Phelps Mountain Trail

HARD 145 reviews
#5 of 33 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 difficult. 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

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.

6 days ago

This was my first high peak, and thought it was a challenging trail! Once you reach the Phelps Mountain Trail, The slick rocks made it a tough climb up, and an even tougher climb down. The view at the top made it all worth it, and not a lot of traffic!

we were dead tired afterwards, but loved it! made it in 5.5 hours of moving time and 6 hrs. and 20 mins
total time. Not bad for our first hike in over a year!

hiking
15 days ago

Was easyer then expected shounld b rated as easy not moderate only took 4 1/2 hours views from top were beautiful

hiking
22 days ago

Slippery and some large rocks, but a really nice hike with - what I’m sure is usually - a lovely view. It was too misty to see anything, but that had its own allure.

hiking
29 days ago

Good hike overall. A lot of traffic up until the Phelps trail. A nice perspective of some of the higher peaks.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty easy except the last mile which is rocky and very steep. Wet rocks can be treacherous. The view from the summit is nice but not breathtaking.

1 month ago

This is a great hike, but I would not call it easy or even moderate unless you are regularly climbing high peaks.
The view at the summit of Mt. Marcy is breathtaking and well worth the effort.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike. Easy hike except for the last mile to the summit. Summit had great views. No summit button, at least that I could find.

1 month ago

Great hike! Three pretty easy miles to start off, then a mile up! It had great views on top! 3 down 43 to go!

hiking
1 month ago

Decided to stay an extra day after doing 4 of the Saranac 6 to get a High Peak in. We got a later start than we would have like and had to park about a mile down the road from the LOJ. It was overall a great hike the water was refreshing and the top had some good views. The top can be a little confusing because there are a lot of trails right at the peak but nothing to crazy.

hiking
1 month ago

The hike up to Marcy Dam and then to the Phelps Trail cut-off is easy. The sign to Phelps at the cut-off reads 1.0 miles, but it is actually 1.2 miles. The 1.2 miles are a bit challenging, but nothing too difficult. At the top, there is a small trail to the right of a boulder that runs along the left side of the trail - take the trail (very short) for some very nice views.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked in to Phelps from the Loj. I really don’t see any reason to do this mountain unless you are a trying to get all 46 High Peaks. Took 2.5 hours from the Loj and less than 2 to get back. The hike in is a lovely walk, but the trail up Phelps is a bit boring and pretty difficult, lots of roots and stones ......no views till the very end. I agree with another reviewer.... it IS a unique view of Marcy and the other high peaks in the area once you are on the summit. Of course I had a great time, I was hiking! But I would not climb this mountain again.

1 month ago

The last mile is a lot of work but lots of opportunities to take breaks to catch your breath and well worth the effort. Very unique view of the high peaks from the summit

hiking
1 month ago

This was an amazing hike the last mile took me about 1 hour because it was my very first time at an high peak! My back bother me some but I would do it all over again.

2 months ago

Awesome and easy high peak. I cruised the first three miles and the last one caught me - but the views are totally worth it. A couple different trails at the very tip top and I missed the first sign that said “trail —>” but found it after only a few mins. Lots of good views when you get to the last quarter mile. Most folks I met were hiking this and Table Top, but I did Phelps solo. 6.5 hr day for me with a 45 minute break on the summit. My aussie loved it as well - plenty of swimming breaks for him up and back around Marcy Dam.

hiking
2 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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.

4 months ago

great hike!

hiking
5 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!

7 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
7 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
8 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
8 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.

9 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!!

10 months ago

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

hiking
11 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
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Great hike with my dogs easy for a high peak

hiking
Sunday, August 27, 2017

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.

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