Standing twentieth in order of height in the Adirondacks this peak is also the most easterly of the 46 major peaks it is also quite a rewarding climb as over half of its length is over open ground and there are a number of quite spectacular close ups of the W side of Giant, a good look at the entire Great Range to the W, with Whiteface and Ester to the NE and the Dix Range to the SW.
As a climb it is quite unique for the Adirondacks since over half its length is on bare open rock but with little scrambling. Unfortunately the summit, like many others in the Adirondacks, is a bit of a letdown after this great open ridge. A simple long rise and then dip and another short rise with a cairn on top of it. On the plus side there are great views in all directions.
The normal route for Rocky Peak Ridge is to start from the E up and over Blueberry Cobbles and Bald Peak and then along the open ridge to the summit. Another approach is to climb up Giant first from the W or N and then head over on the ridgeline E to this peak.
Unfortunately this peak does not have a circle route so one is either has to back-track along the trail or use two cars one at each trailhead.
The E trailhead starts at the large parking lot on rt. 9 about 5 miles N of the Junction with Rt. 73 and 1.5 miles S of the New Russia Post office.
See the entry on Giant to get the location for the W Trailhead.
Normal Adirondack rules apply.
Parking is normally never a problem but it can be a popular peak in the summer and fall so come early.
The best season is early fall or late spring as there are absolutely no water sources along the trail and it is exposed to the sun along its entire distance.
On a hot summers day this trail can be quite brutal and there have been many instances of heat stroke and dehydration by people trying to climb it with out water.
This is a great climb for kids of all ages just make sure you bring lots to drink.
The pond near the summit is stagnant and undrinkable and is known to have Giardiasis or as we call it here Beaver Fever. Drink from it only if the water is boiled for 10 mins.
In winter the trail can have some very dramatic snow effects with the odd small and harmless cornice forming along the leaward side of the ridge.
Normal Adirondak rules 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)
Named much later than most of the other peaks in the Adirondacks the name most likely came about after the great fire of 1913 that took down all of the trees on it and most of the trees off Giant. It basically exposed a “Great Rocky Ridge” which because of its dense underbrush was largely ignored up until this time. The term “Peak” most likely got inserted some time after this.
The fire made for much easier access to both it and Giant, so much so that until only a few dozen years ago there were regular horse rides going to the summit of Rocky Peak Ridge and near to the summit of Giant.
Evidence of this fire can still be seen by the openness of the area, the short secondary growth near the start of the W approach trail and if one is so inclined by digging down a few inches in some areas one will still find charred wood and ash.