Whiteface Mountain the 5th highest peak in the state
Whiteface Mountain Travel Blog› entry 848 of 1090 › view all entries
I came to the Adirondacks with the goal to hike to the highest point of the State of New York, Mount Marcy. After my hike to the highest point of Massachusetts (see here) I found it more than logic to visit my "own" state's roof too.
Unlike Massachusetts Mount Greylock mount Marcy is less "easy" to negotiate. Marcy does not have a convenient access road to the summit, nor is it accessible from a close road. So, it is a pretty long hike for a day hike. And due to its high elevation the last part of the trail is on bare rock above the tree line.
And of course, for today the weather forecast was not too good. Clouds (spoilt views) and thunderstorms (not pleasant on bare rock peaks) were forecasted. So, I decided to drop the idea of hiking Marcy and choose, maybe inspired by Mount Greylock, a mountain that has also a road to its summit, Whiteface Mountain.
I had visited Whiteface already twice, in the lazy fashion, by driving to the summit, see here and here. Now it would be hiking only. The trailhead at the Wilmington Reservoir started at an elevation of about 400 meters (1312 ft) this meant I had to negotiate more than 1 kilometer (3500 ft) height difference.
I made it past the summit station of one of the ski lifts of the Hoyt's High run of Whiteface Ski Center and finally reached the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway, right at one of the hairpin curves. I was amazed how high the curve is actually located, on a huge pile of nicely stacked boulders. At this very point I also touched the clouds and going up for the last 100 meters (300 ft) I was walking in a foggy landscape. The views must have been smashing, but all I saw was mist. The advantage was that it was nice and quiet at the top.
On my way down I decided to add another two peak to the hike: Lookout Mountain (1242 m / 4075 ft) and Mount Esther (1302 m / 4270 ft), both can be access from the Whiteface trail.
Although the views from Mount Esther are not that famous it gave me today's best views. Timing was almost scaringly perfect. When I got back at my car the rain, that had been in the air all day, commenced and increased.
More pictures below!