Whiteface Mountain Summit Trail

HARD 148 reviews
#1 of 13 trails in

Whiteface Mountain Summit Trail is a 9.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Wilmington, New York that features a great forest setting 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
9.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3599 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

views

muddy

rocky

snow

A moderate loop that will take you from the Wilmington Trailhead over Marble Mtn to Esther (ADK High Peak @ 4239') and then to the summit of Whiteface (ADK High Peak @ 4867). The summit of Esther is 1.3 miles RT that is included in the mileage given here. Excellent views of the surrounding valley. A very fun trail with varied terrain that can actually be accessed several other ways as well. The trail is Esther is not officially maintained and can get muddy at times. The trail up Whiteface varies and includes some excellent outcrops. The only drawback to the hike is that you may end up sharing the summit with a very large crowd as the peak is also reachable by road. Regardless of how you get there the views are worth the trip.

hiking
20 days ago

Fresh snow covers the ice created during rainy period. Some drifting above 3,000 feet. Light snow today with limited visibility. Summited Esther first, then Whiteface. Saw four backcountry skiers come up the access road, which is plowed and covered in ice. Rigorous hike and quite steep on top. The final 400 vertical feet along the ridge was impressive. Could see alpine skiers dismounting the Summit Quad chairlift. Wind relatively calm today. Started at the Wilmington Reservoir. Noticed most people access the trail from the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, 110 Marble Mountain Ln, Wilmington, NY 12997, which shortens the hike by 1.3 miles.

hiking
23 days ago

A great hike. All the other high peaks I have done have started off slow and gradually worked up to a higher incline. This one felt like we were going up the whole way. It did make going down pretty easy though. We picked up some micro spikes before making the hike and I think it was one of the best moves I ever made. About a third of the trail was ice, and the stairs going up to the top were, too. The stairs were extremely windy, so we went back down the ridge from the top. Much easier even with the small ice ledge where it meets the road.

hiking
24 days ago

Winter hike was a little more demanding than expected but overall worth the two high peaks you get out of this trail! Don’t forget to plan on it being windy and even colder at the top. The peak buildings are closed during the winter as a reminder. Trail was easy to follow and would recommend.

26 days ago

Beautiful views. Have done in both winter and summer. Great hike!

2 months ago

One of my favorites! The only downside is the 2 mike walk to the base of the mountain from the parking lot.

hiking
3 months ago

Snowy/icy and windy at the peak. Was snowy on the way up for the bottom half but on the way back down it melted - so lots of deep wet spots. Absolutely gorgeous up there though. The second half of the hike was amazing.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome last weekend of October to hit both Whiteface and Esther. 7 hours RT to complete. Not too busy at summit as the tourism season was closed. Very windy but sun-shined filled. Came across some small patches of snow and ice at peak.

4 months ago

Amazing trail!! Beautiful day! So glad we were able to hit Ester as well took us 8 hours to do both! Worth the effort!

hiking
4 months ago

I started at the ASRC and met this trail at the marble mountain summit. The steepest part was the beginning up marble mountain and the last mile to the summit of whiteface. It took me 5 hours but I was moving fast. It was 13 miles round trip including hiking Esther on the way there. Overall very fun hike but definitely steep and rocky at parts.

hiking
5 months ago

This was my first high peak and I am not in the best shape of my life it was tough especially towards the summit for me at least. Very Rocky and I would say 85% of the hike was directly uphill (go figure being a high peak and all). We started our climb at the reservoir, we skipped Ester in hopes to accomplish on the way back but we burning day light so we unfortunately didn't make Ester The view at the Summit was so beautiful completely worth the hike! I just wish it wasn't so touristy at the summit (you can drive up to the top in your car) All in all great hike! .

5 months ago

Fun time.

hiking
5 months ago

What a great hike. We started from the observatory parking lot and of course added Esther for a total of 10 miles. Check out my full write up. http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/whitefaceandesther/

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome hike!!! Intense uphill, but worth it at the end.

hiking
5 months ago

Another successful hike of Whiteface for round 3 for me. This was a leisurely hike that we made into a loop by hiking down the toll road. The weather was perfect with a little mud on the trail, but nothing major.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike. Started from reservoir. You start the hike by going up Marble Mt until you get to the large karin in the middle of the trail. To the right is Esther Mt. Very muddy but very clear and easy to follow for a trail that is not marked or maintained. No actual views from summit but look around as you go up and you do have nice views of Whiteface. Back down Esther then up Whiteface. Not nearly as muddy but s little wet. The hardest part of the climb was actually Marble Mt. Views from summit are incredible. Lots of people on summit (car drivers). My recording shows 7 miles but my phone died on top of Whiteface. Actual distance was 12.2 miles.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful mountain, amazing views from top. We did the primary trail starting at the Atmospheric Reasearch Centre. Pretty abrupt climb for the the first mile and a half.

hiking
6 months ago

Took about 5 hours round trip with 30min break at summit however my group was going at a very fast and pace, only real challenging part was the Marble Mountain part, be prepared as the trail is VERY muddy with lots of standing water.

6 months ago

Very steep...but the top is worth it! Just keep walking and you'll be there in no time!

hiking
6 months ago

très belle montagne, montée de 4 heures, tranquillement départ du camping North Pôle jusqu'au réservoir, marche facile sur 1.3 miles puis début de montée sur .9 mile jusqu'au sommet de Marbre montait mais non identifié puis une autre montée sur je ne sais quel sommet d'environ .9 mile et enfin un marché sur le plat d' environ 1 mile jusqu'au edge pour atteindre le sommet de Whiteface mountain et enfin le rétourdissements a pris 3 heures. total q9 km pour 8 heures

hiking
7 months ago

This is one of the shorter 46er trails. RT was about 6 hours for both mountains leaving from Atmospheric Center trail head. This trail can be VERY muddy. The high traffic this mountain receives only makes the mud worse. A very popular trail despite having gone mid week passing about 15+ different groups, with 4-5 dogs in tow.

Esther was a very plain mountain with very few redeeming qualities. Skip it unless you need it to be a 46er or want the extra mileage.

The most rewarding part of the Whiteface trail is the final push on the exposed ridge. Very cool views for sure. The developed Summit is (of coarse) amazing, but I will be honest... I was a little disheartened hiking all the way up and seeing a family of 5 (who had driven up) eating Mcdonalds they had brought with them.

Load More