Panther Peak

This Adirondack 46 High Peak is number 18 on the list. Panther is most often climbed with Santanoni Peak and/or Couchsachraga Peak.

anthers are an old referral to mountain lions, which used to live in the area back in the 1800s, but in present day they are not here at all. Panther is kind of the gateway to the Santanoni Range, due to the fact that the primary herd path route passes by its feet. With this fact, it makes it the most climbed peak in the Santanoni Range. The view from Panther is an absolute amazing sight, one that should not be missed.

This is an approximate 6.25 mile hike, one way. From the parking area this route follows a gravel road (access to a private hunting camp) for 1.8 miles to a sharp and somewhat obscure right to a foot trail. The first bridge is out and you will need to ford the branch of Santanoni Brook. The second bridge is in poor shape but can still be crossed. Be very careful as it is slippery and quite high off the ground. The handrail is missing and the stairs on the opposite side up the steep embankment are slightly angled and equally as slippery. This trail has been notorious for being the wettest trail in the Adirondacks and for good reason. However, work is in progress to remedy this. Several small re-routed sections have been developed, wet areas closed off, and stringers have been laid out for easier passage. There is still much work to be done, but this is a wonderful start.

At 3.4 miles there are some beautiful cascades on the left. 200 yards beyond there is a cairn marking the start of the direct trail to Santanoni. At 4.3 miles, another cairn marks the start of the herd path to Panther. The herd path stays flat until you pass Bradley Pond, then it climbs very steeply above the pond before starting a more slightly more moderate grade. You will drop slightly to Panther Brook and follow its course to the top of the ridge. At the first junction of paths (Herald Square) the trail to Panther goes right for 0.4 miles to Panther's summit. Left leads to Santanoni and Couchy and Times Square where a path leads straight to Couchsachraga and left to Santanoni.

Trailhead: Leave Lake Placid on Route 73, follow Route 73 toward Keene. Drive through Keene and Keene Valley and proceed back to I-87. Head south on I-87 and get off Exit 29 and follow the Blue Ridge Road (CR84) toward Newcomb. Continue for roughly 18 miles to the Tahawus Road (CR25) on the right. Follow this road 6.3 miles to a sharp left at a sign for Mt. Marcy and the High Peaks Trails. Two miles from this junction there is a parking area on the left, which is the approach to the Santanoni Range.

Distance: It's about 6.25 miles over rough terrain to the summit

Elevation: 4,442 feet

Ascent: 3,762 feet

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