Pitchoff Mountain is just east of the main concentration of peaks that make up the Adirondack High Peaks region. It is the "other" bookend for the Cascade Lakes (Cascade Mountain is the other one). It is a pretty little mountain with some descent views as you traverse the five summits that make up its rather long summit ridge.
This is a great "Conditioning Peak" for other high peaks in the Adirondack Park. A 5 mile hike over 5 summits (4 of them bare). A fairly popular destination located near Cascade Mountain. That said, we still were the only ones on the mountain on the day we hiked it.
From Lake Placid, NY, follow Rt. 73 toward Keene Valley. The Trailhead is located directly opposite the trailhead for Cascade Mountain, just before you reach Cascade Lakes. The start of the trail is located 2.6 miles west of the end point for the trail so two cars or prior pick-up arrangements are suggested.
Same as the rest of the High Peak in Adirondack Park.
When To Climb
Summer and fall are the most popular times to climb; however the mountain can be done throughout the year. Due to some steep descents on the way down, winter gear might be helpful in winter.
As is typical in the Adirondacks, be prepared for drastic weather changes (+/- 40 degrees) at any time of year, particularly spring and fall. (On our July hike day, the temp on the windsweep summits was no more then 50, while in the low 70's at the trailhead.
Camping is not needed for this short "day hike", however Adirondack High Peak rules apply. There are no designated camping sites along this route (nor are they needed).
What's in a name?
I’ve looked around a bit and am not sure how the name came into being. One can only assume it’s from the precipitous cliffs that line the southern face of the summit ridge. One could easily “pitch off” into the Cascade lakes far below.
Yup, but your not likely to see any during your hike as you won't be around when they're active (Night). How do I know? My Uncle accidentally struck one with his car about 1/4 mile from the trailhead in 2001. Don't worry, it lived, but it wasn't real happy.
In General, bears are being seen quite regularly throughout the High Peaks area due to the drought conditions of the last several years.