The Three Brothers are generally climbed in conjunction with Big Slide Mountain. However the First and Second Brothers are a worthy destination in themselves. The First and Second Brothers both have outstanding views, while the Third Brother, the tallest of the three, is mostly wooded. The Third Brother however does have a very attractive forest and unique view of Big Slide Mountain.
If climbing the Three Brothers is your day’s destination, then the primary route below is your ticket. Keep in mind though; these peaks are also approachable from the other side when traversing over Big Slide Mountain. See Big Slide Mountain for more details.
Below is a brief descriptions of the primary route, we recommend you pick up a guide book for more in depth detail or hire a local guide to assist you.
Primary Trailhead: Leave Lake Placid on Route 73, follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue through Keene and into Keene Valley and take the right after the Ausable Inn. Follow Adirondack St. and then Johns Brook Lane for 1.6 mi. (last 0.2 mi. on a narrow dirt road) to its end at the Garden Parking Area. There is a parking fee ($7 as of 2013) and parking is limited. It fills up early most weekend mornings. A shuttle bus runs from the overflow parking at Marcy Field north of Keene Valley.
This route is 1.5 miles to the First Brother, 1.75 miles to the Second Brother and 2.6 miles to the Third Brother, one way. From the parking lot you will start climbing immediately up a steady course to an attractive brook crossing. Past this point you will climb steeply over several small open ledges to the amazing views from the 1st Brother. After a short descent you will climb steeply again, up the rocky slopes and ledges of the 2nd Brother, and achieve even more amazing views. Past the 2nd Brother you will drop into an open valley and start a much longer and steadier climb to the wooded summit of the 3rd Brother.
5+ miles RT for all 3 Brothers, Elevation: First Brother – 2940’, Second Brother – 3120’, Third Brother – 3681’
Family with Young Kids: Primary trail – 2 to 2.5 hours to summit of Third Brother
Experienced Hiker: Primary trail – 1.5 to 2 hours to summit of Third Brother
Out of Shape Hiker: Primary trail – 2 to 2.5 hours to summit of Third Brother