Only Number twenty seven when it comes to height but one of the better day hikes in the area and in many peoples’ opinions number one for views.
My favourite route is from the Gardens parking lot up and over the Three Brothers to the peak. This route is rugged with a large number of ledges and bare rock sections over the first Two Brothers. It then drops down into a beautiful birch forest before it rises up again to the summit of the Third Brother where you can catch a good view of Big Slide.
From here the grade is quite easy as it twists its way through a primeval spruce forest until it meets up with he trail coming up Big Slide Brook from Johns Brook valley below. The trail then rises sharply with two sets of ladders to the first step of Big Slide where one can move a little to the left to get a close up of the lower section of the slide. The trail continues steeply up for about 150 meters until it levels out to the summit and with a little walking about you can see great views of the Great Range on one side and Potter Cascade and Whiteface on the other side of the peak.
One can also approach this peak from two other trails both coming up from Johns Brook valley one going directly up Big Slide Brook or one that heads up Black Brook and over Yard Mountain meeting up with the other trail. Both of these hikes offer great close up views of the large slides that give the mountain its name. The only problem with these routes is you have to hike into them along the Johns Brook Trail which is one of the more boring trails in the Dacks. A simple forest walk along a usually muddy trail passing a large number of campsites.
Sort of off the beaten track as one can only bag one 46er by climbing it, this peak gets only moderate traffic so do not be surprised if you only meet a few people on the trail. To many it is just as good as any mountain in the area offering the best view of Gothics and the lower Great Range and some of the best Blueberries in the Dacks.
Because of some of the steep ledges and a number of cliffs, this is not a recommended hike for children under seven as well most of the first part of the hike is in the sun so bring plenty of water.
You best bet is the gradens parking lot on the west side of Keen but there is only space for 60 cars and it usually fills up very early and there is no parking anywhere else in the area.
There is also a summer shuttle bus that runs from Keen airport for the overload of cars.
No permits as of yet but one has to pay for parking at the gardens and make sure you sign in and out of the trail log.
As well large groups 10+ will require a permit.
Due to high volume on the approach trails please tread softly and use a camp stove instead of firewood.
As of June 30th, 2001 all parties regardless of size in the Eastern Zone (High Peaks) of the Park must fill in and possess a self-issuing "trip ticket," which may be obtained at the trailhead. People have been fined and turned around for not having one and at the more popular trailheads the Ranger on duty will not let you pass without one. This can cause some delays in getting onto the trail.
When To Climb
Any time of year is good. Though the start of August if you can stand the heat will get you some of the best blueberries in the dacks.
General rules for the Adirondacks
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)
The First and Third Brother offer two of the best natural rock shelters in the Dacks. The shelter on the First borhter being very hard to miss as it is on the trail. It has room for about 12 people, a fire as well as room to stand up.
The shelter just past the Third Brother is harder to find as it is off the trail and is almost invisable when comming down from Big Slide. It is quite low to the ground at only 1.5m but has lots of room and a good fire pit.
So if you want to go super light these are both places where you can camp or take shelter while on the trail.