Lake George

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

Friday, October 14, 2011

Rocky Peak Ridge - 10/10/11

Let me clarify... this wasn' t just Rocky Peak Ridge (RPR)... this was RPR, Giant Mountain and Hopkins Mountain, for a total of 12.4 miles and 6000 vertical feet total elevation gain.  There was also a 55 % grade going down Giant Mountain towards Hopkins Mountain.

We had 2 cars this weekend, so Leesa chose this thru hike to utilize them both.  RPR is about the finest open ridge walking in the Adirondacks.  With the leaves and the nice weather, we wanted an open ridge hike.

By the time we dropped the 1st car in Keene and got over to New Russia, it was 9 AM.  We started at 9:10.  
After one hour of hiking you reach the 1st viewpoint and from there on you are treated to views quite often. 

Parking spot where we dropped the 1st car (off Beede Road in Keene)

Just past Blueberry Cobble
At noon we were on Bald Peak which has great views from it's rocky summit.

Summit of Bald Peak

Leesa on Bald Peak with Rocky Peak in the center background and Giant farther back on the right

Large boulder just past Bald Peak as you head west

Looking west towards Rocky Peak from Marie Louise Pond

At 2 PM we were on Rocky Peak and 3 PM we were on Giant.  We stopped on Rocky to eat.  We didn't take any pictures on either since we had been there before and needed to keep moving.

Blowdown north of Giant
As soon as we headed north from Giant there was quite a bit of blowdown all of the sudden.  It had already been cleared off the trail (thank god).  The northern descent from Giant is quite steep (55 % grade for a ways).

On the way to Hopkins from Giant

We reached this sign at 4:20 PM... and still had 4 miles to go to get back to the car!  We reached the summit of Hopkins at 5:30 PM and stayed long enough to get some incredible pictures just before sunset.  We then quickly descended the last section of trail, coming out on a gravel road at dusk.  It was't the road we wanted, but from there I knew where to go.  It was after 7 PM when we reached the car.

Looking West from Hopkins

Looking South

Just beautiful views West.  We didn't want to leave Hopkins, but daylight was fading

Looking South.  Giant Mountain in the background

Click to enlarge and see our route in blue (12.4 miles, 4 peaks and 6000 vertical!)

A 3D view looking south.  We hiked from left to right on this image.

This was just an incredible hike.  We will go back to just spend some time on Hopkins.  It is a great summit and we didn't get to stay there as long as we wanted.  The perfect ending to a wonderful stretch of fall weather.

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