Named after Thomas Armstrong, a 19th Century lumberman, this climb features a huge ladder on one approach and several smaller ones on the other approach. Great views of the upper Great Range and Johns Brook Valley.
This peak is often tackled as part of the Gothics, Armstrong, Upper Wolf Jaw Mountain & Lower Wolf Jaw Mountain loops. Alternately, as a there-and-back trail from the Keene Valley trailhead (mapped below.)
This Adirondack 46 High Peak is number 22 on the list.
Leave Lake Placid on Route 73, follow Route 73 through Keene and Keene Valley and into Saint Huberts. Parking is across the road from the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead for Giant Mountain. The approach is on the private property of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) and dogs are absolutely prohibited in the game preserve.
This is 5.8 miles, one way with a moderate to steep ascent. From the parking lot you will initially have to follow a dirt road to a paved road next to a golf course. At 0.5 miles from the parking area, turn left and down between two tennis courts on Lake Road Way to get to the gate into the AMR. The AMR is a private property area with recreational easements, special rules apply to use and those are posted at the gate. At the gate you will need to hike the dirt access road for around 2.0 miles to the Gothics access trail on the right. This trail leads through the forest to a bridge over the Ausable River and then to the base of Beaver Meadow Falls.
The trail climbs steeply to the left of the falls over a ladder and slippery conditions to near the top of the falls. From this point the trail becomes a steady climb with a few steep sections and a couple smaller ladders to descend. This trail leads up to the Great Range Trail where Armstrong is to your right and Gothics to the left.
Round Trip Distance
13.2 miles, Armstrong only, 15.2 miles with Gothics, considered a demanding hike
Time in hours
Family with Young Kids: not recommended
Experienced Hiker: To Summit: 3.0 Round Trip: 6.5
Out of Shape Hiker: not recommended
Armstrong quite often climbed with Gothics as a close second peak for the day using the trail from AMR and Beaver Meadow Falls. For those doing the lower range in a day it is common to start from the Garden and traverse the ridge to the Orebed Trail on the other side of Gothics. The traverse should only be attempted by climbers in excellent condition and prepared for a very long day.
Most Popular Winter Trailhead
Average Round-trip Time
8 to 10 hours, 9 to 11 hours with Gothics
Winter Obstacles to be Aware Of
Heavy windows and deep snowdrift along the ridge to Gothics if you venture that way, whiteout conditions can exist.
From AMR and Beaver Meadow Falls
From the parking lot you will need to follow the road to the AMR gate which is 0.7 miles away. Once through the gate you will continue along Lake Road for around 2.0 miles to the trail for Gothics and Beaver Meadow Falls on the right.
This section of trail is easy and leads to the Ausable River and then a bridge over the river to access Beaver Meadow Falls. There is a ladder to the left of the falls where the trail continues up to the Great Range Trail. Just above the ladder it is very steep and at times quite icy. This trail is a steady and at times steep climb. You will pass over 4 additional ladders to access you through step and rocky areas and eventually come to the Range Trail between Gothics and Armstrong.
Take a left here and it is 0.4 miles to the summit of Armstrong over an easy to moderate trail. The summit of Armstrong is somewhat sheltered from the wind but offers outstanding views of the remaining portion of the lower Great Range.
Via Upper Wolf Jaw
From UWJ you will have a steep descent into the saddle along the ridge continued by a steep climb up the other side. It is exactly 1.0 miles between the two peaks.
Wind protection is a must.