Explore the most popular river 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.

do not go up the gothics. it's better to go up pyramid and down the gothics. that said, amazing views and well worth the journey.

Great hike! Three pretty easy miles to start off, then a mile up! It had great views on top! 3 down 43 to go!

We did the whole range except for Macomb. Took about 12 hours. Took a few breaks mostly on the summits. Best views were on Grace and Dix but there are many good views along the range around the summits. Quite steep going down Dix. I recommend bringing two cars and parking one at Round Pond and one at the Trailhead for Grace (formerly East Dix).

Hiked on 8/15/18. Conditions are great with a few muddy and slippery spots. I went up Beaver Meadow Falls and came down the way by the clubhouse at the lake. Didn’t spend a lot of time at the top because of a storm coming in but overall one of the best views. Definitely recommend. Took me 3 hours to reach the summit and I’m in fairly good shape. BRING WATER!!

Did this going up A.W. and down Beaver Meadow. Pyramid peak has incredible views.

was it hard?!
yes it was one of the hardest trails I ever did but keep in mind I'm a heavy guy and amateur hiker.
would I ever do it again?! yes 100% in fact I'm planning to work hard to make full great range loop in the future.
it was an amazing experience!!!

Great trip!! View from Pyramid is amazing and the Gothics view is pretty stellar. Large chunk of the hike is along Lake Road. Sawteeth summit is a short distance from Pyramid...worth a trip as well

camping
7 days ago

The view from MT Colvin is absolutely Amazing. So what if it is a little muddy at parts, its a mountain hike, that comes with the territory. There are some really fun scrambles. There is also a nice stream for a decent ways up the mountain to refuel. There are also about 4 spaces that you can camp in about 2 miles from the top. The best place to park is at a country club. It is right before a church on your left or after it on your right. Its a little sign with an A and another letter on it as a symbol. You drive up that rode until you pass by tennis courts. The foot trail begins a little down the road once you pass between them. So many high peaks to access from that trail.

Decided to stay an extra day after doing 4 of the Saranac 6 to get a High Peak in. We got a later start than we would have like and had to park about a mile down the road from the LOJ. It was overall a great hike the water was refreshing and the top had some good views. The top can be a little confusing because there are a lot of trails right at the peak but nothing to crazy.

The hike up to Marcy Dam and then to the Phelps Trail cut-off is easy. The sign to Phelps at the cut-off reads 1.0 miles, but it is actually 1.2 miles. The 1.2 miles are a bit challenging, but nothing too difficult. At the top, there is a small trail to the right of a boulder that runs along the left side of the trail - take the trail (very short) for some very nice views.

Longer than this states (18.5 by my Garmin), but great hike from the Garden.

August 8, 2018: Completed Big Slide in 5.5 hours, with about 30 minutes of breaks. Parking: The trailhead at Garden Parking (off Adirondack Rd from the village of Keene) is very small. I arrived there at 9am on Tuesday and no spots available. I usually start my hikes earlier, but this time, I was driving from Ottawa the morning of. I quickly learned that if the parking is full, you are SOL. There are no other places to park, except in the village itself at a public parking, which is what I did. In addition to the 5.5 hrs, this added a good 1hour and 15 minutes. So arrive early :) Although I heard that on weekends there's a shuttle service - don't take my word for it though. The hike itself is a nice one, but tough. There is quite a bit of rock scrambling, which I personnaly like. The summit is great, but watch out for mice - one nearly got in my backpack. I didn't do the actual loop, I went right up from the three Brothers trail and came down the same. Cheers

A lot more rock scrambling than I anticipated! I loved the views on the way up, stopping every now and then to get a snapshot, catch my breath, or drink some water. The way back feels long but is a nice break for your knees. Pay attention to the yellow arrow on a boulder after the waterfall on your way back. There's a herd trail going into the woods that we followed that's not the trail! Overall a satisfying hike! I'm an intermediate hiker and I finished in 7 hours, including about 30 min worth of breaks.

Agree with previous reviewer. We set out to do this only to discover we'd be adding 3.5 miles one way (total of 7 miles) to what was going to be a nice 6.7 mile hike. You have to park at this trailhead: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/new-york/indian-head-and-rainbow-falls as you can't park at the country club and the access road you walk on for 3 miles does not allow cars or bikes. One thing to note there is a garden hose to the left of the sign in book in case you didn't bring enough water... since preparing for a 7 mile vs 14 mile hike are very different things. Beautiful views and a hard hike but giving it a low score due to the inaccurate mileage/start location.

One of the best 46 high peaks hikes there is. Views and summits from all 3 mountains are fantastic. Haystack feels like another country on top. Total time 11 hours 10 minutes. We walked in to JBL from the garden. From there we went to Haystack first (***be careful if you want to go to Haystack first because the sign at JBL to Haystack is misleading as it points you left to Haystack saying 7 miles, but that is the way/mileage to Haystack if you END with Haystack and go over Saddleback and Basin first). We started the loop with Haystack so we went towards Marcy before splitting to Haystack. Go over little Haystack to Haystack. Then it was roughly an hour to Basin, and roughly another hour to Saddleback. Descent between basin and Saddleback is some of the most technical descents I’ve seen. Steep, rocky, slippery, and have to calculate every step. Getting to the col was very welcomed. Then climbing the cliffs just before Saddleback is a challenge as you’re actually doing some rock climbing (no clue how a dog would get up/down it without getting really hurt). Descent from Saddleback was nice and not bad on the body and there’s a super long wooden staircase down the side of a slide that’s really cool. Great trip with great views and terrain. 9 miles from garden to Haystack so it took 4 hours 45 minutes to get to our first summit then smooth sailing. Then we completed the loop at JBl and back to the garden.

