Welcome to SP!  -
Van Hoevenberg trail (Mt. Marcy)
Route
Contribute 
 
Geography
Parents 
Routes
 
 

Van Hoevenberg trail (Mt. Marcy)

 
Van Hoevenberg trail (Mt. Marcy)

Page Type: Route

Location: New York, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 44.11242°N / 73.92383°W

Object Title: Van Hoevenberg trail (Mt. Marcy)

GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: One to two days

Difficulty: Non technical long walk

Route Quality: 
 - 0 Votes
 

 

Page By: nixoriugis

Created/Edited: Dec 8, 2016 / Dec 9, 2016

Object ID: 989651

Hits: 132 

Page Score: 74.92%  - 5 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Overview

Topo map
Topo map
Wide, worn, fairly graded and well marked, one can almost call it the Van Hoevenberg highway. On a good summer weekend, hundreds of hikers will reach mount Marcy’s summit via this trail, while even in the middle of winter, snowshoers and skiers will attack the Adirondack’s highest point following the same route. However, it should not be underestimated, as the 15 miles return and 3740 total vertical feet are no easy feat except for the seasoned hiker.

Getting There

Get to the Adirondack Loj, I-87 to 9N to 73 to Adirondack Loj road. Park there (10$ in December 2016), and should you want to stay there for the night, you have the choice between the lodge, lean-tos and campgrounds. Car camping is forbidden there.

Route Description

Sign the register and, from the common trail head (0 mile, 2208 ft), follow the signs for mount Marcy and the blue markers all the way to the summit. It is nearly impossible to get lost. Distances and elevations are from my GPS.

Loj to Dam
Loj to Dam
Marcy dam
Marcy Dam
The first section to Marcy Dam is fairly level and very traveled. Five lean-tos and a few designated campsites are available at the Marcy Dam (2.3 miles, 2362 ft), which is a common place to overnight on 2-day attempts of mount Marcy. You can still find your own campsite for a mile or two after the dam, but good spots will be rare.








Wet in winter too
Wet in winter too
Lots of wet areas
Lots of wet areas
Sign another register. The trail crosses and follows the Phelps Brook and will be wet and muddy. Moderate climbing will only start after you cross the Phelps Brook the second time (3.6 miles, 3068 ft). 









Marcy Brook
Marcy Brook
New High Water Bridge
New High Water Bridge
The Marcy Brook (4.5 miles, 3665 ft) is the next crossing and there is no bridge this time. 













Indian Falls
Indian Falls
Mud or rock, pick your poison
Mud or rock, pick your poison
Soon after you will reach Indian Falls, which provides a nice view to take a break. The mud will become rocks, but it may still be wet.













Tight quarters for skiers
Tight quarters for skiers
Alpine Zone
Alpine Zone
At the junction with the Hopkins trail (6.2 miles, 4505 ft), you get the first sight of the summit, and a toilet. Just past the Phelps trail (6.8 miles, 4888 ft), there is a good viewpoint on your right.









Getting Up There
Getting Up There
Summit view
Summit view
Soon you will get above tree line (c. 7.2 miles, c. 5100 ft). Stick to the cairns to save the alpine vegetation.










Mt. Marcy
Mt. Marcy
Thin snow on summit
Thin snow on summit
Enjoy the large flat summit, in the crowds or alone (7.4 miles, 5344 ft).









Essential Gear

General hiking gear, bear barrel if camping. Water sources are plenty if you have a filter.

Marcy 360 Panorama
Marcy 360 Panorama

Winter Considerations

Last slope
Wintery ConditionsThe slope never gets above 30%, but there may be days you wish you had crampons
Should weather cooperate, winter ascents may well be easier than summer ascents when rocks and mud are hidden by snow, but nasty weather is possible any day.

Snowshoes or skis are the footwear of choice from mid-December to mid-March. Traction devices may be helpful in the lower sections. Ice ax and mountaineering crampons will be overkill most of the time, but there may be a few days every year where skins or basic snowshoes will not suffice.

Above treeline, feel free to find your own trail. Below it, the slopes never get much steeper than an intermediate ski run in a resort, but the trail is much narrower and rescue is further.

If you are willing to summit in whiteout conditions, bring a compass or GPS to retrieve the trail from the summit. 


Images