we thought it was relatively easy. It's mostly a pretty straight/smooth path, and the incline starts around the last mile or so. There are great views though, and it was easy to find a place to sit and eat lunch at the summit.

hiking
Saturday, July 08, 2017

Hiked on 7/5/17. Path starts at the back of parking lot 1 near the Loj. Trail was clearly marked and easy for the first 3 miles, with a nice resting spot on Marcy Dam. The last mile was harder, with a few scrambles and somewhat steep ascent. The top has some excellent views looking south in roughly a 180 degree arc. The trip took roughly 5 hours round trip.

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Great hike

hiking
Monday, July 03, 2017

Great hike. Did it on 7/2/17. Very wet and muddy but we have had s ton of rain. Great views from the top. We even saw s pine marten at the summit.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Hiked on 4/9/17, excellent weather, no need for snow shoes did entire hike with just micro spikes.would have done table top also if it was not for a hand injury.

hiking
Sunday, March 26, 2017

We arrived to LOJ with overcast skies and a light snow falling. In a group of three, I was the only one to use snowshoes. My friends did well with spikes. A well packed trail met us the entire way. Last mile it got steep. Only came across one area with a good amount of ice. The summit was covered in cloud with light snow continuing. No views today. It took about 2 hours to navigate up the last mile but only 25 to slide down. We had s good time.

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