Lake George

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

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Snowy Mountain, Indian Lake NY - 2/11/12

I had climbed six Adirondack High Peaks in the last week, so it was time to do something on a different list.  We chose to climb Snowy Mountain in Indian Lake, NY on Saturday.  Snowy Mountain is part of the ADK Firetower Challenge, and is the highest mountain in the southern Adirondacks at 3899'.

Leesa, Nick and I went on this hike.  We knew it would not be a good day for visibility and we had several periods of light snow, but we had a good hike anyways.  The trailhead is a designated parking area on Route 30, a couple miles south of the town of Indian Lake.  A group of 4 guys were starting up the trail when we arrived.  No one else was there.

We chose to ascend in snowshoes, although micro spikes would have been fine.  The trail starts very gradually, and only climbs about 600 feet in the 1st 2.4 miles.  Don't be fooled though!  In the last mile the trail climbs about 1500 feet.  In the packed snow, the climb wasn't so bad as it might be in other conditions.  We were able to make the ascent in our snowshoes.

In the steep stretch, we passed the 4 other hikers.  A couple of them were barebooting and a couple were wearing tubular snowshoes that were not designed for steep ascents.  They did manage to make it up, they just couldn't go at the pace we were climbing. 

We reached the summit after about 2.5 hours from the trailhead. 

Icy steps on the firetower

No view on this day from the tower

Nick and Leesa at the firetower on the summit

The firetower is open to climb, but the cab was not accessible. 

Mike and Leesa

After a quick lunch and about 30 minutes on the  summit and then began our descent.  We switched to micro spikes for the steep pitch and kept them on for the entire descent.

We could faintly see Indian Lake in the distance from the clearing just below the summit.

Nick at the clearing just below the summit

The beginning of the steep descent

Once we got down through the steep section at the top, we made good time going down and we were back down to the car after about 2 hours.    Nick enjoyed seeing a couple feet of snow on the summit.  He hadn't seen much snow yet this winter prior to this hike.

Hike Stats:

Hike Distance:  6.8 miles
Hike Time:  4 hours, 40 minutes, including 30 minutes on the summit
Trailhead Elevation:  1810'
Summit Elevation:  3899'
Total Vertical Gain:  2340'
Maximum Slope:  57 %

Our trail shown in blue

P.S.  Below is a picture of the summit a week later, when visibility was better...

A zoomed in view of Snowy Mountain from Route 30 on a clear day


  1. Did this hike on feb 14 2014 it was brutal. Never saw a fire tower. Visibility at 100 ft. Blizzard conditions.At times 2 ft of blowing and drifting snow.Took 6 1/2 hours. May try it again as it is part of the fire tower challenge.

    1. Sounds like a tough trip. I need to go back sometime on a clear day since I had no view the day I was there.