Adirondack Great Range
ElevationAscent: 7,334' 2,236 m
Descent: -6,777' -2,066 m
High: 5,278' 1,609 m
Low: 1,030' 314 m
GradeAvg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 61% (31°)
Popular runs nearby
Nippletop and Dial via Elk Pass
12.9 mi 20.7 km • Loop • 3,504 ft Ascent 1068.04 m Ascent
Mt. Marcy via Van Hoevenberg Trail
14.0 mi 22.5 km • Loop • 3,101 ft Ascent 945.04 m Ascent
1.9 mi 3.1 km • Loop • 657 ft Ascent 200.37 m Ascent
Gray Peak, Mount Skylight, & Mount Marcy via Avalanche Pass
14.8 mi 23.8 km • Point to Point • 4,069 ft Ascent 1240.22 m Ascent
Haystack Mountain via Jackrabbit Ski and North Haystack Trails
5.6 mi 9.0 km • Out and Back • 1,004 ft Ascent 305.92 m Ascent
Catamount Mountain Trail
3.7 mi 5.9 km • Out and Back • 1,577 ft Ascent 480.74 m Ascent
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“The Holy Grail of the High Peaks, this is a strenuous loop that will test your mettle.”— Mikhaila Redovian
As you'll most likely need to start early in the morning in order to finish in the daylight, the Keene Valley Hostel is a great place to prep the night before, eat a tasty meal, and get good sleep before you tackle the trail. Best of all, the hostel is located no more than 200 yards from the Roostercomb Trailhead.
Starting from Keene Valley, jump right into your ascent by taking the Rooster Comb Trail past Roostercomb and continue on the Hedgehog Trail to bag your second peak, Hedgehog. You'll be getting into the swing of things on the WA White Trail past Lower Wolfjaw, and on the Adirondack Range Trail past Upper Wolfjaw. Enjoy the relative ease of travel once you've gained the ridge from the valley floor. As you cruise comfortably along, you'll pass Armstrong with minimal effort.
The trickiest part of the trail occurs once you reach the western side of Gothics. You'll start the descent on the State Range Trail, and it's a doozy! The bald nature of Adirondack peaks makes all of the summits on this trail spicy, but Gothics is especially adrenaline inducing. There is a permanently fixed cable system that leads you down the granite face, and you'll be thankful that someone with some foresight covered the sharp cable with (of all things!) garden hose. Both the rock and the hose can become slick in the rain, so it's best to move slowly over this section.
After your harrowing journey down Gothics, the jaunt to Basin, Saddleback and Little and Big Haystack peaks will seem like a cakewalk, so catch your breath and let the jitters settle on this relatively relaxed portion of trail. To get the Haystacks, make a left onto the Haystack Trail. Likewise technical, follow the yellow painted blazes to reach the peak. You'll end up heading back the way you came to complete the trail.
After Haystack, prep for your final summit push, and take the Phelps Trail to the top of Marcy. The famous high point in New York State, you'll have expansive views of the rest of the Adirondack Park, and on clear days, destinations as far off as Vermont are visible as well. Head down the Phelps Trail to make an exit past John's Brook Lodge, ultimately reaching the Garden Trailhead.
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