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Backpacker Magazine – September 2011

Deepest Daks

Journey through America's most accessible wilderness in search of untouched places, and you might just find peace of mind to match the lakes and hills.

by: Casey Lyons

Lewey Lake in the fall (Pat & Chuck Blackley)
Lewey Lake in the fall (Pat & Chuck Blackley)
Red Eft Newt (Adam Dixon)
Red Eft Newt (Adam Dixon)
Pillsbury Lake Lean-To (Tim Seaver)
Pillsbury Lake Lean-To (Tim Seaver)

5 More Favorites
Discover deep wilderness in these wild corners of the Adirondacks.
Five Mountain Loop Find iconic summit views from five 4,000-footers on this three-day, 17.3-mile loop through the Dix Range. Start at the trailhead near NY 73 and the North Fork of the Bouquet River (15 miles west of Lake Champlain) and scramble up the East Dix Slide to bag 4,012-foot East Dix and 4,060 foot South Dix. From there, edge along ledges with over-cirque views to the trailless summit of Macomb Mountain and Hough Peak. Complete the circuit with a steep climb to the grand finale: 4,857-foot Dix Mountain. Trip ID 368779
St. Regis Mountain How deep is the solitude on this 2,874-foot, northern Daks peak? You have to paddle 2.1 miles just to reach the trailhead. Put-in where St. Regis Carry Road (off NY 30, north of Lake Clear) dead-ends and paddle northwest across Upper St. Regis Lake. Stow boats on the western edge of Spring Bay. Climb 2.2 miles through second-growth forests of beech, maple, and yellow birch (fall colors in mid-to late-September) along a rarely trodden trail. The bare rock summit offers 360-degree views over pristine lakes and tree-covered rollers. Trip ID 12355
Gleasman’s Falls The Adirondacks don’t reserve all their beauty for the summits. This 5.5-mile out-and-back in the Independence River Wild Forest crosses mountain creeks and mixed maple forest to a rocky gorge and the cascades of Gleasman’s Falls. At the edge of the gorge, look for an unmarked spur leading to a bare-rock overlook of a series of 5- to 10-foot cascades. Trip ID 369194
Blueberry Mountain With a steeper climb than nearby peaks (2,000 feet in 2.2 miles), this trek to the top of 2,920-foot Blueberry sees fewer visitors. Hike past moss-covered rocks and up a ravine to views of the Keene Valley’s angular mountains on this 4.4-mile out-and-back. A few ledges deliver you to the summit, where you’ll find SUV-size boulders and one of the Daks’ best views of the High Peaks.  Trip ID 42331
Crane Mountain Pack serious adventure into just 2.6 miles on this loop, which achieves the 3,254-foot summit via scrambles over rock jumbles and ladders. From the summit, the view of Vermont’s Green Mountains stretches out to the east, and Moose Mountain rises in the south. Continue north to Crane Pond, and turn right onto the Summit Trail. Trip ID 1167608

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Reader Rating: -


Mountain Man
Jun 21, 2012

It’s very true that much of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park wilderness sees very few footprints. Most hikers don’t head very far from the roads or clog the well-known trails in the High Peaks. There are plenty of hikes that can lead you to a solitary peak or grant you your own private lean-to on a pond for a couple days.

John Naresky
Tamarack Guide Service

Nov 03, 2011

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