The thirty-ninth highest peak in the Adirondacks Mount Colvin is the first and highest peak in the Pinnacle Range. Sitting as it is at the just above the end of the Upper Ausable Lake and in-between the Great and Dix range Colvin is one of the better view peaks in the Adirondacks. From its mostly bald summit one can get a great view of Marcy, almost the entire Great Range with a really good look at Gothics, Armstrong, Saddleback. (from here you can see why it is called Saddleback) and the rest of the range to the NE and to the NW Allen. Looking S one can see Giant far in the distance with Nippletop and Dial in the fore ground. To the SE one can see the high peaks of the Dix range on a very clear day and if you can find the open spot a little off the summit.
The normal route is to come from the E through the Adirondack Mountain Reserve down the Lake Road and then head up just before reaching Lower Ausable Lake. This is the normal day hike route and is not strenuous but can be long (4-6 hours in and the same out) but the trail is normally in excellent shape and there are a lot of nice waterfalls along its length. The trail can be a little disheartening as one passes the trial to Nippletop there had to be about 10 false summits before Colvin
There are a number of other options for gaining this peak including coming up and over Dial and Nippletop first and the on to Colvin on usually camps at Elk pass is it is a 2 day trip. As well one can approach form the N by any one of a dozen routes or from the S from Elk Lake. All of these approaches requite at least 2 days of hiking as the trailheads are either quite a distance from peak and or large areas of private land have to be crossed where camping is not allowed.
Hikers or climbers approaching any of the peaks that branch off the Lake Road should be aware of the parking restrictions in the area.
The designated hikers’ parking lot is just off rt. 73 opposite the parking lot for the Roaring Brook Trail. This spot is 3 mi. S of the High Peaks sign in Keen or 5.9 mi N of the junction of Rts. 9 nd 73. From here it is about 0.5 of a mile hike W along the gravel road and past the golf course to the start of the Lake Road and the trialhead.
There is room for about 30-40 cars but on busy weekends it does fill early and there is no parking allowed anywhere else in the area except at designated sites.
Please remember that for most of the approach to any of the peaks in this area is through the Adirondack Mountain Reserve which is private land please see the red tape section for further details.
Apart form the normal restrictions for the Adirondacks the following applies;
Adirondack Mountain Reserve despite its name is not public land but a private club on which we hikers and climbers enjoy the privileged to cross. Over the years these rights have come and gone but fortunately in 1978 the State of New York bought the high land surrounding the Club and with it got a permanent public easements for foot travel over some of the trails on AMR land. However, as our part of the deal while on or within 100m of ARM land the following rules apply
1) No camping, fishing or hunting
2) No off-trail travel including rock climbing or bushwhacking along the shores of the Lower Ausable Lake.
3) No boating or swimming, including portable boats brought by the public
4) NO DOGS or other pets are permitted
There is also no dropping off of hikers at the club all non club members must begin their trip at a designated hikers' parking lot.
Rumor has it there is a gate troll who is very rough on hikers. My suggestion is to approach with caution, bearing a highly salted snack treat to appease it.
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
This is one of the nicer summer routes since it it mostly in the shade and the walking is easy.
In fall the leaves are great but only for a few short weeks late August to mid September
Except as noted in the Red tape section the same rules as all the other Adirondack peaks apply.
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 sites
Adirondack Hiking Portal
What's In a Name
Verplanck Colven was one of the most prominent characters in the early days of the Adirondacks. Most importantly he is remembered as the one who is largely responsible for the creation of the Adirondack Park and the surrounding Forest Preserves. Besides this accomplishment he also made the first accurate measurement of Mt. Marcy in 1875 wile he was superintendent of the Adirondack Survey. He also named a large number of the peaks, ranges and lakes in the area.
The naming of this peak was supposedly based on a suggestion by rev. T.L. Cuyler who thought the peak was nameless. Colven gives another story in his 1873 survey report when he claims that his local guides named it in his honour.
However, Old Mountain Phelps had originally named it “Sabele” or “Sebille” as far back as 1869 for the Aboriginal lad who led the party through Indian Pass and to the iron ore deposit that started the MacIntyre Iron Works. Later research has shown that this was one of Phelps embellishments there never was a lad named Sabele and unlike many of his more creative names this one never stuck.
Phelps was Colven’s good friend and his guide so he just did not raise much objection to him naming the peak after himself.