The nineteenth highest peak in the Adirondacks it is most likely one of the most massive. It is made up of three summits well over 2 km apart all of witch are over 4000 feet in height. This is one of the trailless peaks and now most likely the easiest of them to reach.
As of 1997 a new conservation plan was adopted for the Park and as part of this plan the so called “heard paths” to many of the trailless summits will see some improvement and standardizing to protect the enviornment. As well the ADK 46er summit cnaistes will be removed and replaced by a small sign.
Table Top was selected as the first peak to benefit from this plan and in the summer 0f 1997 the work began and has now finished. The trail is marked on in the latest “2000” edition of the ADK guidebook to the area with a dashed line. The trail itself is not marked and there is no sign pointing to it so the normal precautions for doing a trailless summit should be followed.
Orignally the heard-path to the top was not well defined and there are a number of false summits and it is easy to go off course and climb one of the lesser summits instead of the main one.
Both of the old approach trails start from Indian Falls, the first one is on a direct line with from the falls to the summit and is the easiest to find. There has been a number of blow-downs in the area so this path tended to meander quite a bit. The other path, which is much harder to find is about .3 of a mile up the right back of Marcy Brook but this is offset a much easer climb.
Both of these trails sould now not be used as a new improved trail has been cut by the ADK 46ers.
The new trail starts about 0.75 of a mile after the Phelps trail peak turnoff. There should be a sign for Marcy pointing to the right just pass this will see a cairn and a red trail marker. Follow this trail and it will now lead to the top of the Peak.
A large summit plateau greets the climber with the other two sub summits visible to the NE, a good view of Phelps and a great view of Marcy and the back side of the great range if you climb a tree or find some open space.
A rare thing to do is actually climb all three summits not many people even try it.
It makes for a good Sunday morning trip if you are camping at the Falls or Marcy Dam but for a day trip from the Loj or elsewhere please use caution and bring the correct gear for an overnight stay as it is easy to lose the trail and there is rarely anyone else about.
The normal route is to park at Adirondack Loj and follow the Van Hoevenberg trail to Mt Marcy.
It is also possible to get to the lower summit by starting at Bushnell falls and following the ridge all the way to the summit but this is well off the beaten path.
No permits as of yet but one has to pay for parking at the Loj 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, but like all high peaks, be prepared for severe weather changes at any time of the year.
In winter the assent is somewhat easer since there is usually a well established snow path to the top
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)
some good links
Adirondack Hiking Portal
What's In a Name
The name comes from its summit plateau which does look like a giant table top when looked at from Marcy.
This peak gets very little traffic, maybe only a few dozen people a year, so it you are looking for solitude in the Adirondacks this is the peak for you.
The summit log on this peak and all of the other trailess peaks should now be gone in keeping with new conservation guidlines of the park.