Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ampersand Mountain - 7/16/11

Ampersand Mountain in Saranac Lake is a great hike.  Trailhead parking is on Route 3, about 8 miles west of the Town of Saranac Lake.  The trail generally heads SE towards the summit.  We started towards the summit around 9 AM on a gorgeous weather day, sunny, mid 70's.

Elev. at Start:  1577'
Elev. at Summit:  3352'
Elev. Gain:  1775'
Distance one way:  2.7 miles
Distance round trip:  5.4 miles
Roundtrip Hiking Time:  3.5 hrs

Ampersand Mountain Trailhead Sign
The trail ascends very gradually in the 1st 1.2 miles, gaining only 250', before ascending 1500' in the last 1.5 miles.  Stone steps have been placed on the trail for much of the steep terrain.

Our route is highlighted in blue

Some trees just struggle to survive

The hardwoods give way to softwoods and the area transitions to a wonderful rugged mountainside with huge boulders along the trail.

Boulder field
Once you arrive at the summit, you are treated to an almost 360 degree view of lakes, trees and mountains from the rock summit.

Looking north towards Middle Saranac Lake
Looking south towards Ampersand Lake

Be sure to bring binoculars if you have them

We couldn't believe that we had the whole summit to ourselves for an hour before another hiking party showed up.  We decided to decend and surrender the summit to them, but not after taking another look around.  We left the summit around 11:30 and were back at the car by 1 PM.  Lots of people were on there way up by that time.

It would be hard to find a more enjoyable hike.  We had a great morning.   After some lunch at the car we headed to Paul Smiths for a kayak adventure.

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