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Seymour Mountain, Seward Mountain, Donaldson Mountain, Mount Emmons Loop

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High Peaks Wilderness

Seymour Mountain, Seward Mountain, Donaldson Mountain, Mount Emmons Loop is a 19.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Tupper Lake, New York that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 19.7 mi Elevation gain 5,875 ft Route type Loop
Dog friendly Backpacking Camping Hiking Nature trips Forest Lake Views Wild flowers Wildlife Scramble
Description
Waypoints (0)

NOTE: During winter, Corey's Road is closed beyond the gate which would add an additional 3 miles (one-way) of road walking to this hike.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (21)
Photos (1147)
Recordings (14)
Completed (274)
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Connor Pears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 8, 2020
HikingIcyMuddySnow

Come gather’round, sit, and listen closely children whist this Smooth Brained Koala rambles about a hike you may or may not be interested in. Take heed though, he’s clearly an idiot and probably has a few screws loose. I mean, he’s writing in the 3rd person for Pete’s sake. *ahem* Yes well, hmmm, yes well I hit these guys as a day hike yesterday, and boooy lemme tell ya. Nope! If you’re doing them for fun, you’re a masochist. If you’re a fellow future 46er, may the odds be in your favor. Now the fact you’re reading reviews in preparation means you’re already smarter than me, congrats! For those that actually are hoping to learn something from my experience my recommendation can be summarized in 3 words “don’t be dumb.” But before I say anymore, my background and an overview (so you know where I’m coming from)... My bias/background: -average hiker -wannabe 46er (41/46) -doesn’t have an irrational fear of lemonade -normally a solo hiker (39/46) -have done most of the 46 as short/long day hikes rather than multiday hikes My time stamps/overview: -(note: Nov means ~10 hours daylight) -started late (accidentally) at 730am -Summited and descended seymour by noon (met a few dogs on the way!) -Summited seward by 230 -was through to Emmons by 430 -back tracked for the donaldson descent at 515 -google said sunset was 4:37pm in lake placid. Sunset was about 500pm at summit (so youve got an extra ~30 minutes). Total darkness fell about 530pm. -was through the donaldson descent and back to the car (5-6 miles from summit) by 8pm -donaldson descent was spent in total darkness. HAVE A GOOD/RELIABLE HEADLAMP!!!!!! Unlike mine.... -consumed 3.5-4L of water. Aka bring a filter The review: You’re actually still reading? Or you skipped ahead? Either way I’m impressed, words are tough. So, how was the hike? Rough. You want more than that? Fine. Let me start by saying if you’re going to do a day hike do NOT(!) do them in any order besides seymour->seward->donaldson->emmons. Has nothing to do with the summits, has everything to do with your descents. Skipping ahead if you look at the topography map you’ll see the donaldson pass looks waaay less aggressive. To that I say “nice job reading Jim, you are correct.” But let me come back to that. Firstly, the access trails, mud and water here and there but nothing you shouldn’t expect from the dacks in late fall. Overall fairly pleasant. The climb up seymour isn’t bad. Nothing I would consider a scramble. A few flat rock faces here and there but nothing insane. Youll dodge mud and (now) snow/ice a here and there but overall this isn’t a climb I’d be fearful of. Only tip, use gps, it’s easy to miss the cairn. I did. You’ll get a decent view near the summit. Heading down isn’t too bad either. Next stop the seward climb. This was... miserable. I’ve fallen maybe a dozen times in all of my 41/46 climbs. Half of them? This single pass. The climb itself isn’t bad but this time of year the terrain is awful. EXPECT YOUR FEET TO BE WET/SOAKED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE HIKE! This is the first time I got mud-hole-bamboozled. You know what I mean. You know when you pass a patch of mud with this mud-castle rising up from it in the shape of a boot and you think “boy I wonder what sucker got stuck there, I better walk around this.” Well slightly into this pass in one of the patches I can proudly say I’M THAT SUCKER! You think it’s a little bit of mud but no, it’s 2-3ft of loose mud and you sink up to your thigh. Can’t believe I didn’t loose a boot. The leaves will cover some parts so just take it slow and be mindful of your traction. Remember: Muddy boot = loose foot (yeah it doesn’t rhyme sue me, english makes no sense sometimes). On the bright side all this mud is caused by all this water. A roundabout way of saying there are PLENTY of places to refill on these peaks. The water from the seward pass tasted better than the seymour pass if you were wondering. Anyways, it started out like this fairly early and stayed this way for most of the climb. Overall think Santanoni Range x3 in terms of mud. The reason I say do them in this order is because I can’t imagine coming down this pass. Make your life easier, climb this, don’t descend it. Once you’re up high life only gets a little better. Continue to expect mud, mud, ice/snow, and more mud as you hit the remaining peaks. Expect your feet to still be wet at this time. Just after donaldson there’s even a pleasant bog you need to cross, ooooh joy! When you hit emmons look for the new-ish overlook. (I say new because it looks like the trees have been recently cut down). About 30-40ft before the summit theres a small bushwhacky like path off to the right (maybe 10-15ft long). The view, honestly, is one or my favorites thus far and the only reason it gets 3 stars from this Negative Nancy. That could just be the Stockholm Syndrome setting in though. Lastly make your way back to donaldson for your final decent. You’ll have a decent (quick-ish) descent...

