Note: The parking areas for Giant Mountain often fill quickly, especially in the summer. Consider choosing a less popular, and less crowded, trail.
Giant Mountain is just that, a large land mass towering over Keene Valley. Giant is a shortened name for what it is originally referred to as Giant of the Valley. No matter the route you decide, you are in for a treat. Not only is the summit of Giant a true gem of the Adirondacks but the trails leading to the summit are also top notch. From the summit you will have outstanding views of much of the Eastern High Peaks, including the Great Range.
This Adirondack 46 High Peak is number 12 on the list.
Giant can also be climbed with Rocky Peak Ridge or via a long trail from the north, but most use one of the two routes described below.
Primary Trailhead: Leave Lake Placid on Rte 73, follow Rte 73 toward Keene. Drive through Keene and Keene Valley and past Saint Huberts. Look for Chapel Pond on your right, the trailhead is just past the pond on the left.
This is a 6.0 mile RT with a steep ascent. This route is the direct route to the summit. Once you leave the car you start climbing and you don’t stop for 3-miles until you hit the summit. The rewards to this trail are the countless views to be had along the ridge and the solitary pond Giants Washbowl. Just below the summit of Giant you will pass the trail over to Rocky Peak Ridge.
Secondary Trailhead: Leave Lake Placid on Rte 73, follow Rte 73 toward Keene. Drive through Keene and Keene Valley and toward Saint Huberts. The trailhead for Giant and Roaring Brook Falls is located across Rte 73 from the AMR parking, approximately 3 miles outside of Keene Valley.
This is a 7.2 mile RT with steep terrain. Just like the primary route you will be climbing straight from the car and it will continue until you summit Giant. The initial climb brings you to the top of Roaring Brook Falls and excellent views. Roaring Brook Falls is a very dangerous place, slippery rocks and sheer cliffs have made victims of hikers in the past, be very careful in this area. Above the falls the climb begins soon again, this time it will be through a lush forest with, at times, slippery conditions and erosion. This trail joins the primary trail above at 0.8 miles from the summit of Giant.
6-7+ mile RT, depending on route, moderate to challenging, Elevation 4627', Ascent 3050'
Family with Young Kids: Primary trail – 3-4 hours, Secondary trail – 4+ hours.
Experienced Hiker: Primary trail – 2 to 2.5 hours to summit, Secondary trail – 2.5 to 3 hours to summit
Out of Shape Hiker: Primary trail – 4 to 5 hours to summit, Secondary trail – 5 hours to summit