Hike Features


Sawteeth has possibly one of the best views in the park, not because it’s a bald summit, but its placement within the High Peaks Region sets it apart from many others.


Sawteeth has a wooded summit with one perfectly positioned lookout through the trees. While not the most aggressive summit to climb this high peak can be a challenge if you choose the Scenic Trail as part of your route. Sawteeth has two main routes to the summit, but can also be climbed as part of a loop with Gothics or even with Colvin.

This Adirondack 46 High Peak is number 35 on the list.

Below you can read about the routes to summit Sawteeth, but for more in depth information we recommend you pick up a guide book to the region. There are also many great guide services in the Lake Placid Region that are experts on the High Peaks and would love to get you there in a safe and enjoyable fashion.

Trailhead: This is part of the St Huberts parking area/trailhead. Leave Lake Placid on Rte 73, follow Rte 73 toward Keene. Continue through Keene and Keene Valley and into Saint Huberts. Continue to the trailhead for the AMR on the right, directly across the road for the Roaring Brook Falls Trail to Giant Mountain. This is approximately 3.0 miles from the outskirts of Keene Valley. This approach is on land owned by the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) over which there are foot trail easements. Read the link regarding the trailhead and note that dogs are absolutely prohibited in this game preserve.

This is a 6.9 mile hike, one way, along a mixture of terrain.

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, go 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 a bit over 3.0 miles to Lower Ausable Lake. This dirt road is referred to as Lake Road and is just that. The road climbs steadily to the dam. There are other trails to get you there, but using the road is the most efficient. At the dam, cross the bridge below the dam and follow the signs for Gothics and Sawteeth. Just past the dam you will come to an intersection with the Scenic Trail going left. Most hikers making a loop choose to ascend via the shorter trail and then return via the considerably steeper and rougher Scenic Trail. Just beyond the Scenic Trail junction, a short side trail to Rainbow Falls goes to the right and is a worthwhile side trip. Continuing past this junction, start a steady moderate to steep climb. This hike will bring you through an attractive forest, past the top of Rainbow Falls. You will continue for 1.6 miles of moderate to steep climbing to the intersection with the trail right to Pyramid Peak and Gothics. Take a left here and continue for 0.5 miles up a steep grade on eroded footing to the summit of Sawteeth.

Use the secondary route below for an excellent loop opportunity.

Secondary Route: Same as primary to junction just past the dam. This is a 7.4 mile hike, one way with a mixture of terrain along a very demanding and steep trail. From the intersection with the primary trail take a left and start along what is called the Scenic Trail and I assure you it is just that. This route will require the climber to use ladders and scrambling over very steep sections of open rock. The rewards are plenty, but each one is earned. The Scenic Trail is one of the premier scenic opportunities in the park but is less visited due to its difficult terrain.

Use the secondary route below for an excellent loop opportunity.

Elevation: 4100’ Ascent: 2975'

Family with Young Kids: Not recommended,

Experienced Hiker: Primary trail – 3.5 to 4 hours to summit, Secondary trail – 4 to 4.5 hours to summit.

Out of Shape Hiker: Not recommended


Peak Name


Most Popular Winter Trailhead 




Round Trip Distance

12.2 miles

Average Round-trip Time

8 to 9 hours

Winter Obstacles to be Aware Of

Nothing out of the ordinary

Route Overview

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 4-miles to the Lower Ausable Lake. The trail crosses at the base below the dam. Once across the bridge there are a few intersections, go left, then left, then right. The first intersection leads to Beaver Meadow Falls, the second to Rainbow Falls, and the third would bring you up the Scenic Trail, which does not get used much at all in the winter. 

Once you pass the third intersection you will start a long but moderate climb. With only a couple sections that would be considered steep you will come quickly to the intersection with Gothics via Pyramid. Take a left at the intersection and continue the half mile to the summit of Sawteeth. While the view from Sawteeth is only a window, the view through that window is pretty spectacular. 

The trail continues over the summit along the Scenic Trail. This is a wonderful trail to make a loop if you find that it is broken out, it will deliver you back to Lower Ausable Lake. The Scenic Trail is about a mile longer than the route up.