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Rachel Clark
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 1, 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

This is a muddy hike and depending on the direction you decide to hike (do Mt Donaldson first or do Mt Seymour first), the time you spend getting up/down Seward will take a while. We went to Donaldson first and were glad we did! The rain and clouds prevented us from seeing a view at Donaldson and Emmons, but we saw some great views on the way to Seward. At the peak of Seward, there wasn’t a view; there was only a sign with the Mt name in the middle of some trees. (Don’t hold your camera, thinking you’ll wait til the peak to take pics— take pics often and enjoy the moment while you have the view!) We hiked in with packs because we planned to camp one night and finish Seymour the following day, on our way out, but scrambling down the rocks from Seward took much longer with the pack weight, so we ended up hiking for 12 hours straight on day 1. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do Seymour as planned (on day 2) because the rain and lack of view were enough to make us want to do it another day. One more thing I’d suggest, especially now that the leaves are falling and it will snow in the coming months- make sure to download a map of this hike or use alltrails while you’re hiking (if it won’t burn out your battery like it does for mine). It’s sometimes difficult to know where the trail is because the leaves have covered a significant portion of it— this is especially true when it’s getting closer to sunset and you’re in a rush to get to your campsite ASAP! I know this is elementary, but if we didn’t have our maps downloaded, we would have been in a world of hurt, so I figured I’d mention for someone else who might be thinking “oh the trail is well marked... we’ll be fine.” Oh and one more thing— “hard” is an accurate rating for this hike.

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Alex Kranson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 25, 2020
Hiking

Bring a LOT of water

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Jack Flood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 27, 2020
HikingGreat!

Started at 5 am going up Seymour and came down around 12 and then made our way up the other 3 going to Seward first. I’m a little out of shape so we didn’t finish until 10 pm. No views at the summits (Except Donaldson) but plenty of great views on the way up. Very remote part of the ADKs, unmarked trails and a lot of rock scrambling up Seymour. Very proud to say we did all 4 in one day, not a very easy task for the average hiker.

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Morgan Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

21.1 mile around trip. Great day hike, the hikes up are short but steep but do-able. Started at 5:30am and ended at 3:40pm. There are many spots to camp out at one the road going in! FREE take advantage.

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Justin Elwell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingBlowdownMuddyRockyScramble

This tracks closer to 22 miles. I did it as a long day hike. I went up Calkins Brook trail to Donaldson. This provided an easy bailout point after coming down the Ward Brook trail from Seward, after completing the range. Then I could exit or continue on to Seymour. The advantage of hitting Seymour first is fresh legs; but then you have to go up Ward Brook trail to Seward. A long 2.1 miles with amazing elevation gain. None of the peaks are difficult by themselves, or technical, but put together they are a test. There is a good water source, and the last one on CB, high up as you cross Calkins Brook. There is no water source up high that I noticed. After coming down Seward, plenty of water at the various brooks down low. You are following a stream on the Seymour trail as well for about a mile. My total time with breaks was 12.5 hours. Probably more fun as an overnight, but doable for an experienced and in shape hiker.