Hiked in to Phelps from the Loj. I really don’t see any reason to do this mountain unless you are a trying to get all 46 High Peaks. Took 2.5 hours from the Loj and less than 2 to get back. The hike in is a lovely walk, but the trail up Phelps is a bit boring and pretty difficult, lots of roots and stones ......no views till the very end. I agree with another reviewer.... it IS a unique view of Marcy and the other high peaks in the area once you are on the summit. Of course I had a great time, I was hiking! But I would not climb this mountain again.

I did this as a all day hike, great experience but very strenuous and I loved it!!! Great Trail along the river, very muddy, I did the hike and came back to parking lot via the south trail and cut across the river. 13-14hr hike and my recording said 18 miles I believe, I started at 4am and summited Marcy around 11-11:30pm. Great Views. No water on trail but I did see signs for bathrooms.

backpacking
14 days ago

Hello everyone. Could you please recommend some nice spots closer to the summit for the tents (probably 2)? Planning a 2 day hike. Thanks

Another one star review for the directions that show the start at the Lower Ausable Lake, which is accessed only by a private road. Parking is at the public lot at Rt. 73 and a 4-mle road walk to the actual start of the trail.

The last mile is a lot of work but lots of opportunities to take breaks to catch your breath and well worth the effort. Very unique view of the high peaks from the summit

This was an amazing hike the last mile took me about 1 hour because it was my very first time at an high peak! My back bother me some but I would do it all over again.

I love this hike and have done it multiple times now as a three day trip: hike into JBL and sleep over, Marcy loop the next day, and hike out from JBL the third day and it’s a perfect trip in my opinion. Love Mt. Marcy and JBL!

Did this hike Sunday, nice weather. The trail was muddy , easy going early up to Colvin. Colvin had good views. Ate a early lunch and headed over to Blake. The effort needed to get to Blake is not worth it. Not much at all to see. There is a view of Elk lake through the trees. Total trip was about 15 miles and took 10 hours. Guess that’s not too bad for my age. Lol

This was a hard hike. I tried in March and it was too icy between Colvin and Blake, especially on the ladders. Today it was pretty muddy, we added Indian Head and it took 9 hours. Indian Head was the best part for me.

The total distance is a bit more than 9.8 miles.

If you have more than one person in your car drop the passengers off at the garden trailhead so you only have to pay for one shuttle ride.

There is potable water at the Johns Brook Lodge.

Awesome. Probably the most challenging hike I’ve done to date. It involves many instances of climbing over some large and loose boulders. I wouldn’t recommend unless you were in very good shape. We summited in a little under three hours (both of us are/were athletes in college.) The only lame part is the fact that you have to walk ~2 miles through a road and country club if you access it from the free parking zone.

Great views, I hiked up Gothics and took the ridge over to Armstrong. You can get sweeping panoramas of many of the western High Peaks and Lake Placid. Pay attention to which way you came to the summit. There are two exits very close to each other that will lead you to different places. We hiked almost an hour out of our way by accident and did not bring enough water for the extra mileage. Overall, a great time.

We hiked Big Slide on July 16 and found the trail challenging, but certainly worth it as the views along the way and at the summit were amazing!

What made the hike challenging was mostly weather and our own inexperience. It was extremely warm that day, and as this was only our second high peak, we overpacked in terms of food and so the weight of our backpack slowed us down as we made frequent stops along the way! We began our climb around 7:30am and when we returned to the car around 3:30pm, the temperature was 32 degrees Celsius!!! There were also many opportunities for taking pictures along the way, which we certainly took advantage of!

We began at the Garden Parking lot ($10 USD for parking) and returned through the Slide Mountain Brook Trail loop after we reached the summit. In total, we were about 8 hours - again, with more than a 'normal' amount of breaks along the way. The path begins moderately steep and continues that way until after the second Brother, where it descends for a bit before a steep climb (including some adventurous rock scrambles and questionable log steps) just before the summit. Unlike Marcy, which we did two years ago, the summit does not offer 360 degree views; however, the views from the Brothers are fantastic and the Great Range is right in front of you from the summit! The loop trail return descends steadily until John Brooks Lodge with some running water along the way if (like us) your supply is getting low by then! Once at JBL, the 3 miles remaining back to the Garden Parking Lot are flat and well marked.

A cooler day and a lighter backpack are the only things that could have made this any better. Truly a beautiful and rewarding hike!

We Hiked up the Macomb Slide and went on to do South Dix (a scramble) & then Hough. Really awesome 3 peak day hike. I loved the variety of this trail! Great views pretty much the entire time! They call it "un-maintained..." But, if that was true, then who's been out there cutting through the blowdown? Someone certainly has. Definitely a blast & would climb them again!

Awesome and easy high peak. I cruised the first three miles and the last one caught me - but the views are totally worth it. A couple different trails at the very tip top and I missed the first sign that said “trail —>” but found it after only a few mins. Lots of good views when you get to the last quarter mile. Most folks I met were hiking this and Table Top, but I did Phelps solo. 6.5 hr day for me with a 45 minute break on the summit. My aussie loved it as well - plenty of swimming breaks for him up and back around Marcy Dam.

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