Explore the most popular camping 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.

We started and ended our hike from John's Brook Lodge (highly recommend!) and cut our Lower Wolfjaw, for reasons discussed later. The best way to complete this loop if starting with Gothics and ending with the Wolfjaw(s). It is much more enjoyable to go UP the cables/ladder sections on Gothics than to come down them. Once you reach the long wooden Ladder/Stairs on Gothics, that is when the climbing starts! Gothics offers some of the best views anywhere in the Adirondacks, for a significant portion of the ascent. Be sure to take time on the cable section to look out at the views, as well as all along the ridge/summit. When you reach Armstrong, it is just a quick detour off the trail to a small rocky ledge- that is the summit! Many hikers miss this summit altogether, but you'll have great views of Gothics and much of what you have just hiked from here. Continuing along the ridge will bring you to Upper Wolfjaw, and a sign marks the small jaunt to its summit- a similarly small rocky outcropping with decent views. You can decide to add on Lower Wolfjaw when you come to the next junction with a sign. We did not, as there are no views of significance from here, and the last 1/4 mile of the ascent is a fairly steep scramble. I would only recommend adding this on if you are getting your 46. Overall an AMAZING day hike, with some of the best views the Adirondacks have to offer- be sure to take your time ascending Gothics to really appreciate the 360 views! You'll be able to see Mt. Marcy in the distance, as well as Saddleback, and upper and lower Ausable lakes.

We hiked in from the Garden using the North Side Trail to Grace Camp on the first day and slept in the cabin near Johns Brook Lodge. The next morning we hiked the Phelps trail to the summit of Marcy for my sister's 60th birthday and then descended via the Hopkins trail back to Grace Camp where we got some well-deserved rest before hiking out on the disappearing South Side trail back to the Garden. Beautiful hike/camp experience. First 46er for me as well. My boots completely disintegrated (25-year old Vasques with dried out glue), so I hiked out in Chaco sandals, adding to the adventure. (Hike date was 9/12/2012)

did the Gothics via beaver falls.(parked at the Ausable Club) Taking this way is pretty unforgiving, once you hit the falls its an unrelenting climb to the summit. The trail itself is well maintained but I wouldnt recomend this route for a novice hiker. Its a challenging hike but man is it pretty! much easier on the way down than on the way up!! After the slide you can pretty much trail run back to the falls. Take some time to soak your feet in it ;)

I am 14 hikes into my 46 and I found this to be the easiest so far and had some of the best views. I hiked up The Brothers and stopped on each for photos. After the summit, I continued over to Yard Mountain. The trail is not very wide but it's pretty easy. I was not even sure at what point I crossed the summit I was moving so quickly. I was glad I did the loop because there are some pretty cool boulders along the way after John's Brook Lodge. Total distance was 11.65 miles and elevation gain was 3392'

on Phelps Mountain Trail

hiking
14 days ago

Added at the end of a Marcy/Table Top day hike and worth it. Mix of moderate stony path like the main trail and tree roots like Table Top made it challenging after climbing 2 other peaks already.

I did 4 of the 5 peaks this past weekend (June 29-July 1). I wanted to do all five but did not manage (first backpacking trip and I was carrying too much weight) anyways... We started at the Elk Lake Trailhead, hiked in Friday night, camped at the Slide Brooke then proceeded to Macomb the next morning. The slide on Macomb is a bear but doable. It will slow you down. East Dix (Grace Peak) was amazing. The hike to Hough was very difficult. We ran out of water so hiked down the Lillian Brook Trail and camped another night at the Slide Brook Lean To Area before hiking out the next morning. Overall it was a grueling but worth it hike. Every peak had spectacular views. I wish I had gotten to Dix but I will have the conquer that another time.

