OverviewNumber forty-two in order of heigh in the Adirondacks it is quite an interesting little peak with it large exposed sides and bald peak.
This summits has no maintained trail as well it sits in an isolated part of the High Peaks area so one should not attempt it without proper backcountry gear as well as sound knowledge of the use of map and compass in the back woods.
As a peak it is quite bald and has a much more unobstructed view than Dix or Hough. It sits on the end of a ridge that connects Macomb, South Dix and East Dix. One can continue down the ridge to a lesser peak called Spotted Mountain but there is little of interest there except a few short sections of exposed ridge.
In fine weather all three mountains can be easily traversed but if it does close in navigation back to camp quickly becomes a problem hence the need for good backcountry navigation skills.
The normal route to the summit it to come in along the Elk Lake trail (See Dix Mountain) and first climb up Macomb and follow the ridge line up and over South Dix and then along a good path to East Dix.
You will most likely find that the peaks in the Dix Wilderness are the most secluded in the Adirondacks. In both my trips to the area I ran into no one for the whole time I was out there.
Getting ThereTo reach the Elk Lake trailhead one must leave the Adirondack Motorway (interstate 87) at exit 29 (North Hudson) then go W for 4 miles on Blue Ridge Rd. following the signs for Newcomb. Turn R off Blue Ridge Rd. onto a gravel road marked with a sign for Elk Lake Lodge. At 5.2 miles there is a parking lot on the right just before the road drops down to Elk Lake.
Please remember that this part of the trail is on private land so please be respectful of this. As well this trailhead and all private land around Elk Lake is closed during the Big Game Season i.e. Hunting, Guns, Beer, Elmer Fudd’s running amok in the woods. The season is from the next to last Saturday in October to the first Sunday in December. Usually this is well posted at the parking lot but if unsure check at the clubhouse.
In winter the road is only usually plowed as far as clear pond about 3.3 mile from Blue Ridge Road. It might be possible to park here, never tried myself, this alone adds over 6 miles to your trip making for at least a 9 mile hike before you are allowed to camp.
Red TapeThe frist part of the Trial from Elk Lake is on private land please observe these simple rules
1) No camping, fishing or hunting
2) No off-trail travel including rock climbing or bushwhacking, or use of non public trail
3) No boating or swimming, including portable boats brought by the public
4) NO DOGS or other pets are permitted unless on a leash
The trailhead is closed from the next to last Saturday in October to the first Sunday in December for hunting season.
When To ClimbAny time of year is fine just remeber this is normally a two day hike.
In winter the ski along the ridge line of Macomb, South and East Dix is quite fine but it is quite hard to find a good line up to the top of the ridge.
CampingExcept on the private land around Elk Lake as noted in red tape the same apply 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)
Mountain Conditionssome good links
Adirondack Hiking Portal
What's in a NameSeem Maps do change at this one is now Grace Peak in honour of the first Female 46er Grace Hudowalski. follow the link for more info. On a personal note I had the pleasure of being introduced to her once in the early 80's by another ADK legend DEC ranger Peter Fish. Well into here 70s at this time she was just getting back from a quick hop up Little Joe. A good name IMHO
Not a particularly original name, one should note that this is the last of the original 46 that is above 4000 feet in height. The 1953 USGS survey map lowered four of the 46ers to below 4000 feet namely Blake, Cliff, Nye and Couchsachraga and raised MacNoughton to over 4000 feet. Only to have it bounce back again in the 1979 map but then up again in the 1992 map. A GSP reading usually gives the height at 3995-4005. The 46er club still recognizes the original 46 as they are not a beak bagging group per say more a conservation group.
Anyone interested in bagging the 108, 4000 footers in the Northeastern US only has to climb 42 peaks in the Dacks as MacNoughton is too close to call for that 108 group.
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