Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Keene Valley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Wow what a great trail! The rock scrambles are a challenge, but the views are totally rewarding! It’s a very nice balance though between walking through the woods and climbing. The last .3 miles to the Big Slide summit is definitely the most difficult as it is basically straight up slabs of rock. Took me a little over 6 hours round trip with time spent at the top of the second Brother and Big Slide. A great trail if you’re like me and on your way to becoming a more experienced hiker! (Also, my first 46er!) -Hiked 5/25/18

Just finished this trail over a 2 days trip. Hiked out around 3.6 miles and camped near Johns Brook Lodge. Then did the 8 mile loop, packed the tents and hiked out. The trail was very easy to follow and views at the top of both mountains was amazing. I ended up doing the loop the other direction than the one described here. It was very steep going down Saddleback mountain so there were a lot of fun rock scrambling opportunities. The trail was quite muddy so gaiters would be recommended. Overall definitely a great hike and a great physical challenge.

3rd high peak for me and one of my favorite trails I’ve ever done. I wouldn’t suggest this trail for beginners. It can be exhausting but it’s so much fun and worth it. The rock scrambles are a lot of fun and challenging! Muddy but walk through it to help preserve the trail. 100% do not recommend for young young kids or dogs. The Garden parking lot was packed by the time we got off the trail around 3:30pm (5 hours round trip) get there early. We crossed paths with a black bear! Be alert, make noise, get a bear bell and bear spray. Highly recommend this trail.

21 days ago

Hiked Big Slide today via The Brothers (5/5/2018) and it was amazing. The weather was mid-60s and slightly windy at the top. The posted sign at the trailhead said the hike was 3.9 miles to the summit, making the hike a total of 7.8 miles. The first hour or so of the hike is a total rock scramble up The Brothers, marked with blue foot trail signs and yellow markers on the rocks. There’s zero snow going up the rock scramble but once you begin the summit to Big Slide there’s a fair amount of snow and an uncomfortable amount of ice if you don’t wear spikes. But, if you don’t bring spikes, it’s not impossible; I saw several people summit without spikes although the struggle was real (especially coming down).

The climb to The Brothers is absolutely amazing because it’s an open view up the rock scramble. Once you start Big Slide, it’s all forest. You’ll know you’re close to the summit because you’ll hit a junction in the path that has a trail sign. The last 0.3 miles to the summit is relatively steep, but made much harder with all the ice.

Overall trail was fairly muddy/wet but that’s because it rained the day before. I met someone who summited Big Slide via The John Brooks trail and he was miserable. The John Brooks trail requires crossing a few streams which wouldn’t be all that bad in the winter or deep into the summer, but he ended up having to cross 15 foot wide streams/rivers because it flooded a ton. He ended up coming down Big Slide via The Brothers.

Lastly, parking at the Garden is very convenient and this early in the season, it’s free (although I think parking is 10 bucks in the late spring and summer). However, the parking lot is really small and if it’s a nice day (like today), you’ll want to hit the hike early so you can grab a parking spot.

This is my 5th high peak and by far my favorite (cascade, porter, Whiteface and Esther). The views are amazing and the rock scramble was something new. It took me 3 hours to get to the top and 2 hours down with a few minutes at the top of Slide and Brothers

We did this hike on sunday 22 of april . Starter at 7:15 on a very nice rising sun . Headed to the rainbow Falls at about 3miles from the parking . From the Falls we hike up until we reech an intersection that we had to take a right . So we did . There was no foot steps . We open the trail .Good thing we had braught our snowshoes. Guiding ourselves with openings in the forest and looking for the blue tags on the trees .It was a chaleng to find the trail. We reeched the summit . It was covered of snow . The view is awesome. Its Worth the effort . My wife my son and I were very proud to have done this hike . Got back to the car 5:00pm . +/- 13 miles .

This way is the best route if youre going to do all of these peaks versus going from the other way! So glad we did the loop as wolfjaws first then down the line and even added on saddleback at the end too as just a mile detour!

Saw bear tracks, wet on the rocks along Slant Rock trail. Beautiful views.

