This steep trail ascends the shoulder of Phelps Mountain before topping out at Klondike Notch. One can descend the other side of the notch and arrive at Johns Brook Lodge in the Johns Brook Valley.
Leave Lake Placid on Route 73, follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue for about 3 miles to Adirondack Loj Road on the right. Follow Adirondack Loj Road to South Meadow Lane on the left. Drive to the end of South Meadow Lane to a parking lot.
In winter, park at the start of South Meadow Lane near the boulders. From the Loj Road you will have to ski South Meadow Lane for 1mile to access the Klondike Notch Trail. The road starts out heading easily uphill before descending very gradually to the parking lot at the end of the road. The trail is to the back of the parking lot.
If starting from The Garden, leave Lake Placid on Route 73, heading east toward Keene and Keene Valley. After about 19 miles, in downtown Keene Valley, turn right at the large wooden DEC sign for the Garden parking lot. This turn is also about 12 miles from Exit 30 on I-87.
By the numbers
- Elevation: 3,182 feet
- Ascent: 1,130 feet
- Elevation gain/loss: 1,100 feet
- Distance: 12.6 miles round-trip, but a thru-hike (more common) is 6.3 miles
This is considered a moderate trail with some steep stretches. It lets a hiker experience the lovely scenery from Adirondack Loj to Johns Brook Lodge if they wish. It is 6.3 miles between South Meadow and John Brooks Lodge. The top of the notch is reached in 4.2 miles from South Meadow. The trail to Klondike Notch is a very demanding one even if the beginning of it does not present itself to be so. The start of the trail heads through the low lands of South Meadow but will eventually start climbing and at times a bit steep.
The Klondike lean-to (roughly 3.6 miles from South Meadow) is a well kept lean-to and a great spot to camp.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
Many skiers stop at the lean-to about 0.75 mile shy of the top of the notch.