Tongue Mountain Range Loop Trail

HARD 76 reviews
#18 of 184 trails in

Tongue Mountain Range Loop Trail is a 12.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Bolton Landing, New York that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3011 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

rocky

snow

A great loop hike that brings you along the shore of Lake George then over 3 small peaks on the Tongue Mountain Range This is a wonderful hike. You will park at the southern trailhead for the Tongue Range, Clay Meadows next to a quarry. From there you will follow a nice trail around the shore of the lake to Montcalm Point where you'll have great views of the Narrrows. Then you'll gradually ascend the southern end of the Tongue Range over 3 nice peaks with great views over the lake below.

2 months ago

My 3rd hike(started this past summer) and 1st winter hike ever. I consider myself fit and fairly healthy. I haven’t done any conditioning in several months though. I decided to take this range on with a group. My legs felt like tree stumps most of the hike, but I made it through the whole range. There were some areas that were difficult but overall, it wasn’t bad.

backpacking
5 months ago

Very challenging but absolutely gorgeous trail. Lots of amazing vistas and camp spots along the way. The actual length of the trail is 16 miles.

backpacking
6 months ago

This hike was pretty brutal. For those doing an overnight with gear I'd suggest getting an early start so you can make it further than 5th Peak on your first day (assuming you opt to do the loop clockwise — and you should definitely do the loop clockwise). The many peaks are very rough on the legs — especially the downhills — and if you leave most of the peaks to the second day like I did they will punish you. As other reviews have mentioned the ~5 mile lakeside portion of the trail is flat and quite easy. I'd also agree with the other reviews that this is probably closer to 15 miles and that it's easy to occasionally lose the trail if you don't keep an eye out for markers.

Despite the difficulty of the hike, the incredible views of Lake George made the strenuousness all worth it! Notable wildlife I saw included a flock of wild turkeys very close to Montcalm Point. The camping sites along the trail are pristine and were utterly empty during my trip. Nothing beats waking up, opening your tent and being greeted by a panoramic of this enormous lake dotted by its many forested islands far below. If you have some friends who are up for the challenge this trail makes for the perfect weekend getaway with beers around the campfire and swimming in the lake.

7 months ago

Exceptional hike.

7 months ago

Trail not well marked

backpacking
7 months ago

Great trail for both the experienced hiker/backpacker seeking a challenge and those looking to get into backpacking. The full loop is definitely for experienced hikers. We staged cars at the Clay Brook and Tongue Mt. Range trailheads and departed clockwise toward Montcalm Point, with goal of reaching 5th Peak shelter that evening. Two very important things to note about this trip if you're planning to backpack: you will need to carry all of your water or a filtration system as there are no reliable sources along the trail until you reach the lake (there are some streams but they were all dry or had brackish/stagnant water), and you will very likely encounter rattlesnakes, so tread cautiously.
This hike features 3 summits that provide breathtaking views of Lake George and the surrounding mountains and terrain varying from leisurely to strenuous. If you're new to backpacking, you can reach the 5th Peak shelter via the Clay Brook trailhead (about 3 miles with 1400' ascent), camp, and pack out the next day. The views from the ridge behind the shelter are incredible at sunset; highly recommend setting up a tent back there. Lovely variety of vegetation and rock formations to enjoy, and trail is very well marked with the exception of the last mile or so back to Clay Brook trailhead.

7 months ago

A beautiful hike overlooking lake George with some challenging climbs. Great spot for a solid day hike

8 months ago

I was unfortunately unable to finish this hike. Experienced the absolute WORST bugs I have ever encountered hiking....ever. Non stop mosquitoes, nats and horse flies the entire time. It was miserable. So bug spray is a must. And don't attempt it in 100% humidity bc there is zero air flow for a lot of the trek. But at least we got to go swimming.... I'd like to try it again on a much cooler day...

hiking
8 months ago

The Tongue mountain loop is a great trail with plenty of elevation gain, rocky terrain, and views of Lake George, but beware of Timber Rattlesnakes. We started our hike at the Clay Meadow trailhead and continued straight up to 5th peak (about 3 miles). Along the way we saw our first rattler. At the peak the views were not great, but they get better. Just wait. Along the ridge running southwest towards Montcalm Point you will reach two more peaks with stunning panorama views. This is where we saw our second rattlesnake. The trail along the ridge is full of rugged rocky outcrops interspersed with grassy meadows. Once we reached Montcalm point (7.7 miles) it was a relatively easy and flat 4.8 mile trip back to the trailhead along Northwest Bay. Total distance 12.7 miles; moving time 6:05; elevation gain 3,325ft. Distances were recorded on two Garmin Forerunner 235 watches.