The closest I’ve been to rock climbing without actually rock climbing. I’ve only done four of the 46 high peaks, but this was definitely my favorite so far. There were constant challenges which kept things interesting.

This hike was a ton of fun! Completed it on 12/2/17. Decided to do Sawteeth as well. Our route went as follows: parked at the Ausable Club and hiked up Lake Road to the dam at the Northern end of Lower Ausable Lake where we crossed the bridge and began our ascent. Hiked up to the trail junction where we turned left to first summit Sawteeth. Around 8" of snow at the summit there. Then, we headed back to the split and went up toward Gothics via Pyramid. On this trail there was over a foot of snow the entire way (already!!) with drifts up to 2 feet. Made some hot cocoa up tip and had a near-death experience as I slipped and fell and slid at the peak of Gothics. If it weren't for a rock sitting on the summit I would've slid right off the peak. Word to the wise: ALWAYS WEAR SPIKES AT EXPOSED SUMMITS. Overall a great hike that ended up being about 18 miles round-trip.

3 rd high peak for me. Loved it

A bit of ice and snow. Excellent views of the high peaks.

La difficulté ici est la distance. Nous sommes dans la soixantaine et l avons fait en 9h30. Une vue incroyable ! Un must.

Great Hike. Recommend getting there early, limited parking near trailhead. We did Basin 1st then Saddleback. Going up Saddleback was a little dicey since you have to climb rock face, we were glad that we didn't have to climb down Saddleback!!

I enjoyed the hike but the shuttle wasn't running on 10/21/2017. This adds 1.2 miles each way from the closest parking when garden is full. Please plan on this if you are looking at doing this hike soon.

So our group did all 3 peaks. blueberry Porter and Cascade. we started from the air field parking lot. let me tell you getting to blueberry summit was no joke!!! this was relatively challenging, even for 20 something year olds.very steep in a short distance. after blueberry getting to Porter wasn't too bad. and Cascade is easy. ended up being a pretty long hike 10am-5pm ish. amazing veiws tho and would definitely do it again! also nice cause there were very few people.


Loved this hike! My 4th high peak...
Weather conditions today were perfect. About 60 degrees and needed a winter hat/gloves at times bc the wind got a little chilly. Took us about 5 hours total and we hung out at the top
For a while. Parts got a little muddy but nothing too bad. A few pretty steep rock walls to climb up too which were exciting. Overall great day and my favorite so far !

Incredible views! Well worth the difficult hike!

