ADK Hikes

The High Peaks region of the Adirondack Mountains contains 46 mountains over 4000 feet in elevation (at least at the time the list was first created… more on that later). Those who have climbed all 46 of those mountains are designated “Forty-Sixers” and are officially recognized on the Adirondack Forty-Sixers website. Joelle and I have taken an interest in hiking at least some of these mountains so I thought it would be neat to keep track of our hikes here, for posterity’s sake if nothing else.

First, a little background. From the Forty-Sixers’ site:

Robert and George Marshall, along with their friend and guide Herbert Clark, identified 46 mountains in northern New York State with an elevation of 4,000 feet or higher. They were the first to ascend all 46 peaks, which they did between 1918 and 1925. … While subsequent geological surveys have indicated that four of the 46 High Peaks are less than 4,000 feet, the original listing is still used as the basis for membership.

In addition to four of the peaks being less than 4000 feet, one other peak has been identified as being exactly 4000 feet above sea level but it is not included on the list.

Phelps Mountain – 4161′ – August 21, 2010


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Phelps was the first of the 46 that we hiked. Total distance, round-trip, was about 8.5 miles and I think it took us somewhere around 5 hours. The hike was not too bad, only getting steep toward the end. I’m writing this post a year later, so I don’t remember too many of the details, other than the fact that we enjoyed the hike and the view from the top. I do remember meeting a small group of boy scouts (?) at the top who were participating in a much larger group activity whose goal was to put a boy scout on all 46 of the high peaks on the same day. This particular group was hitting two of the peaks that day, an impressive accomplishment.

Algonquin Mountain – 5114′ – August 5, 2011


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Our second trek took us on an 8 mile hike (round-trip) to the top of Algonquin Mountain. The first mile of this hike was an easy walk through the woods but as soon as the path split to go toward Algonquin (rather than Mt. Marcy/Phelps) it started to get tough. We hiked two miles of relatively steep, rocky terrain in about 2 hours and slowed practically to a crawl for the last section as we approached the summit. It was extremely steep and consisted of a lot of scrambling over slippery rock faces.  The climb up ended up taking about 3 hours. We ate lunch at the top and enjoyed the view for a while. The descent was extremely hard on the ankles/knees/hips and took us nearly as long as the climb up (about 2.5 hours). We passed the trail to Wright Peak on the way up, we could have hiked both mountains if we thought we’d had the energy for another 0.8 miles. However, by the time we were headed back down from Algonquin, neither of us felt up to the extra hike to Wright; we’ll save that one for another time.

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