Adirondack High Peaks

Adirondack High Peaks

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Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States

Hiking the Adirondack High Peaks

Hiking the High Peaks in upstate New York are a dream destination for many outdoor enthusiasts. With over six million acres of protected land, it’s hard not to be impressed by the wild and untouched landscape that draws so many people into this region each year. The Adirondack region is most famous for its expansive trail system. One of the most important things to remember is that while it may seem like you’re entering an area with few limitations, hiking or backpacking in these mountains can be very dangerous without a guide or proper gear.

The Adirondack High Peaks offer more than just a chance to escape the city and enjoy some peace and quiet. It is one of the most scenic areas in New York State, with mountains, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. You can also find wildlife including black bears, moose, deer and otter along these trails. If you’re looking for an adventure this summer that is off the beaten path but still offers plenty of scenery then be sure to explore the High Peaks!

Hiking the 46ers is a life-changing, intense and rewarding experience. These peaks are not for the inexperienced hiker. They require rigorous training, physical conditioning and proper gear to reach their summits. If you are not sure where to begin, the following links are a great place to start. The department of environmental conservation (DEC) provides a great overview of all the local resources and hiking information. For this article we will use the link that references the “High Peaks Region“. This information is critical to understanding all the rules, regulations, and hiking resources available.  

The most important thing to consider when hiking is making sure that you are staying safe. Hiking can be very dangerous, especially if it’s your first time or the group isn’t experienced enough for what they’re doing. That’s why research and preparation are so key; we don’t want anyone getting hurt! When considering safety there a few things worth noting: Always have communication with someone who will notice if you do not return on time- this could mean either informing them where exactly you plan to go as well as giving them an estimated timeline of how long the hike should take in case anything happens unexpectedly while on the trail. Don’t forget the ten essentials; below is a list of items that should be carried with you into the back country.

Ten Hiking Essentials

You should always pack the ten essentials: a map, compass, headlamp and spare batteries in case your hike takes longer than planned—or you get lost. Always carry a first-aid kit (it should include items for blisters or sprained ankles), extra clothing like wool socks, rain gear and lunch with snacks that are high in carbohydrates. You should research the local weather and pack for the worst-case scenario.

  • Navigation (map and compass)
  • Sun Protection
  • Insulation (extra clothing)
  • Illumination (headlamp)
  • First Aid
  • Fire (waterproof matches/lighter)
  • Repair Kit & Tools (knife, cord, etc)
  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Emergency Shelter

Note: Cell phones should not be relied upon in case of emergency. Despite several highly publicized stories, their use in the mountains is limited by terrain, distance from communication towers, and other factors. Those who carry them should use them only when necessary and should have alternative plans for handling emergencies in case they don’t operate. Learn how to navigate with map and compass and for the latest up to date resources on hiking in the Adirondack’s visit the Department of Environmental Conservation.

We have provided and web map illustrating all of the summits and trails in the high peaks region. Take a moment to explore the summits and trails, simply by clicking on a point of interest. The summits include a link to learn more about each of the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks.

RankMountainElevation (feet)
8Iroquois Peak4840
16Wright Peak4580
20Rocky Peak4420
27Big Slide4240
29Upper Wolf Jaw4185
30Lower Wolf Jaw4175
37South Dix4060
42Grace Peak4012
43Blake Peak3960

Illustrated Trail Map Benefits

The Adirondack Map Pack Bundle combines five of the Trail Illustrated maps for New York’s Adirondack Park in one value priced bundle. The Adirondack maps were produced in cooperation with the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) and include up-to-date trails, mileage charts, use designations and important recreational points of interest (like campgrounds and shelters). Each Adirondack map has been designed to work directly with the Adirondack Mountain Club guide books.

If you would like to review the details of the five maps that make up the Adirondack Map Pack Bundle, just visit our product page. The details are printed on each of the individual maps that comprise the Adirondack Park. All National Geographic Illustrated Trail Maps are produced in conjunction with local land managers. To view the details of the maps just use the “Zoom” Tools to view spatial grids, Adirondack park history, list of guidelines for the local area, high-peaks trail chart, bear safety, DEC contact information, and much more. All the maps are available using smartphone apps. The same hard copy trail map can be referenced on your smartphone, and does not require cell service. For more information on viewing the same hard copy trail maps on your smartphone visit our previous post on digital maps and apps.

For a complete guide to the Adirondack region, consider the Adirondack Map Pack Bundle, which is ideal resource for any recreation activity from hunting and fishing to camping, golfing, hiking, and more. The bundles includes up-to-date topographic maps, a comprehensive road network, informative recreation guides, and a detailed index. If you have questions on this article, mapping products or services please let us know.

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