Number thirty six in order of height in the Adirondacks and largely regarded as the easiest of “forty-six” to ascend. It benefits from a very well maintained trail, which offers a very moderate grade despite quite large elevation gain of 1940ft in only 2.4 miles. The main trail follows a ridgeline all the way up from route 73 with 3 short steep sections between gradual uphill sections.
The summit is quite bald and offers some great views of the other peaks in the area as well as a very good view of the Champlain Valley. There is a debate as to which peak has the best overall view and for my money this is the one. One can see most of the peaks in the great range as well as a very good view of Dial, Bigslide, Colden and Algonquin as well as Street and Nye. Looking north you can see Whiteface, Easter and across the valley the nearby Pitchoff and Porter is also quite close. The view is so great because of the shear number of peaks you can see without moving about but unfortunately what makes a great view for the eye does not make a great view for the camera. Most of the peaks are too far way to make good photographs unless one hauls up a long lens and tripod. Most wide angle shots taken from the summit usually lack any detail and are disappointing.
One of the most interesting sights is the beautiful falls that lies between the two lakes at the foot of the mountain, which can be clearly seen only from the road below. At high water times it is most likely the most photographed falls in the area.
In winter there can be some exceptional ice climbing along the lakes at the base of the peak but the conditions and length of the routes are very dependent on yearly conditions.
This is an excellent peak to bring small children up, as the trail is good, there are no big cliffs or other dangers, and the small scrambles are a hoot for the wee ones. Even the smallest kids (3-4 years) have no problem getting up all the way and back again.
The main trail starts on ‘good old’ route 73 about 6.8mi west of Keen and 4.5mi east of Adirondack Loj Road and it is marked with red trail disks. The exact trailhead is about 300m west from the smaller of the two lakes.
Parking can be a problem, since this is a popular peak to climb and space is limited. Park completely off the road and be prepared to park further up and down the road from the trailhead. Do not park directly across the road as this can cause a potential hazard for which the local police can fine you.
Same as for all Adirondack mountians.
As of June 30th, 2001 all parties regardless of size in the Eastern Zone (High Peaks) of the Park must fill in and possess a self-issuing "trip ticket," which may be obtained at the trailhead. People have been fined and turned around for not having one and at the more popular trailheads the Ranger on duty will not let you pass without one. This can cause some delays in getting onto the trail.
When To Climb
Any season is good but fall offers great views of the fall colours on the mountains and valleys to the south and north.
This is also a good peak to introduce people to winter hiking as the trail is good, not steep, short and the summit is well exposed but easy to find shelter on. Thus, the newbe can get a taste of what some of the other high peaks offer without a long exposed slog on a remote trail.
Same as for all Adirondack mountians.
1) No Camping above 4,000 feet
2) No camping withing 150 feet of a stream or other water source except at a designated campsite.
3) No soap or washing withing 150 feet of water
4) Pack it in Pack it out is the rule for garbage
5) Only dead and down wood can be used for fires and set in a proper fire pit. ( local etiquette is to use a stove and not a fire)
some good links
Adirondack Hiking Portal
What's in a Name
Another Peak that has had a number of name changes over the years, including the most recent Long Pond Mountain, as well as the more obscure Shining Peak.
It is now named for the falls that cascade down its side between Upper and Lower Cascade Lake.