Question: To fully appreciate a big mountain, is it better to stand on top or view it from a respectful distance? In the High Peaks region of New York's Adirondacks, most people answer with their feet by bagging the big one, 5,344-foot Mt. Marcy.
But if you head to 4,857-foot Dix Mountain just slightly to the east, you'll enjoy a quiet summit and some of the finest views around, including Marcy and the Great Range to the west. You can reach Dix via a 7-mile, blue-blazed trail that begins near Round Pond. Once on top, a 5-mile loop drops down to Dix Pond and returns to the Round Pond Trail over a rocky crag dubbed The Beckhorn. Total trip distance: 19 miles.
Where: 250 miles north of New York City. The trailhead is 4 miles north of Underwood on NY 73.
Maps:High Peaks Region ($16.95, Adirondack Mountain Club, 800-395-8080) is a useful guide that includes maps of the Dix Range.
Trail Info: Adirondack Mountain Club, (518) 668-4447.