|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Starting from “The Garden” Trailhead, this 10.9-mile loop traverses Big Slide Mountain (named for a 19th century landslide that cleared its southeast face) and makes a return trip pit stop at Johns Brook Lodge, a favorite amongst High Peaks hikers. Following signs for “The Brothers,” the hike begins its 2,800-foot ascent with a steady climb through a maple and birch forest. Bypassing the trail to Porter Mountain, the route soon picks up with a rocky and persistent climb up The Brothers, a collection or rock ledges (decorated by blueberries in summer) that offer outstanding southward views to the neighboring Rooster Comb.
Following yellow rock blazes (and blue trail markers) over The Brothers, the route continues to climb towards Big Slide, affording occasional views of its namesake scar. After 3.4 miles, hikers reach the base of the summit approach. From here it's a 0.2-mile climb up a steep, rocky path. The summit rewards with views south to Mount Marcy and the Great Range, as well as other 4,000-foot peaks (including Algonquin and Giant to the east). Continue west along the ridge to Yard Mountain, another outcropping summit with above-the-trees views.
From Yard, this route descends a drainage traverse to Johns Brook Lodge. Administered by the Adirondack Mountain Club, the lodge (reservations required for bunks) serves meals to summertime visitors and is maintained by a caretaker in the fall. Fill up your water bottle in the faucet outside before continuing a gradual descent alongside Johns Brook for 3.4 miles back to "The Garden."
-Mapped by Lisa Densmore, Densmore Designs.com