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Andrew Topi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 2, 2019
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Might be better done in reverse, following Calkins Brook Trail up to Donaldson and concluding with Seymour. Very muddy. The trail to and from the ascent and descent is well-maintained but the actual trails up to and through the summits are rough herd paths.

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Rebecca LaPorte
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 1, 2019
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Climbed 8/31/2019. We ambitiously thought this would be a day hike. It took us 17 hours to do this route in its entirely in one day. We did take a couple extended breaks (20-30 min around meal times) It was A LOT. Seymour was cloudy when we summited. The best views we had were on lookout points as we ascended the mountain. Seymour trail was moderate and no muddy. The trail to Seymour and from Donaldson to Emmons had a lot of mud. Really wet trail where boots were sunk a couple times which was unfortunate. Our dog had an easier time than her human companions. If I did this again I would definitely break it up. It would make it more enjoyable.

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Mason Hedeen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 31, 2019
HikingMuddyOff trailOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out

This was a long hike, I went from the parking lot to Seymour first and then headed up over Seward to Donaldson to Emmons and then back to the parking lot. Seymour was wet but not very bad as far as mud is concerned, the rocks were slippery but other than that it was a great hike. The hike up Seward was tough especially after having done Seymour before, there’s a lot of mud and water on this trail, some spots of the trail the mud was 2’ deep making for a slow hike up. The portion of the trail from Seward to Donaldson was fairly easy, not a lot of mud or water, it had some nice views along the way. The trail from Donaldson to Emmons honestly sucked. There’s a lot of mud which made it about a 2 hour round trip from Donaldson to Emmons, this was probably the hardest part of the hike because I was so tired and knew I still had about 7 miles between myself and the parking lot. Once getting back to Donaldson I went down the Calkinsbrook Trail and then out to the parking lot. The whole hike took me 17.5 hours (5:20am-10:45pm) and I tracked 23 miles on my watch and phone, so it might be a little longer then what’s shown on here. I’d strongly suggest doing this hike in two days and staying at a camp site between Seymour and Seward. If you really want to do it in one day go the opposite way that I did, so start up the Calkinsbrook trail and the do Donaldson/Emmons then go back over Donaldson towards Seward and done to do Seymour. Over all it was a good hike and had some pretty great views.

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Victor Philippi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 5, 2018
Hiking

Although it had been raining and everything was soaked, I had a blast on this hike. I opted to break the 4 peaks of the Seward Range into two hikes - Seymore by itself on one day and I came back three days later and did Donaldson, Emmons, and Seward. I took the Calkins Brook Trail to Donaldson, hit Emmons, made it back to Donaldson, and decided to see how bad the trail between Donaldson and Seward really was. Countless people had told me not to bother going that way, but nobody I had talked to had actually taken the path between Donaldson and Seward. Because I'm an idiot and love doing stupid things, I figured I try to do it the "hard" way and take the path to Seward from Donaldson. After doing the trail, I'll say that it wasn't all that bad. It wasn't much harder than the trail between Donaldson and Emmons and it certainly wasn't any harder reaching Seward from Donaldson than taking the Seward Mountain Trail coming up from the Ward Brook Truck / Blueberry Trail. In hindsight, I'd totally take the same path again - take the Calkins Brook Trail, hit Donaldson, Emmons, make it back to Donaldson, then hit Seward and return to the trailhead via the Blueberry Trail. You feet will get soaked and the mud is terrible. Plan for it, embrace the suck, and have a good time.

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ann marie gedney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2018
First to Review

Very muddy on lower mountain, especially after a good rain. The upper trail has more rock scrambling....but is doable. More fun when dry!!

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Connor Pears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 7, 2020
Hiking
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Catherine Deis
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 25, 2020
Walking
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Trevor Glenn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2020
Hiking
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