Lake George

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

Monday, February 20, 2012

Peaked Mountain & Sawyer Mountain - 2/20/12

Today took several twists that changed my hiking plans twice.  I had planned to climb an Adirondack High Peak today, but that plan actually first fell apart last night.  I had spent the weekend skiing at Gore Mountain on Saturday and Sunday.  Sunday was Gore's telemark festival, and it gave me a chance to demo some new equipment.

At the end of the day, the five of us who went carted our gear over to the car pickup area.  I went down and brought the car back up.  We loaded all the gear and went home with no issue.   As I unloaded everything at home, I noticed my ski boots weren't in the car.   We determined that they had been left at the loading area.  I was really bummed, but decided to head back to Gore this morning in hopes that the parking lot attendants saw the boots and brought them over to the lost and found.

Since I had to be at Gore this morning, I decided I might as well hike something in the area.  Leesa suggested Wakely Mountain since it was close by and is another mountain with a firetower on the ADK Firetower Challenge.  It sounded like a plan.  Leesa and I were at Gore this morning at 7:15 and fortunately the boots were sitting right outside the Lost and Found door.  We didn't even have to wait for Lost and Found to open up for the morning.  So far so good!  I was greatly relived to get the boots back.

Next we headed off to Indian Lake and down the Cedar River Road to towards the Wakely Mountain trailhead.  I knew it was 12 miles down the road, with the last 4 miles being "unimproved".  What I didn't know, was that the last 4 miles are actually a snowmobile trail in winter.  It didn't look driveable, and Leesa and I didn't want to walk 4 miles each way on the snowmobile path just to get in and out from the trailhead.

We pulled out the map and pondered what to do.  Plan C - We decided to take the quick hike up nearby Sawyer Mountain (trailhead on Route 28N, just west of Indian Lake) and then go back to North River and Thirteenth Lake and hike Peaked Mountain.

Sawyer Mountain was a short 1 mile hike each way with a vertical gain of 680'.  Leesa wore her micro spikes and I wore my snowshoes just because I wanted to.  The weather was great, low 30's F and blue sky.  We did the Sawyer hike in about an hour.  A nice warm up hike.

Summit of Sawyer Mountain

View west from Sawyer Mountain
Mike at viewpoint, just west of summit
Trailhead sign at parking area on Route 28N

Our Sawyer Mountain route shown in blue

After Sawyer, we drove back through Indian Lake to North River and over to the trailhead at Thirteenth Lake for the Thirteenth Lake/Peaked Mountain trailhead.  For this hike we anticipated a relatively gentle grade until the final half mile, and that is how it turned out.

We followed the trail along the north shore of Thirteenth Lake SW for .7 miles before the trail  turned NW along the Peaked Mountain brook.  Following the brook, the trail rises moderately for .5 miles before becoming a gentle grade for 1.5 miles as the trail goes past 3 beaver ponds.  Finally at 2.7 miles from the trailhead, the trail rises steeply about 650' in the last .4 miles.  This section was a little tricky, even with micro spikes.  In some spots we had to climb on frozen ice with a inch of loose snow on top.  We made good use of tree branches and saplings to pull ourselves up.  The grade in the steep section is about 55 degrees.

At the top we were rewarded with great views from the rock outcroppings.  We were sheltered from the wind and the sun was strong.  It felt great to stop, have a snack, and enjoy the views. 
Split in trail towards Happy Pond... we continued towards Peaked Mountain
A first look at Peaked Mountain

A zoomed in view

Big boulders near one of the beaver ponds
Leesa on the summit

Peaked Mountain Pond from the summit
View looking back down at the beaver ponds and a tiny piece of Thirteenth Lake in the distance.

Another look at the summit

We left the summit at 2 PM and retraced our path back to the car.  The return trip took exactly 2 hours.  Although the summit is just under 3000', there are great views, and the push to the top, although short, makes the mountain seem higher.  We enjoyed the day.  Our plans changed twice, but we were able to grab 2 peaks anyways.

Our Peaked Mountain route shown in blue

Hike Stats:

Sawyer Mountain

Hike Distance:  2 miles
Hike Time:  1 hour
Total Vertical Gain:  680'
Summit Elevation:  2415'
Trailhead Elevation:  1965'

Peaked Mountain

Hike Distance:  6.2 miles
Hike Time:  4 hours 30 minutes
Total Vertical Gain:  1480'
Summit Elevation:  2894'
Trailhead Elevation:  1680'


  1. Wow, boot recovery and 2 peaks in a single day. You are going to have that 2012 challenge in the bag by June.

    Peaked Mtn is a great hike, one of my favorites in the So Adks. I've never done it in winter, but it looks like it would be fun on skis up to the pond.

    1. I don't think it'd be a very good ski. It's rougher than it looks on the contours.