7 months ago

A Gothic Adventure:
Adirondack Park, in Upstate New York, is six million acres of beautiful mountains and lakes, an area so big that Glacier, Yosemite, the Great Smokies, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon National Parks could fit inside it. There are over 2000 miles of hiking trails in the Adirondack Park, the largest trail system in the US. Adirondack Mountains, which lie in-side the park, are growing faster than the Himalayas, one foot every 100 years. Hike Peaks Wilderness area has some of the highest peaks in the park, over 4000 feet in elevation. One such peak is Gothics Mountain, at 4734 feet, with its sheer rock face resembling Gothic architecture.
We decided to hike Gothics mountain on August 12th and began researching the various trails leading up to the peak. Hiking up to Pyramid mountain via Weld trail and then to the summit of Gothics was the shortest route up. For coming down we decided upon the relatively gentler but longer Beaver Meadow trail, making it roughly 6 miles round-trip hike with nearly 4000 ft of elevation change. Now, the access to these trails is from Ausable Club, which adds another 6 miles or so of relatively flat terrain to the total hike. This would prove to be more tiring later!
On a cloudy Friday afternoon, with thunderstorms in the forecast for Saturday, 4 of us left on a six-hour drive to St. Huberts NY, where we had booked a cottage for two nights. We reached our destination just as the evening light was fading away. After a quick dinner at a local diner we were in our beds, checking the weather forecast once again for the next day. It called for afternoon thunderstorms so we decided to get an early start to our hike.
By 6 AM we were out on the road, driving to a small parking area for Giant Mountain, Roaring Brook Falls, just 5 minutes away from our cottage. Once we made sure we had all our hiking gear from the car, we crossed the road to enter the Ausable club access way. After about 0.5 miles of walking by a golf course and some tennis courts, we reached a ranger station where we signed in at about 6:30 AM. Then we passed through a gate to get to an unpaved road which would lead us to the trailhead. Lake road, as it is appropriately called, goes up to Lower Ausable Lake. We reached the lake by 8 AM and took some pictures of the beautiful surroundings. Then we crossed a wooden bridge, overlooking a dam, to get to the actual start of the hike.
The trail quickly became rocky, as we proceeded through the woods. We made a quick side-stop to Rainbow Falls, which is 150 feet of cascades in a narrow gorge. Back on the trail, it was a steady incline all the way. Soon the rocks became larger and the trail steeper. Around 10 AM we reached the intersection of Pyramid and Sawteeth mountain trails. We turned right towards Pyramid mountain as we were engulfed by clouds. The vegetation was more arctic and in certain spots our only hope of climbing up was to hold on to the trees and push ourselves up. We were on our fours by this time and the trail was very arduous. After an hour and a half of relentless climbing we reached Pyramid Mountain whose summit was a large smooth rock amongst the dense vegetation. The surrounding view was blocked by clouds but we got some glimpses whenever there was a break in the clouds. We could see the sharp rock slides beneath us and the series of lakes in the distance. The view was hallucinogenic.
After a brief halt where we rested our tired backs, it was off towards the summit of Gothics. The trail descended over the col and then climbed steeply again. We were dealing with a muddy trail from earlier rain and it was tricky to circumvent the wet sections. By 12:30 PM we finally reached the summit of Gothics mountain. Perched on the rocks was another hiker who had climbed over from the other side on a trail that involves chains.
This was a good spot for a lunch break, though I found it tough to eat anything due to dryness in my throat. We all made phone calls to our family members and even did FaceTime to share the incredible view from above. By this time the clouds had rolled away for us to enjoy the view. After half an hour, we slowly headed down by Beaver Meadow trail.
Going downhill posed its own unique challenges. The muddy trail and slippery rocks made the going very slow as we would cautiously approach each turn. A small misstep could send us hurtling down the steep sides. We held on to vegetation for support at each step. Some larger rock sections had wooden ladders placed over them to make it easier to climb. We crossed bogs of mud as we slowly continued our descent. This trail is more frequented and we met groups of people heading up the way. By this time, we had split into two groups and as usual I ended up bringing up the rear. My bodybuilder friend who had kept up with the pace so far had started cramping in his left leg and found going downhill tougher.
After a long couple of hours, we reached a trail junction where the other two hik

Short and sweet! Steep at times, great views from the brothers.

We actually left out of the Garden parking lot and went up Saddleback and then Gothics. We hit some downpour at the stairs and some of the slopes were a little tricky due to the amount of water, but it was still a great time. We went with some newer people and they did not move as fast as we were hoping... we tried to go back the south side of the river to save some time, but we got to a point where the trail was washed out. We later saw that warning on the sign at the split... we all missed it on the way out. Saddleback had great views at the top - the wind was whipping but the clouds were flowing over the mountains pretty quickly. We were in a cloud on top of Gothics so no view but fun to climb the ropes in the fog. Overall a great fairly challenging hike.

Excellent hike with a variety of terrains and experiences. The trail starts out in the woods with you typical trail settings. It then opens up to reveal an excellent view of the surrounding high peaks. Next it takes you into rock scrambling and traversing over flat rock surface with great views again before finally returning you to the woods for a significant time before you reach the summit of Big Slide. There are steep areas throughout but this is broken up by nice stretches of flat areas which let you catch a reprieve. If/when you need to rest, wait until you get to one of the brothers because you get excellent views from there. The trail is very well marked throughout with blue markers and yellow paint. Only one time when the trail split where we lost track until we saw an orange arrow on the tree in the distance. Great views. Varied terrain. Level areas at points. Well marked. I would highly recommend this trail!

