The open summit ledges provide one of the best views of the High Peaks to be attained for such little effort. This is an interesting loop trip sure to please young hikers. The only caution is that the parking lots at Adirondac Loj often fill up on weekends - especially holiday weekends and any weekend in the fall. When the lots are full, one must walk an extra mile along the road to the start. However, the trail to Mt. Van Hoevenberg is nearby on Meadow Lane, and that is a good alternative.
Mt Jo Trailhead: From Lake Placid, go east on Rt. 73 to Adirondac Loj Rd., which is the first right after the ski jumps. The parking lots are 5 miles from Rt. 73. There is a parking fee. From the parking lot at the High Peaks Information Center at the end of Adirondak Loj Rd. return to the entrance station and find the trail at the far corner of the snowplow turnaround. Description: The trail descends gently 300 yds. to a road next to Heart Lake. Turn right for 60 yds. and the true start of the trail to Mt. Jo. After 1/4 mile of climb, there is a junction. The Short Trail goes right while the Long trail goes straight. The Short Trail is only 0.2 mi. shorter, but is considerably steeper and rougher, so the Long Trail is better for most family groups. The two trails rejoin just before the summit. Total distance 1.1 mi. or 1.3 mi. depending on which trail is taken.
Distance: 1.3 miles one way
Elevation: 2,876 feet
There are three trails up mount Jo, but for snowshoeing the short trail gets the most of the traffic. From the parking lot walk back to the toll booth and cross the road, the trail is located here. The trail leads to a wide path along Heart Lake. After a short distance take a right onto the Mount Jo Trail. As you hit the trail you will be on a moderate climb for about 0.2 miles to a split in the trail. Left is the Long Trail, which can also be used in winter to create a loop. While longer it is still quite steep.
Continue straight and start a much more aggressive climb as more rocks and boulders enter the picture. Just shy of the summit you will come to another intersection this one is the opposite end of the Long Trail. Make a sharp right and climb moderately to the final steep pitch to the top. This final steep pitch is a bit tricky in snowshoes but just take your time.
Distance Round Trip:
Approximate Time Round Trip:
- Families with Kids: 3 to 4 hours
- Experienced Snowshoers: 2 to 3 hours
- Out of Shape Snowshoers: 3 to 4 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 at the gate.
Difficulty: 1=easiest, 5=hardest
Two: Mainly due to steepness and icy conditions
Find out more
Read the blog about snowshoeing Mt. Jo, For the love of Mount Jo.