Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

Mid-May ice and snow on the paths (particularly bad between Colvin and Blake) made this longer and more difficult than expected—didn’t have microspikes so a good bit of slipping and sliding. A good 10 hours out and back. Still, the views from Colvin were great and very rewarding, and the lack of foliage in early spring meant we had some good views even from the forested trails.

great hike!

The view from Noonmark Mountain is spectacular - with 360 degree views of the surrounding high peaks. The summit is large and rocky, with room for dozens of hikers to find a spot of their own - with only 3-4 other hikers on the mountain yesterday, we felt like the mountain was ours.

There is still ice at the top, and micro spikes would have come in very handy because both the final ascent and the South side descent were very difficult and treacherous. We're anxious to do this hike again in the fall, where it will no doubt be less technically tricky - but in any event, feel that this hike should be labeled difficult, not moderate. It is extremely steep with wonderful rock scrambles that require balance and long reaches, which might be impossible for smaller children, small pets, and older hikers.

DEC has not been up here yet to clean up the trail, though, and there were some major obstacles (big downed trees) in the way that you had to find a way to heave over or squeeze under, because there was no way around. And the signage, as noted by other reviewers, is awful. We came in from the North with no difficulty, then took the trail that led south down and away from the mountain. But at the point where we should have turned back North again, we saw only an option to go left (to route 73) or right. We went left, and headed East, thinking we were on the right trail, until we found Round Pond on our right. We ended up at the Round pond trailhead on 73, and needed a ride back to Ausable Road.

My fitbit measured a 10 mile hike - so either the trail map or the fitbit are way off.

A lovely, difficult hike with incredible views!

hiking
15 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

Perfect day, cold and crisp, beautiful views!

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 .

Great mountain for a day hike with great views! Beware- there are a lot of false summits when you get near the top- that craggy looking thing in the distance? year- that's where you're going!

Was at the top on March 25th under the sun and with lots of snow. Wonderfull trail with 360 degrees view at the top. Not too crowded but trail was walked on so did not have to use snowshoes. 10 spikes crampons can be usefull.

Definitely need crampons. Very icy. Wanted to do both peaks, but I got a late start. I began going down Blake and decided best to turn around. Still took a solid 10 hours..

hiking
1 month ago

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
3 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.

It was a very challenging trail, it took 4 hours to get up in 3 hours to get down. Snow shoes are a must with the snowy and icy conditions. Over all it was a great hike and I would definitely do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

Did this hike Jan-15-2018 as my first winter high peak. -19 degrees at Marcy Dam. The trail itself wasn't overly technical or hard, but keep in mind that climbing these mountains in winter, with added clothing and gear, drains your energy much faster than in the summer. Wore snowshoes until i got off the van ho and onto phelps trail then switched to microspikes. the trail is too rocky/icy/ narrow to wear snowshoes safely. Beautiful views in the last quarter mile and at the rock shelf at the summit. There is a rather steep ice-filled section towards the top that will require decent spikes and steady foot/hand work, but it is climbable without special gear. Keep moving and you'll stay warm, but bring extra layers if you plan to stop for more than a few quick pictures.

hiking
4 months ago

Did this hike 2 days ago in -20 degree weather. If you’d like to attempt this hike in the winter, definitely bundle up with a lot of layers and I’d recommend snow shoes. There really wasn’t any need for crampons on this hike. The hike is well marked and relatively straight forward. The view at the top is amazing and definitely pays off the effort to get up there. Took about 5 hours for the entire round trip. Definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a moderately challenging day hike in the Adirondacks.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful views! One of my favorites!! ❤️⛰

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.

Took the Three Brothers up to the top. The trail was great and the views were amazing. I would suggest stopping along the way and enjoying the views from each of the brothers. They all offer different, but beautiful, views.

5 months ago

I went up on Nov 14th to bag another of the 46 high peaks. It had been a couple days after the first snow fall of the year, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m still new to this peak climbing , and hadn’t done any in the snow/ice. On the drive up from Buffalo I climbed Arab Mountain as a warm up for the following day on Phelps. Arab Mountain wasn’t too bad...a gradual climb and though a little icy in spots, it was doable....The 4.1 mile hike to the base of Phelps wasn’t bad at all. Gradual up and down paths through the woods... crossing a river...good views at the opening near the river beds....The real work started at the initial ascent to the peak. The first 10 minutes or so was your typical rock scrambling, then the path started to get really icy. I didn’t have any micro spikes, so had to move very slowly. I scaled ( bypassed) 2 ice walls on the way up....bushwhacking through the trees on the side of the path....then when I was within 200-300 feet of the summit, I ran into an ice wall that was impassable. I don’t think spikes would have helped, I didn’t have climbing rope with me, and I was hiking solo. So after analyzing it for 10 minutes or so, ( and pissed that I was so close),I had to start my descent back down. I’ve been told that climbing in the snow is easier, as it takes a lot of the rock climbing out of the equation, but I’ll have to research that a bit more before I try to attempt that. Any input????? Drop me a tab....Kiernanfam96@aol.com... thanks, and happy and safe hiking!!

Ditto on the microspikes comment! Gorgeous hike!

3 rd high peak for me. Loved it

Just did the summit of Noonmark out and back. Awesome view for a hike less than 4 hours. We went on an overcast fall day and it was absolutely stunning view of Keene Valley and the High Peaks. Hike definitely had my heart beating - it was a very steep climb to the top.

hiking
5 months ago

Make sure you have spikes

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

not the easiest with icy conditions , beautiful waterfalls on the way up to the main trail.

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

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