hiking
8 months ago

8 months ago

Very fun trail for beginners. There are some spots where you have to climb some big rocks but it's nothing too bad. Beautiful views and once you get to fifth peak the hardest part is over, only if you climbed fifth peak first.

hiking
9 months ago

Did the full loop in one day. Absolutely exhausted by the end. Too cloudy to see anything from most of the peaks. Still a fun challenge. The northwest bay trail was very muddy. The rocky sections on the peaks were very slippery.

hiking
9 months ago

This trail is pretty brutal if you try to do it all in one day but offers amazing views of Lake George for most of the hike. There are very few water sources on the ridge so if backpacking bring enough water to get you through the day. I went through 4 liters doing the whole trail. As others have said the trail is probably closer to 20 miles (what my fitness tracker said) and is not for children or people out of shape. Several descents from peaks are fairly steep so watch your footing and be wary of rattlesnakes. I did see one on the trail close to the entrance. Make sure to step on logs and not over them to avoid getting bit by anything hiding on the other side.

backpacking
9 months ago

Entered the woods (from Clay Meadow Parking Lot) at 3PM. At Trail Junction, we proceeded clockwise, even going down to the lake passed Deer Junction for a quick swim. From there, we backtracked to Fifth Peak and made it by sunset, camping there for the first night. The following morning, we ascended French Point, then First Peak, and made our way to Montcalm Point by 3PM, and set up camp there for the second night. The next morning, via the Northwest Bay Trail, we finished the loop by the early afternoon.
NOTES:
1. There is very little drinkable water anywhere near Fifth Peak, French Point, or First Peak. Good news being, there are small creeks that look more like a series of puddles that contain murky water, so be sure to have a water filtration system if you're trekking that eastern portion of the loop (which is the most scenic and breathtaking, literally).
2. If going off trail (in pursuit of water), be vary wary about rattlesnakes, and keep your eyes alert to the ground ahead of you. We were very close to stepping on one, coiled up.
3. Near the tip of Montcalm Point, there are several campsites that are very welcoming.
4. Behind the Lean-To at Fifth Peak is another excellent campground, including a number of hollowed out tree stumps that work great as fire-pits.
5. Over 3 days (in June), we saw just a handful of people, and all of those people were very close to the parking lot and not carrying any gear. We saw nobody at all on the eastern half of the loop, along the peaks.

backpacking
9 months ago

I hiked this in May 2015, along the lake first then up the mountains. Phenomenal views of Lake George. I remember the trail markers were hard to follow on the way up; lots of blow-down between peaks. I made a weekend of it; camping by the 5th Peak Lean-to. Great perch. Like another comment, this is definitely around 15 miles.

10 months ago

Great trail, absolutely beautiful. HOWEVER, this is NOT 11.8 miles. If you plan on hiking the entire loop (I recommend hiking the steep side of the range before the lake side), prepare for at least 15 miles; not sure what the exact length is, but we had a GPS running that clocked us ending at 16 miles, and we excluded the 1/2 mile at the last 'AllTrails' view point. Make sure you bring at least three liters of water, and you may need at least 2,000 calories. 3 people, of varying hiking experience, finished this trail in 9 hours.

hiking
10 months ago

Some very nice views on top. However most of it is in the forest.

hiking
11 months ago

Good moderately-difficult trail. Very nice views of Lake George. Definitely hike the Tongue ridge before the shore side. Be wary of sparsely marked trails that are not well worn by foot traffic. I lost the trail a few times.

hiking
11 months ago

Fun hike! We did the loop counterclockwise (like some of the recommendations) to get the "harder" part of the hike out of the way. Had just rained the day before, so some of the rocks we're slippery and the trail near the lake had some swampy areas. Marked fairly well the entire way. Encountered a ratllesnake as well. Overall, good hike, good workout, good views. Definitely not for people who are not skilled at hiking. We did the 12 mile loop in 7 hours (including stops).