Things to know:
- Parking is at the Garden and it costs $10 now, not $7 as listed elsewhere
- The sign at the trailhead states it is 3.9 miles to the summit so it is a 7.8 mile round trip, not 6.4 as stated above
- I would NOT recommend this hike for young kids
- On the way up after one of the brothers there is a cool rock ledge/overhang that is easy to miss on your right on the way up but is noticeable on the way down

7 months ago

What a great hike. We took the West Creek trail from the gate at the Ausable Club, but weren't sure if it would connect with the Beaver Meadows Trail (it does), so we turned back and crossed to Enchanted Rocks bridge and used the East Creek trail to access the trail up to the saddle between Armstrong and Gothics. Very steep ascent to the col, then a quick ridge run to the summit of Gothics. Great views from the summit although it was somewhat raucous and crowded. On descending the Range Trail to pick up the Weld Trail, we overshot the cutoff (sign was not at the intersection but a bit down to the south, out of view) and ended up at an unnamed overlook with great views to the east. We found the Weld Trail and descended to the col between Gothics and Pyramid. The ascent of Pyramid looks longer and steeper than it really is, and the view of Gothics, Saddleback and the Dial, Nippletop, Blake and Colvin peaks is quite remarkable from the summit. The descent from Pyramid was arduous. Upon reaching the foot of Lower Ausable Lake we stopped to view Rainbow Falls before crossing the dam and walking out four miles on the Lake Road. The road went on forever and was boring, but after 11 plus miles of hiking on trails, the footing was easy. We hiked over 9 hours and about 15 miles. I ran out of battery for my phone, so my GPS track stops abruptly on the descent on the Weld Trail.

Beautiful views over the Brothers

I thoroughly loved this hike! It's a nice climb at the beginning with soft terrain, and becomes more challenging towards the top when the trail becomes rockier. Pyramid Peak offers great views of the High Peaks, and the river below provides amazing scenery as well as a wonderful waterfall near the end (or beginning depending on which way you start the hike). Also, the trees really provide shade on the way up which is great on sunny days. I highly recommend this hike as it is well-marked and strenuous, but not a killer hike!

This trail is actually about 8 miles. I frequently hike but this is my 5/46 and so far, my favorite! It rained the day before so the trail was a little bit soggy but not dangerous. Absolutely recommend!

so this trail is closer to 8 miles. but worth every step awesome views all along this trail pretty moderate hike love this one!! After Whiteface and Esther this was a great one to do!!

A great hike for our dog and us. I found it challenging but well worth the views. plus it's not crowded.

Started out this hike at the garden. Lot was almost full. I was lucky to find a spot. Started out this hike on a totally beautiful day. What an awesome hike. The brothers were a total blast. Such a fun hike. I met up with Dan and his wife and their dog Zoe. Both 46ers! Great people who let me tag along and listen to their experiences on their quest for the 46. Made it such a great time. Made it up to Big Slide, An absolutely amazing view of so many peaks. I can't say enough about how great Dan and his wife were! As we headed down we came across a guy named Tyler and his dad. Tyler was finishing up his 46 on Big Slide, with his dad! One day before he moves back to Vancouver. What can I say, a totally awesome day! Do not miss out on this hike.

What a great hike! This was my 5th and favorite High Peak because of the amazing views throughout, challenging rock scrambles and ease of accessibility. We hiked the Brothers on the way in and decided to take the John's Brook Trail on the way back, which is slightly longer but more gradual. All-in-all, this was a full day hike, taking around 8 hours.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. It had some nice variety. There were tons of great views throughout several portions of the hike, there were a few tricky rock scrambles but options to go around many of them if you like, and not much in the way of mud. The terrain also goes back and forth between rather steep sections and then flat sections in between.

The trail is also marked quite well. There are a couple of turnoffs to watch for, and of course I missed one because I was looking down instead of up for the sign. Only went past it by two minutes, no biggie. But just be aware of that.

Another reviewer below mentioned the hike is 8 miles, not 6.4, but that isn't the case. If you look at the various recordings they mostly show 6.4 - 6.8 miles. Mine showed 6.7 miles.

I hike with my 110 pound German Shepherd and he did great. I used the rope to help him in a couple of sections over the steep slabs but he handled 99% of it himself. If you take a dog or younger children you might have to assist a little. No big deal though.

Nice challenge, fantastic views, good mix of terrain, doable for children and dogs if they're in shape for it.

Load More