Snowy Mountain Trail

HARD 142 reviews

Snowy Mountain Trail is a 7.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Indian Lake, New York that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,132 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

rocky

snow

Been hiking snowy for 20 years, every time we come to Indian Lake. Took our ambitious 6 year old one year which was a bit much for him. Last part is a scramble and some friends we've taken have really struggled, but if you are in decent shape it is not hard. Views from fire tower are worth every step.

10 days ago

first 2 miles are enjoyable with mostly hard packed dirt, roots, and occasional rocks. the last mile made me almost turn around...we had our boxer dog on leash and she needed to be lifted at times. toward the top it gets really hard to keep on trail. we missed trail to tower to find an even better lookout. on way down, we found tower. I would do this again, with more daylight to enjoy the amazing views. my app and watch said it was over 8 miles.

hiking
25 days ago

The first three miles were easy, nothing strenuous. The final push to the summit is steep and very tough! It is nearly a mile of serious climbing. It was a challenge for me, but my son basically jogged up to the summit, arriving 30 minutes before me. The view from the cliff face is spectacular. Push on to the tower about 50yards further, and take in the 360 views. The tower needs a little work, as some fencing was missing from this higher levels, but it’s strong otherwise. We did the climb after 5 days of rain, a little slick and muddy, but not terrible. The descent was difficult in the steepest section, after that it’s an enjoyable walk back to the vehicle. My app said it was 8.1 miles round trip.

hiking
30 days ago

1st mountain I’ve hiked! Great experience. Definitely got harder the last mile. Moderate traffic but not too bad. The view was amazing from the fire tower!

1 month ago

Spectacular views but can get pretty muddy towards the top!

1 month ago

Took us 2 and a half hours to get to the top, and 2 hours and 20 to get down with a few minute breaks. Beautiful views, worth the trip, definitely a hard trail for beginners.

1 month ago

took me an hour and 57 minutes to summit, the last 1/2 mile is steep and challenging if the trail is muddy, but well worth the trip up.

1 month ago

How neat is the view from here? I had half of my father's ashes strewn on the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

As advertised. The initial trail is well maintained with an interesting array of “bridges” over wet areas although today it was pretty dry. The final climb is over a washed out creek/trail leaving loose stones and rocks, making the hike a challenge. The view from the “summit” and fire tower is well worth it and the reason for the climb.

hiking
1 month ago

Tough, rewarding hike. About 1.75 hours to the top, another 1.5 on the way down - slippery after a light rain. Fire tower is sturdy, though some of the guarding is missing. Cloudy, but nice views today around noon.

Don’t recommend pets or small kids.

hiking
1 month ago

My boyfriend and I hiked this trail yesterday and absolutely loved it. Like the previous reviews said it gets quite steep for the last 3/4 a mile. Make sure you bring lots of water. In order to get to the fire tower you have to continue on the trail for a little longer past the summit but it’s so awesome and worth it. We took lots of breaks and it took us about two hours to get to the top but the last 3/4 mile really slows you down! Enjoy!! Do it!!!

1 month ago

Fantastic view from up top! As others have said, the first three miles is relatively easy; the last mile strenuous. I wouldn’t want to climb it after a lot of rain. You hike up river beds. But the view from the top is wonderful. I especially liked a rock on the east side of the mountain.

hiking
1 month ago

My family and I hiked this trail on one of the hottest days of the summer. We have never hiked a mountain before, but made it to the top in 3 hours with several breaks and a ton of water. The trail starts off moderately easy until you pass the fifth or sixth stream where it starts to get steeper. The last stretch is the hardest part being composed of a rocky surface at a steep gradient. The fire tower was also really neat, but was also a little sketchy. It was well worth it, just be sure to pack a lot of water.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent views at the top and not a ton of traffic, but steep, steep, steep. Borderline "very hard". Most of the elevation gain is in a short distance, with 1,600+ feet in the last 1.3 miles and 900 or so in the last half mile. Pretty wet in the last third and the scrambles were extremely wet. As several people have said, the stone staircase (roughly 1.3 miles from the summit) is where it gets very hard, and it gets increasingly steep until the summit ridge.

My GPS said 8 miles round trip. Trail has many stream crossings (some require using stepping stones) and they're likely impassable during times of high water. Poles are strongly recommended and I wouldn't bring kids.

hiking
2 months ago

Me and 2 buddies of mine hiked this mtn in November about 2 years ago and it was amazing!!! The reviews are pretty accurate when it comes to this hike.
I loved the river crossings and one of the times my foot slipped and one of of my shoes got soaked so had to stop change socks and dry the shoe by a fire we quickly made ( conversation piece).
Just be prepared and do your research.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved it. Not for the faint of heart or out of shape. Wear moisture wicking clothing for sure and trekking poles will help going up and down. Seemed pretty flat for at least the first half until I reached the first stone staircase (you'll likely recognize it) and then it's pure climbing till the top. It wasn't until I started descending that I realized how much I'd actually climbed. Only saw one other person on the trail on a Thursday about noon. Lots of great water crossings and of course the views are great. Tower is in really good shape except for one loose railing. No wind at the top the day I went. Awesome. Took me about 1 hr and 50 min to get to the summit. About the same going down as the trail was really, really wet and muddy as it rained a bit that day and the two days prior.

