Scarface is one of the six mountains in the Saranac Lake Region that are part of the Saranac Lake 6ers hiking challenge. While it gets less use in comparison to the others on the list, this is a fun and unique climb and makes for an excellent day in the woods.
The hike is 3.8 miles one-way over varied terrain which at times is quite steep. From the trailhead you will you climb a bit and work your way through an open forest to the railroad tracks. Cross the railroad tracks and continue on a mellow hike all the way to the bridge over Ray Brook. This spot is a very nice area for fishing as well as just a short destination hike.
Past the bridge the trail stays very mellow through a forest of tall pines. There is one very distinctive trail split, be sure to take a left at this point, the split is well marked. The trail begins to climb a bit and very soon begins to get steeper. As the terrain gets steeper the footing gets a bit less favorable, but it makes for a little adventure. Along these steep slopes as you gain more elevation there are some areas that require a bit of scrambling. As the trail starts to get less aggressive there are a few decent views off over the trees of the distant High Peaks. The trail moderates before reaching the unofficial summit.
The trail at one point stopped at the first landing with open views (unofficial summit), but this is not the true summit though it's technically the final spot to get a view. Many hikers stop here, short of the wooded summit that does not offer any views. A narrow path continues over the summit and into a much darker forest. The trail meanders through and eventually ends at the true summit where there is a trail disk on a tree marking the top at 3,088 feet.
Trailhead: From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 86 in Saranac Lake follow Route 86 toward Lake Placid. Continue into Ray Brook and take a right onto Ray Brook Road and follow for 0.1 miles to the trailhead on the left.
Distance: 3.8 miles to the summit
Elevation: 3,088 feet
Ascent: 1,480 feet