This is the BIG one! Mount Marcy is the tallest mountain in New York; while not technically challenging, it will offer plenty of varied terrain and that means a very long day, on average. Marcy has four trails to the summit, but the primary being the most popular, heavily used and the only one described here. The summit of Mount Marcy boasts some of the best views in the north-east with its massive bare-rock dome. Be sure to tread lightly though. While the Adirondack Park is over 6-million acres, Mount Marcy is home to a small portion of some endangered alpine vegetation. Only about 85 acres in total can be claimed as home to the rare alpine zone vegetation that is being protected. Be sure to walk on the paths laid out for you and stay on open rock.
This Adirondack 46 High Peak is number 1 on the list.
Below is a brief descriptions of the most popular route. We recommend you pick up a guide book for more in depth detail on the many other longer approaches to this peak. For those demanding a very long outing or a super challenge, Marcy can also be combined with Mount Skylight and Gray, two other High Peaks.
Primary Trailhead: This is the most popular route and leaves from the Adirondack Loj. There is a parking fee ($10 as of 2013) at this trailhead. Leave Lake Placid on Rte 73, turn right on Adirondack Loj Road. This is a 15.0 mile RT with a moderate climb. Starting from the Loj parking you will pass by Marcy Dam where excellent views of the High Peaks can be had. The trail then follows along Phelps Brook before it enters its steepest portion up to Indian Falls. From Indian Falls you will enjoy a very moderate ascent up to tree line. Tree line can offer amazing views, but also offers at times a severe change in temperature, wind, or visibility.
15-miles RT, not technically challenging, but requires stamina, Elevation 5344’, Ascent 3166'
Family with Young Kids: Not recommended,
Experienced Hiker: Primary trail – 6 to 7 hours to summit,
Out of Shape Hiker: Not recommended