Tabletop Mountain is the 19th of the 46 highest peaks in the Adirondack Park. This peak is referred to as one of the trail-less High Peaks. The herd-path while not marked is easily followed. Tabletop Mountain is considered one of the easier trail-less High Peaks.
This hike starts from the Adirondack Loj and follows a highly traveled route to Marcy Dam where unbelievable views can be had of the High Peaks and Avalanche Pass. From here it continues along a scenic trail following Phelps Brook toward Mount Marcy. The trail passes by the Phelps Trail, which is a short but steep 1-mile hike to another High Peak. You will approach a height-of-land along the trail at an intersection with a ski trail; the herd-path for Tabletop Mountain is here as well. This herd-path is about 0.1 miles before Indian Falls.
The herd-path has a trail sign marking its location. The herd-path is very narrow in areas, heavily eroded and running wet during most months of the year. Views back toward Avalanche Pass can be had as you approach the summit. The summit is totally wooded, but located just beyond the signed summit are open views of the Great Range and the High Peaks within.
Elevation: 4427‘ Ascent: 2270’
Distance Round Trip: 9 miles Approximate Time Round Trip: 6 – 8 Hours
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).
Hiker should be in good shape.
Special Gear Needed:
Tabletop Mountain in winter is mostly protected from wind. Herd-path is typically broken out. Expect cold temperatures and heavy snow accumulation. Trail is very narrow with heavy snow on trees. Can be skied to the base of the mountain at the location of the her-path.
Most Popular Winter Trailhead
Round Trip Distance
Average Round-trip Time
7 to 8 hours
Winter Obstacles to be Aware Of
The Tabletop Trail gets used much less in winter than others, so breaking trail might be required.
This trail is by far the most popular winter route up Phelps, mainly because it’s the only marked route. The trail is an easy approach from the Adirondack Loj trail head. The first 2.3 miles is rolling hills to Marcy Dam where the trail is heavily traveled. From there the trail is a bit less used but barely, it is still very hard packed. About a mile past Marcy Dam you come to the Phelps Mountain spur trail on your left, continue straight ahead. The trail is now a bit narrower and soon you come to a bridge over Phelps Brook. Once over the bridge you will start a steady climb up the Shoulder of TR Mountain. At about 0.2 miles from Indian Falls you come to the Tabletop Herd Path on your left. The herd path is very easy to follow, but can be tricky to locate at the beginning. The climb isn’t very demanding, but it is narrow and larger packs tend to snag the trees. The summit is very flat and you will walk along it for quite some time before you come to the wooded summit. Just past the summit are great views of the Upper Great Range, be sure to visit it.