hiking
2 months ago

Very steep for the second half of the way up. Not for inexperienced/unfit/unwilling hikers. Probably the coolest hike I've done to date. Took 5ish hours in very muddy conditions.

hiking
2 months ago

A great day trip from Rochester. Started at the trailhead at 10, took 2:30 to get to the fire tower, 1:45 to get down. Beautiful 360 views from the fire tower and even on the way up. Last mile to the summit is a killer like others have said.

3 months ago

This was a pretty hard hike, but well worth the view! There are a few spots where you have to cross water. A great hike! One of my favorites so far. The view was fantastic.

4 months ago

the trail needs to be marked alot better

hiking
4 months ago

My friend and I wanted to initially check out this hike because we heard there were sport climbing routes at the top. We read the reviews ahead of time and knew that it would be a difficult hike, but didn’t know what to expect on the trail itself or how long it would take.

The hike is 3.4 miles one way (according to the sign) with an elevation gain of 3899 ft. We did the hike on March 31 and expected the trail to be somewhat icy but definitely did not prepare for the amount of snow that would be on the trail. The first 2.5 miles is quite easy, but you do have to be wary of where you step because of the snow/slush. Postholes were knee to hip deep.

As all the reviews stated, the last mile was definitely a killer, but it was made so much worse because of the snow and ice. My friend and I were not prepared for trekking up the sheer steepness of the trail without winter gear. The viewpoint at the top is fantastic and the fire tower is definitely worth the climb (beware, it does get very windy up there!)

If you’re planning on doing this hike anytime in the winter or early spring (March/April) poles and spikes are a must.

It took my friend and I about 2.5 hours of climb up and about 2 hours to climb down (again, spikes are clutch). I would rate this hike at high intermediate.

There’s designated parking right across the trail head and the route is marked with route signs so it was easy for us to follow. Might’ve been made easier for us cause we followed the footprints in the snow; can’t say what it’ll be like in the summer.

We didn’t get a chance to scope out the sport climbing but would most definitely recommend this hike. It has a sick view at the top and the difficulty of it makes it more rewarding.

hiking
9 months ago

Very fun hike!! I went on the first snowfall of the year (11/10/17) and it was awesome! Around an inch at the base with about 3 inches at the summit. From the base to the midsection was quite easy; the trail had been tracked through already, so it was very easy to follow the trail. However, as you near the summit things start getting a little tricky. Firstly, if you plan on doing this hike when there is snow on the ground I would recommend at the minimum that you use trekking poles and some kind of spikes on your boots. I say this because near the summit there is a rock face that is covered with snow and ice. Although it can be done without these items (as I did not knowing what was in store), the hike would certainly be made easier with them. Also, beginning near the midsection of the hike trail markers are very scarce. I found myself constantly stopping and looking around to make sure I was still on the right path. There were times where there were no trail markers in sight, so I chose a path and luckily I was right every time. Once you arrive at the summit you'll find that the tower is missing some fencing on the stairs going up which was a bit disconcerting, but not really an issue. Views from the tower are amazing!! 360° of pure Adirondacks.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Awesome hike! I would rate it a high intermediate to expert level climb. Strictly experts in the winter. Views are spectacular and absolutely worth the effort! Just wish there were more trail markers!!!

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail. The first 1/2-3/4 is a nice walk in the woods. The last 1/4 is a little challenging but the views at the top are great.

hiking
10 months ago

We hiked this trail during the winter months and it was a ton of fun. The last mile to the top is tough but worth it for the incredible views. Check out my full write up with pictures and directions.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/snowymountainfiretower

10 months ago

Awesome place to hike!

hiking
10 months ago

Holy Hannah, this was a tough hike for me, I usually stick to moderate! The first two miles were beautiful and easy traveling, the next mile is way more taxing, but the last 1/2 mile is beast. I can't believe I did that, but I did! When you hit the top flat the view is tremendous, but if you stay on the red marked trail you reach the well hidden fire tower. What a gem, what an accomplishment.

hiking
11 months ago

Understandable why many claim this as "sister" to Crane Mountain. This Adirondack Fire Tower Challenge climb is longer but very similar and reminiscent to Crane. There are some real nice hikes in Indian Lake - glad to have checked this off the list! Hiked this (August 31) with my DH, SIL, and BIL on a misty, breezy day. :-)

camping
11 months ago

There were a couple really flat spots to set up a tent about 1/4 of the way in right by the stream.

11 months ago

Awesome views for top of tower. It is a hard hike end is the hardest conserve energy round trip 3 hours

Friday, August 18, 2017

It was a tough climb but it was totally worth it at the top!

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