Phelps Mountain

  • Adirondak Loj Rd
    Lake Placid

Hike Features


Phelps Mountain is the 32nd highest peak in the Adirondacks. Phelps can be found east of Marcy Dam and north of Mount Marcy. Resting in the heart of the High Peaks Wilderness Area, it boasts some of the best views in the area.


The hike starts from the Adirondak Loj at Heart Lake and follows a highly used trail that leads to Marcy Dam. Marcy Dam offer outstanding view of the surrounding High Peaks. From this point, the hike continues to follow the Van Hoevenburg Trail to Mt. Marcy before heading east on the Phelps Mountain Trail at a junction 1.0 miles from Marcy Dam.

The Phelps Mountain Trail is quite steep and at times feels very arduous. You will have outstanding views as you approach 4000’ feet in elevation. Don’t stop at the viewing rock, this is not the true summit; the summit is located through the trees and at a large viewing shelf. Breathtaking views of Mount Marcy, the MacIntyre Range, Mount Colden, and Mount Haystack and beyond are waiting for you here.

Elevation: 4161‘ Ascent: 2010’

Distance Round Trip: 8.2 miles

Trailhead Location:
From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86 in Lake Placid follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue for just over 3-miles to Adirondack Loj Road on the right. Follow here to the end at Heart Lake and the Adirondack Loj. There is paid parking ($10 as of 2013) at the gate.

Hiker Recommendation:
Moderate hike, visitor should be in good shape. Could be climbed by kids.

Special Gear Needed:


The trail remains the same in the winter, with the added regulation of snowshoes. If there is 12 inches or more of snow, it is required that you use snowshoes or skis to travel in the High Peaks Wilderness. This makes your trip safer for you and everyone else on the trail, as you are not creating dangerous post-holes. When visiting in the winter, this summit warrants full on arctic conditions at times. Be prepared for temperatures well below zero, heavy snow accumulation, and possible white out conditions. Phelps could be ski approached up to the Phelps Trail Junction, where the trail gets a little too steep for skis.