Trailhead is off Rt. 73 a few miles south of Keene Valley. The trailhead is almost directly opposite of Chapel Pond. Limited parking at the trailhead but additional parking at Chapel Pond across the street. Best to park at Chapel Pond so as to avoid parking on or near the road.
This route is the shortest and most direct trail to the summit of Giant. It's short, steep and very well marked/worn. More detailed information about the route (with pictures) can be found Here.
Entering the wood line at the trailhead, the register is only several yards away. After signing in, you move quite directly up a nice forested area using well designed switchbacks that moderate this otherwise brutally steep section. The trail is well marked with red (ATIS) markers. At about .7 miles, you will come to "Giant's Washbowl", a quaint little mountain pond along the trail.
From the Washbowl to 1.3 miles, the trail climbs steadily (no switchbacks here) through the woods. At 1.2 miles, you'll reach a nice ledge with great views, enjoy for a moment, but I suggest heading the .1 miles up to the next ledge that is actually the start of the summit ridge. It is much larger and one can venture off the trail, along the rocks for more seclusion.
After resting (if you so choose) move onto the trail and begin the long climb up the summit ridge, much of which is steep. One saving grace is that at almost any time you choose to stop, you can turn around and enjoy a view. Much of this portion of the trail is over rock slabs that are easy on the feet and not prone to much sloppiness. At 2.2 miles the junction with Roaring Brook Trail is reached. The next .6 miles you continue up steeply to another trail junction (East trail to Rocky Peak).
Continue (straight ahead) on past the East Trail junction, the summit will be reached with another easy amble of .2 miles.
Hike totals: 6 miles round trip, ~3100 vertical gain
Traditional Day Pack with normal gear. Make sure to bring plenty of water as there are not many sources high up on the mountain and on a warm day, this is a thirst generating hike.
In Winter, and this hike is popular in winter, Snowshoes (With agressive crampons) are a must. Crampons may be helpful as rim ice can accumulate, particularly in the Deep Winter months. Many people bare boot it early in the winter, but that screws the trail up for others that follow later in the season on snowshoes.
If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.