backpacking
11 months ago

challenging trail excellent views a lot of the trail actually in several small streams throughout the higher sections adding to the difficulty

hiking
Sunday, April 23, 2017

This was a nice 12.4 mile loop hike that we did. The only issue is there was a lot of blowdown on the trail along the side of the lake and trail markers were scarce on that side also.

hiking
Saturday, February 18, 2017

Outstanding vistas of the Green Mountains at the top, great fall and spring hike.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

This is one of my favorite hikes in adirondacks. Decent length and very beautiful hike. I did this over the summer I would love to do it again one fall while the leaves are changing. definitely to someone who has done a few hikes and is looking for something nice.

hiking
Sunday, January 15, 2017

Great views and one of the most difficult hikes I've ever done. This was a test to see how my girlfriend and I have come along in hiking and we barely passed. I definitely recommend going clockwise or you will hate yourself, unless you are doing this in multiple days. If you are doing it in one day however, definitely get the peaks over with as it is a long and grueling trail for sure. Had one mishap at the lean-to where we had to backtrack in order to find the trail, but other than that it was great. If you are not confident in your skills/health do not hike this.

hiking
Thursday, November 03, 2016

This is a long hike, but pretty straight forward. It'd be difficult to get lost. when I feel the need to get away from Suburbia, this is usually the hike I choose.

backpacking
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I agree with Jim Zack and most others on this. My gf and I just completed the loop in 2 tenting overnights. We enjoy the camping experience as much as the hike. We started at Clay Meadows to 5th Peak (day one). Across the ridge, lots of ups and downs, some are difficult (this is not young child friendly); to Montcalm Pt and around a bit to find a tent site (day 2). There are several fire pits people have made by the lake (likely unauthorized) but you should tent at least 150' off trail and away from the lake.You will not find a water source until you reach the point so the 3.5 ltrs we each packed was perfect for us for hydration, coffee making (my constant need) and cooking. Lake George is drinking water so it is potable although I still boil or filter anyway (I hate diarrhea) :-) The return to Clay Meadows parking area is a nice easy hike but is poorly marked (well over a full mile with no trail markers) and has lots of downed trees. It is easy to lose the trail especially with freshly fallen leaves on it. NYS DEC maintenance is glaringly lacking along this portion of the loop. I also noted that both All Trails and Gaia GPS tracking did not show us precisely on the trail for much of the hike although we were clearly on it. Use common sense in navigating if you get off the trail at any point. I'd also like to mention that although I was actively looking for rattlesnakes the closest I came to seeing one was the shed skin of a 3 footer.

hiking
Sunday, September 11, 2016

This is a great loop. Definitely not for novice or sneaker-lycra hikers, but if you carry enough water and snacks, you can get some great views of Lake George, the Green Mountains, and the High Peaks. I think the 11.8 miles in the description is a bit short of actual mileage, but we took a the Yellow trail to the Fifth Peak lean-to, which added nearly a half-mile. I think you want to do the loop clockwise, as the range is pretty grueling and I wouldn't recommend waiting till the end to do it. Don't be fooled by the low peak elevations; there is a lot of up and down between each of the five peaks. Montcalm Point is a great place to rest and dunk your head. There are a lot of downed trees on the shoreline trail, and the Blue trail markers aren't always visible. Hug the shoreline and you will find the trail if you get lost going around the big trees that have fallen. Total time 8.5 hours, estimated distance 13.2 miles (AllTrails app crashed on me).

Saturday, September 10, 2016

We did it as a backpacking trip. Start early. Pack light. Bring lots of water. There are no sources of water on the ridge. Once you get to the point the trail out is pretty easy. The views were spectacular.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

It was the best hike. But now I cant feel my legs ))
Better to start as early as possible, because we finished at 7 and it's getting dark already around this time.

hiking
Thursday, July 14, 2016

This was incredibly hard if you do the entire 12 mile trail, which we did. You need a lot of water. At least 2.5 quarts per person and plenty of food. Start early! We started at 11 and ended at 6:30. We had to do this at a fast pace. The views are spectacular. You can see the lake from many different angles. After the tongue mt lean to are the incredible views. We never found a Montcalm point sign. It's unclear if we saw that but maybe we did since we did the whole loop. All in all it took forever, and we are exhausted. We did go in the lake near the end and that was delightful.

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