Saint Regis Mountain is a fairly low peak, at 2874 feet, but is tied for the 213th highest peak in the Adirondacks. The 2 1/2 mile route to the summit is climbed by a fair amount of people, and in the summer, the peak of the tourist season, there can be more than 30 people on the summit at a time (the summit is very spread out though, so no crowding). This is not a place for solitude (except possibly in the cold parts of the winter). However, due to the fact that the summit is sheer rock and is barren except for a fire tower, the views from the summit are fantastic, and many people consider the view one of the best in the Adirondacks. The panoramic view is composed of at least 30 lakes, including both the Saranac Lakes and both Saint Regis Lakes. The trail up to the summit is well-trodden and manageable, and starts out very easy. However, close to the summit the trail gets steep in some places, and the ground can be loose. But other than that, anyone can do it (at least my 7 year old brother could). If you are looking for a view in the Adirondacks, this is it.
Coming from the south, take Route 30, and immediately after passing Paul Smith's College you will see Keeses Mill Rd. Take Keeses Mill for 2 1/2 miles until you see a gravel road entering on the left. Drive on this road for 1/2 mile until it ends. There will be a parking area in front of the Camp Topridge gate. The trail starts there.
When To Climb
By far the most popular climbing season is summer, and in early fall as well, when everything is green and the weather is very nice. I climbed in early August and I could not have asked for better on a much hiked mountain like Saint Regis. However, as this peak is not as high as some I doubt that it would be too difficult in the winter and would make for a great climb with few people.
I do not know if camping is allowed on the summit, but there are many, many campsites by the trails leading through the lakes and wilderness around the base of the mountain. This is in Adirondack State Park, and all rules apply.
The trail is in great shape, and in some places has well maintained stone steps and other helping features. You should have no problem with the trail itself.
As on many Adirondack peaks, there is a fire tower located on top of Saint Regis Mountain. The fire towers were built in the early 20th century (This particular one was built in 1910) to watch for wildfires in the forest, after devasting fires a few years earlier. None stay in use now, but Saint Regis Mountain Fire Tower was one of the last to stop use, in 1990. However, the tower is closed now, but there is no need to go in it, as the view from the summit is spectacular and unobstructed. The government has ordered this particular tower removed, as many have been, but due to all its interesting history and legends, the local people are campaigning to keep it as a historical landmark.
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