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Great hike. Started out from the ausable club. Took the west river and wedge brook trails. Did lower wolfjaw first. Fairly easy hike with a little scrambling. Most say there are no views on summit. Not true. A few bigger rocks that you can sit on for some views. Did upper wolfjaw second. Two tricky spots to navigate. 180 degree views on summit. Nice water features through the lower part of the trail. I recorded just on 13 miles on this hike. I got turned around a couple times which added about a half mile to the trip.

rock climbing
19 days ago

We didn't take a trail up Lower Wolfjaw... We took the route with an amazing view all the way up. Bushwhacked to the Range trail just below the Summit. We were only planning on LWJ... But, since we were on the summit before 11AM, we decided to tag UWJ as well. Upper Wolf's chin is pretty mean. The summit of UWJ is pretty great!

Hiked with the intent of adding Haystack- was not in the cards as a wind and rain weather system moved in as I was descending Basin. Saddleback Cliffs weren't as difficult as I had anticipated. Most of the issue (especially descending) was the vertigo you get from the view while looking down the entire time. If you are not used to or comfortable with this type of scrambling while having that exposure (and it should be said that it does add a mental hurdle to get over)- this may be an issue. Once you get used to it-it was very manageable. There are a few slabs on other 46ers I find to be a bit more difficult physically but 'felt' easier/more comfortable with because I was surrounded by trees. This all being said, the cliffs may get most of the attention on this hike from hikers but it should be noted that Basin is no slouch either. I would not recommend this hike during or just after heavy rain.

On my return to John's Brook Lodge and the Garden parking area I saw a Bear about 50 ft. on the right side of the trail foraging. I stopped to watch him lumber around the ground debris. He had gotten about 35 ft. from me before he had seen me and I made noise spooking him away. Very cool.

GORGEOUS HIKE, but its tough. Probably one of the hardest hikes I've done in the ADK. The beginning of the hike is fine, first sections are on a dirt road and very boring, but we saw deer so I was entertained. It is a decent haul to even hit the base of the mountain, once there it gets steep fast (that is what I struggled with). We hiked to Sawteeth then continued to Pyramid Peak, which was by far the best views! You see Gothics and others, I enjoyed this very much. The hike to Gothics can look intimidating but it wasn't so bad. Continue to Gothics and if you have time/energy hit Armstrong and Lower/Upper Wolf Jaw. I was slow with this one and we were running out of light so we ended up going to Armstrong then heading down the Beaver Meadow Trail. Overall an awesome hike and you can knock off some high peaks (We did 3, but you could do 5 if you wanted).

Hiked in July 2017.
Follow me on Instagram for pictures of the hikes and other adventures @wildrumpfie

One of my favorite trails in the ADK. The trail starts at the Ausable golf course so the first mile or so is a walk along a dirt road, which makes for an easier start and finish, especially when tired. Once you reach the bridge, follow the signs to the left - there will be a "Scenic Route" sign. You'll walk along the lake and slowly gain elevation so take time to enjoy the views. The summit of Sawteeth is tree'd, so much so that I never saw the marker or really realized I had hit the summit. You can either turn back here or continue on to hit Pyramid Peak (Not a 46er, but has some amazing views) and Gothics. I would HIGHLY recommend you continue on to Gothics as the views are amazing! You can see much of the ADK and have a great view of the Ausable lake below. Take time to enjoy the views from Pyramid Peak to Gothics - just turn around at any point along that trail for great views.

birding
28 days ago

Great hike with my 7 year old daughter. We started at South Meadow. Walked to Marcy Dam & then up Phelps. Wonderful weather and a very nice view. The trail isn't very demanding but it's pretty beat.

A really nice hike reviewed by a couple novice hikers :) We hiked on 6/16/18 and really enjoyed the nice easy climb from the Loj for the first 3 miles but the last mile was certainly steep with some bigger rocks toward the summit. The views were rewarding and the false summits on the way up even offered lovely views - I think you can definitely see Marcy, Colden & Algonquin. About a 9 mile round trip, it took us about 6 hours with a long rest at the summit.

