Number twenty-three in order of magnitude in the Adirondacks, Hough (pronounced “Huff” by the locals and anyone else in the know. Use this pronunciation or you will appear as real twit to any of the locals.) falls easily into the category of “not a very remarkable mountain and wouldn’t climb it unless you were trying to bag all of the 46”
Do go to this peak if you like you solitude since, it is seldom visited by anyone and is fairly easy to get to. The view is of course totally obstructed by trees but it is just as well since it is almost identical to Dix its close neighbor.
The most popular route to Hough is to simply get to the Beckhorn of Dix and then follow the ridge along to the S until you reach Hough.
One can also get to Hough from South Dix by starting just N of the South Dix summit on its W side and then following along the hogback between the two mountains then down into a col. One bright point here is there is an excellent bivouac site which is level well sheltered and has water in the col between the hogback and Hough. Then up the other side of the col to the summit of Hough.
Many climbers can bag all of the Dix 46ers in a day but because of the seclusion of this area one should be able to properly read a map and use a compass.
To get to either of the Tailheads for Dix follow these directions
To get to the Northern trailhead head S Rt. 73 from Keen about 1.1 miles past the parking area at Chapel Pond (3.1 mi N or the Junction of Rts 9 and 73) The Start is marked with a small DEC sing and there is a small parking area just N of the trailhead. The parking area is small 4-6 cars. If there is no room, do not try and force the issue. If you park even a little off side your car will be towed while you are gone. Instead head down to the S trailhead at Elk Lake. Remember to sign the register and put you car plate number next to it and the no of days you will be gone as the ranges use this when deciding to send out a search party or not.
From the trailhead the trail meets up with the old Dial trail after 2 miles of usually soggy ground. The trail then turns sharply to the S (left) and then proceeds up to the top of Dix slowly gaining altitude until a steep part abut 1 mile for the summit. At about the half way point there is a camping area with lean-tos that are usually empty.
To reach the S 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.
There are also two excellent camping sites on the trail both with lean-tos one just after the private land the other about half way to the peak.
The 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 Climb
The best time is in late summer as the area can be quite wet other times. Remeber this is normally a two day hike.
Both the N and S trails are excellent in winter but do require you to have very good back woods gear and an early start if one is attempting it from Elk Lake in order to move off the private land to camp.
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
Hough (Pronounced Huff by the locals) is named after an early Adirondack conservationist, Fraklin B. Hough. He and a small group of others were largely responsible for the preservation of what was left of the park’s wilderness in the 1880s.