Dix is often climbed by itself, but in many cases is combined with the rest or parts of the Dix Range. The Dix Range also includes Carson Peak (South Dix), Grace Peak (East Dix), Hough Peak, and Macomb Mountain. Dix is the big boy of the range and you will see why when you go out for this hike.
Dix is a very tough hike with steep terrain, exposed sections and very long distances. The views from Dix are some of the best in North-East including views of the Green Mountains in Vermont. They say on a super clear day the White Mountains of New Hampshire can be seen off in the distance.
This Adirondack 46 High Peak is number 6 on the list.
Below are brief descriptions of the two marked trails to Dix Mountain. To visit the other peaks in the range, we highly recommend you pick up a guide book for more in depth detail or hire a local guide to assist you in your visit to the Dix Range.
From the intersection of Route 86 and Route 73 in Lake Placid follow Route 73 through Keene and Keene Valley. Continue on Route 73 for around 5+ miles to the Round Pond/Dix Mountain Trailhead on the right.
This is a 13.6 mile RT when doing Dix Mountain alone. From Route 73 you will climb steeply above the road and follow a moderate course to the shore of Round Pond. After a hike around Round Pond you will start a modest ascent to a four-way intersection. From here it's mostly flat to the Bouquet River Lean-to at 4.2 miles. From this point the climb starts to get a bit steeper to the base of the slides on the face of Dix. The slides do not access the summit.
After passing along the base of the slides you will duck back into the woods and start a very steep and demanding hike along an eroded path. The steep terrain does not end until the summit is practically reached.
The hike is 13.6 miles, round trip, for a long day and a challenging climb.
Round Pond has four primitive campsites along its shores. Take the trail from the Round Pond Parking Area.
Camping between 3,500 feet and 4,000 feet is limited to designated campsites. Camping above 4,000 feet is prohibited.
The five mountains that make up the Dix Range are typically broken into two sections, but determined and experienced mountain climbers do summit all five in a day if conditions supply the perfect day. South Dix is often climbed with Macomb and Grace Peak for a longer, demanding day. There are two other trails that can be utilized and often do in the winter, especially if a complete traverse of all five peaks is attempted. There is the Round Pond Trail and the Bouquet River Herd Path from Route 73 as well.
Most Popular Winter Trailhead
Dix Mountain Trail (Elk Lake)
Round Trip Distance
Average Round-trip Time
9 to 10 hours
Winter Obstacles to be Aware Of
Deep snow, narrow paths, wet snow on overhanging trees; and the road to Elk Lake is closed requiring an additional 2 miles of road walking, winter parking is at Clear Pond.
From the summit of Macomb
Follow the designated herd path from Macomb and start your descent into a high col. The descent is not too demanding but you will lose a decent amount of elevation. The col is wide and from this point you can start to see the rise of South Dix which isn’t all that far away. The climb up South Dix will bring you over a rock strewn ridge with high steps and at times odd footing. This section is a bit steep but short. Once above the rocks the herd path continues up the ridge and passes the herd path to Hough on the left and summits in the trees shortly thereafter. The best views from South Dix are along the ridge near the Hough Herd path or just over the summit.
To the summit of Hough
For those wishing to do a five summit traverse from Hough locate the herd path just off the summit of and start a steep descent into the valley on the ridge. In the col a herd path for Lillian Brook comes in on the right, while not used much in the winter it does get a bit of attention, please ignore this herd path and continue straight. The herdpath will then start climbing a sub-summit called “Pough.” "Huff" and "Puff", get it?
This climb is not an easy one as you will also be required to descend it on the other side. The climb up South Dix is not too demanding but goes through a tight forest and ends at the ridge from Macomb. Follow the ridge to the left for South Dix, right drops down toward Macomb. The summit of South Dix is not too far away.
Protection from falling snow on overhanging trees; this snow will then melt and get the climber wet, a waterproof/breathable shell is the best remedy. It is also important to have a dry pair of gloves for that reason as well. Map and Compass and GPS are a very important part of this trip. While the Herd Paths are easy to follow when they are used, they may not be broken out at times and you will need to know how to proceed throughout the mountainous terrain to reach the other summits where marked trails are developed.
Please refer to our basic list of winter gear recommendations for day trips and remember this list is only a recommendation and you should take into light your experience, group size, length of trip, conditions, weather forecast, and any unforeseen incidences.
Knocking off the whole Dix Range in one trek is popular, but the group must be prepared for camping out should weather not cooperate.
Find out more
Read our blog post about how The Dix Range is an important part of becoming A 46er Family.