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Mount Marcy in New York State

The highest summit of New York is the most popular hiking destination in the Adirondack's high peaks

Best time: May–October

Mount Marcy
Mount Marcy
Mount Marcy

All 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks make for an ultimate hiking and climbing destination in the state of New York. Mount Marcy is recognized due to its cone shape and is the highest of the high peaks, as well as one of the most exciting and challenging hiking goals of Adirondack Park. With an elevation of 5,344 ft (1,629 m), Mount Marcy has rare alpine flora and fauna. It also offers stunning panoramic views of the region and neighboring summits. The best time to hike Mount Marcy and its surrounding high peaks is from May through October as the trails are usually covered with snow in winter and require special skills and equipment.

There are at least four trails up Mount Marcy. The most popular route—Van Hoevenberg Trail—starts from the trailhead at the Adirondack Loj. It is about 7 mi (11 km) long one-way and takes about 7-8 hours to complete. The first stop on the trail is Marcy Dam, which is a good place to camp overnight with beautiful views of Mount Colden and Wright Peak. The trail then goes up sharply to Indian Falls and further, past the treeline into scree and talus slopes.

Once you get to the arid summit, enjoy some of the best views in New York. You can challenge yourself further and reach Mount Skylight and Mount Gray, or go back to the parking lot.

If Mount Marcy seems a bit too challenging for you, opt for an easier quick hike, such as 2-mi (3-km) Mount Jo Loop trail that starts in the same area near the High Peaks Information Center.

Practical info

When is the best time to hike Mount Marcy?

From May to October is the best season to hike Mount Marcy. Hiking during winter is challenging due to thick snow on the trail, requiring specific skills and equipment to prevent mishaps. During the recommended months, hikers can enjoy thrill and adventure without any obstruction by the snow. Show more

Where is the trailhead for the Van Hoevenberg Trail?

The popular Van Hoevenberg Trail begins at Adirondack Loj trailhead, located along the Adirondack Loj Road, attainable from Route 73 in Lake Placid. The trailhead has clear signs at the entrance, and the area around provides ample parking. The 11 km long trail takes approximately 7-8 hours to cover. Show more

What are the other trails up Mount Marcy?

Van Hoevenberg Trail is one of the four trails to Mount Marcy. Others are Phelps Trail, Lake Arnold/Feldspar Trail, and Elk Lake-Marcy Trail. Van Hoevenberg Trail is relatively more comfortable, recommended for novice hikers. However, High Peaks Region offers many trails worth exploring. Show more

What is the elevation of Mount Marcy?

Mount Marcy, the highest peak in New York, stands tall at 5,344 ft or 1,629 m. The hike to the summit is a strenuous one, and hikers need to be careful of Acute Mountain Sickness caused by the high altitude. Hikers can find many rare alpine flora and fauna during the climb. Show more

Are there any easier hiking options nearby?

The Mount Jo Loop trail is a good alternative to Mount Marcy's challenging trail. The trail starts near the High Peaks Information Center, located off the Adirondack Loj Road, and is around 2 miles long. Hikers can reach the summit within 30-40 minutes of hiking, where the scenic beauty of Heart Lake and High Peaks is a sight to behold. Show more

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