Great hike, great views at the top!!! First 2 miles were easy, 3rd mile started to feel the incline. The last mile up was strenuous, but we took it slow and kept going. We were super cautious on a couple climbs up rock, but there were spaces to step into the rock or roots/branches to grab. We were glad we had hiking poles, but also used our hands at a couple bigger rocks. We were able to do this with our two kids, ages 12 and 14. The 12 year old is fit, but gets a bit tired when it’s steep, and the view was rewarding to her. Our 14 year old loved it and even did tabletop afterwards while I hung out at Indian falls. Indian falls was wonderful!!! Everyone loved their accomplishments!!! Bring more water than you think you’ll need, or a filter, especially when it’s a warm day!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with impressive views of the high peaks.
We started around 6:45 AM (early start to allow for a leisurely break at the summit). Walked about a million (5) miles on the road to reach the trailhead. Before beginning our ascent, we stopped at Rainbow Falls. Highly recommended, only a few minutes off the main trail.

The next couple miles up to the junction between Pyramid and Sawteeth was a steady incline, but not too difficult. The final 0.6 push to Pyramid was challenging but the views are worth the effort. At 4500 feet, I’m counting it as the 47th high peak, even though it is considered too close to Gothics to qualify.

The trail from Pyramid to Gothics looks intimidating but goes quickly. Views on Gothics are also very impressive offering 360 views and a large, mostly bald summit. Ideal spot for a lunch break if I do say so myself.

Descended down the beaver meadow trail, with a quick stop to cool down at Beaver Meadow Falls before our 5k stroll on the road to the car. Finished around 4:30 PM. All in all a fantastic hike with rewarding views. Highly recommended. 10/10 would hike again.

Beautiful hike ,but long ! I didn't do saw teeth peak ,

My goal was to do Lower Wolfjaw followed by Upper Wolfjaw & Armstrong. The lesser ascent trail wasn't marked clearly enough to follow so we took the higher ascent... on the way up it was beautiful, very difficult too, but the waterfalls made it worth it. We decided to do Lower first & were beyond disappointed by the view! It was nonexistent!!! So we made our way to Upper Wolfjaw but unfortunately that trail wasn't marked well either & we made a wrong turn.
So definitely make sure you have a map!

The sign for the turnoff was missing. First hike of the season and so a little struggle for me--very beautiful at the top. I'd thought of doing this on the same day I did Marcy but I'm probably glad I didn't. It's definitely more than just a quick side trip--well worth it on its own.

Perfect day, perfect hike!

The coolest high peaks trail in my opinion. Great exposure moving up the cable or the summit. Beware of the false summit, because when you think you’re done, you’re not.

Beautiful views from both Pyramid and Gothic. Unfortunate that you have to walk on the road so long before getting onto the trail (nearly 3 miles) but I suppose I'll take that instead of more uphill hiking. Closer to 14 miles round trip, took almost 9 hours with stops on both peaks.

Just finished this trail over a 2 day trip. Hiked in about 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 were amazing. I ended up doing the loop the other direction than the one described here, so you summit the taller mountain second. 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.

2 months ago

great hike!

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 .

Saturday was a perfect day for Phelps- low 30s and blue skies. I used my spikes, although I saw plenty of folks with snowshoes. The last mile is a straight incline. There were small sections of ice, but it wasn't bad. Overall, a wonderful hike with a great view!

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!

Great hike, amazing views, and a lot of fun scrambles on this trail.

Loved this hike! Went at the end of January , high 30’s and it was perfect. I used my spikes and my boyfriend used snowshoes. The view from the top was beautiful along with some great views as you are reaching the summit. The first three miles is an easy walk but the last mile is fairly challenging. Really enjoyed this hike, my only suggestion is leave early so you can hit tabletop too!

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

snowshoeing
5 months ago

Not going to lie, I “Phelps” this one! I went on a relatively mild winter day. Temp was high 30s. Snowshoes were required since there was 8 in (or more) of snow on the ground. Although, I saw a few who were hiking with just microspikes. I did too, i am not used to hiking with the snowshoes and I felt awkward in them. From the Loj, I followed the blue trail. The first 3 miles were pretty straightforward, the last mile was intense. The views were spectacular! If I had a time (maybe 2 more hours of sunlight), I would have climbed Tabletop Mountain which was 2 miles away from Phelps.

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