8+ Hour Hikes in the Adirondack High Peaks 

Challenging yourself to a full day! A High Peaks hiking experience offers many rewards and is sure to be memorable experience. Full day hikes in the Adirondacks are a great start if you’re on your way to becoming a 46'er or even if you’re interested in hiking just a few of the highest peaks in New York State.

Be prepared 

A full day hike in the Adirondacks is an adventure however is typically more challenging hiking. Although we suggest to bring your cell phone, be aware you may or may not have service on your hike; this is relevant not only in an emergency but also if you plan to use your phone for GPS. It’s also important to check with the DEC prior to hiking a particular trail and to sign in with your name, number of hikers, date and time at the start of the trail head.

Full day hiking gear 

There are more items you should consider carrying when embarking on a full day hike for safety, comfort and of course opportunity:

The Adirondack Hiking Essentials

1. Navigation

  • Sign in at the trail head
  • Map of your route
  • Area trail guide book or maps
  • Compass
  • GPS 

2. Don't get burned- bring sun protection

  •  Sunscreen
  •  Lip balm
  •  Sunglasses

3. Proper clothing and insulation

  • Jacket, vest, pants, gloves, hat
  • See Clothing below based on season/weather

4. Don't get left in the dark

  • Flash light or head lamp with an optional spare
  • Extra batteries for any equipment

5. First-aid supplies

  • A complete First-aid kit 

6. Be prepared with fire essentials

  • Matches or lighter
  • Waterproof container
  • Fire starter for an emergency survival fire
  • Remember to never leave a fire unattended and to be sure it is completely out before abandoning the site

7. Tools and supplies

  • Knife, Swiss army or a multi-use pocket tool 
  • Kits for stove, mattress; duct tape strips

8. Keep energy up with proper nutrition

  • Energy food (bars, gels, chews, trail mix)
  • Energy beverages or drink mixes
  • Lunch
  • Extra day's supply of food

9. Stay hydrated- always bring enough water

  • Water bottles, camel back or another portable hydration system
  • Electrolyte tablets or powder
  • Water filter or other treatment system

10. Emergency shelter

  • Tent, tarp, bivy and a reflective blanket
  • More than the 10 hiking essentials
  • Multifunction watch with altimeter
  • Binoculars
  • Trekking poles
  • Insect repellent and a head net
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer or hand wipes
  • Two-way radios
  • Camera
  • Cell or satellite phone
  • Interpretive field guides for fauna and wildlife
  • Post-hike snacks, water, towel, clothing change
  • Trash bag for clean up
  • Swim suits

Warm weather clothing options

  • Moisture Wicking T-shirt and underwear
  • Quick-drying pants or shorts
  • Long-sleeve shirt both for bugs and sun protection
  • Hat with a brim or neck cover for sun-shielding 
  • Fleece jacket or cover up with insulation
  • Bandanna, head scarf or buff

Cool weather clothing options

  • Thermal moisture wicking long-sleeve T-shirt
  • Long underwear
  • Hats, face mask or cover up
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Jacket providing insulation, temperature based
  • Rain jacket and waterproof pants
  • Insulated winter pants weather dependent

For winter hiking check out our cold weather preparedness blog and winter essential gear guide.

Proper footwear

  • Hiking boots or shoes suited to terrain, preferably with ankle protection
  • Synthetic or wool socks and a second pair
  • Gaiters
  • Sandals (for river fording, trip home)
  • Crampons for ice

 When in doubt, be sure to hire an experienced Adirondack guide who will ensure your safety. 

Leave No Trace

The magic of the Adirondacks is the result of previous generations taking a long view and protecting the mountains, lakes, and rivers within the Blue Line. That tradition continues today as we support and encourage everyone to practice Leave No Trace ethics, which help protect the lands and waters of the Adirondacks.

Seven Principles of Leave No Trace

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Where
Northville-Lake Placid Trail
Averyville Road, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Many sections of the 133-mile Northville-Lake Placid are suitable for cross-country skiing. This section features rolling terrain with some short steep climbs to a leanto and frozen waterfall reached via a side trail. Northville-Placid Trail/Wanika...

  
Iroquois Peak
Adirondak Loj Rd, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Hiking Iroquois is the third peak along the MacIntyre Mountain Range and is most often climbed with Algonquin Peak and Wright Peak. The primary route as you see ascends most of Wright and all of Algonquin on the way. Iroquois is one of the High Peaks...

  
Mount Marshall
Lake Placid

Marshall's tree covered summit is less impressive than the wondrous trail which leads up to it. With numerous waterfalls along Herbert Brook, and great views of the Flowed Lands, you will not be lacking for photographic opportunities. Mt. Marshall is...

  
Cliff Mountain
Adirondak Loj Rd, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Cliff Mountain is one of the High Peaks most people don't look forward to doing and often-times gets left until last when working on the Adirondack 46. While the views are decent along the climb, the approach to the climb is very demanding. Cliff sits...

  
Tabletop Mountain
Adirondak Loj Rd, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Hiking 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...

  
Gray Peak
Adirondak Loj Rd, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Gray Peak is the tallest of the trailless High Peaks and has an act of putting on two totally different faces depending on the season. In summer it is slightly treed with stunted growth, in winter the trees are buried and it resembles that of a bald...

  
Mount Redfield
Adirondak Loj Rd, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Hiking Redfield was named for Professor William C. Redfield: meteorologist, organizer of, and participant in, the first recorded ascent of Mount Marcy. If the going gets tough, remember Redfield did stuff like this in 1837. While wearing a wool wardrobe.

  
Mount Marcy
Adirondack Loj, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

The lowdown Mount Marcy is the highest of the High Peaks, and its impressive presence commands the view from many other peaks. The shortest route to its cone-shaped summit is from the Adirondak Loj parking area. Don't be fooled by the relatively low...

  
Street and Nye Mountains
Adirondak Loj Rd, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Often climbed with Nye Mountain, Street is a more rewarding experience as it does have some views. While views are lacking from the true summit a faint herd-path leading a few yards southwest from the summit, opens up outstanding views of the...

  
Mount Colden
Adirondak Loj Rd, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Hiking this Adirondack 46 High Peak is number 11 on the list. Mount Colden is one of the more popular mountains in the High Peaks, but this is mostly due to its more formidable approach, the Trap Dike. While the Trap Dike is an excellent approach and...

  
Mount Skylight
Heart Lake, Lake Placid
(518) 523-2445

Hiking Skylight is the peak with one of the most impressive views, boasting a sighting of over 30 other High Peaks. This completely bald rock dome is very impressive when seen from other regions of the High Peaks and its expanse tends to generate its...

  
Mount Colvin
Route 73, Keene Valley
(518) 523-2445

Hiking Colvin was named after Verplank Colvin assistant the great surveyor of the Adirondack Park. Colvin is often climbed with Blake Peak - due to it being along the same ridge and located conveniently behind Colvin. This Adirondack 46 High Peak is...