The eighteenth highest peak in the Adirondacks Panther is the second highest summit in the Santanoni Mountains and is the easiest to climb. It can quickly be done on a simple day trip but one must always remember that the peaks in this area are remote and seldom visited so one should be well prepared for a change in weather as it can be raining here while it is sunny everywhere else in the Adirondacks. As well one should have good skills at backcounty navigation with map and compass.
This is the most rewarding of the three major peaks in the area with a nice bald spot near the summit that offers a great view of the different mountains nearby. One also gets from a trip to Panther a real sense of how rugged the area is and how long it takes to move though it as one can see just how close the three mountains actually are.
At the summit one can also usually find the USGS benchmark a rare thing since souvenir hunters usually remove them soon after they are placed.
For exact directions to the trailheads check out the Santanoni
The normal route starts at about 0.3 of a mile S of the Santanoni Lean-to at a beaver dam, cross the dam and follow a survey line that climbs sharply over rough terrain until it peters out into a heard path going in a westerly direction. You will then reach a brook descending from the Panther-Santanoni ridge. Head up this brook and after about 0.5 of mile of rock-hopping another heard path is reached. Head up this heard path and after about 0.5 of a mile the apex of the ridge is met.
This spot is called “Time Square” and from here one can easily reach all the peaks in the Santanoni Mountains. From here simply head N along the ridge for about 0.5 of a mile, just past an open area, to the summit.
The frist part of both the Upper Works trail and the Duck Hole trail are on private land please observe these simple rules
1) No camping, fishing or hunting
2) No off-trail travel including rock climbing or bushwhacking, or use of non public trail
3) No boating or swimming, including portable boats brought by the public
4) NO DOGS or other pets are permitted unless on a leash
The whole of the Santanoni mountains and all of the Adirondacks for that matter, has a big game hunting season that starts on the next to last Saturday in October and lasts until the first Sunday in December. Do ware bright coloured clothing and do not be alarmed is you hear shots, or men (99.999999% of the time it is a guy but i supose thate are some women hunters out there too) with guns.
When To Climb
The best time of year is late summer as the brook is usaly dry by then and the heard paths well established.
In winter the Ski from Duck Hole to the Upper works and back is quite fun.
Same as for all Adirondack mountians.
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 links
Adirondack Hiking Portal
What's in a Name
I have been able to find nothing on the naming of this peak except that there is Panther Gorge between Marcy and Haystack who’s naming predates the naming of this peak. Perhaps the locals thought there should be a Panther Peak as well?