Lake George

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

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Camel's Hump - Dix Mountain Wilderness - 5/5/13

There are many fine smaller rocky summits in Dix Mountain Wilderness of the Adirondack Park.  Many of these can be accessed from Route 9, just north of North Hudson.  One of the better ones in my opinion is Camel's Hump.  These are bushwhack hikes which may appeal to some people and not to others.
In this case, there is a trail which follows the West Mill Creek for about 3.5 miles before petering out.  That leaves a short 1.5 mile bushwhack up the ridge to Camel's Hump.  From the summit, you get great views of Macomb, South Dix, East Dix, Wyman, Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge.  There is also a great view of Buck and Bear mountains (two of the other nice open rock summits).
There is a trail sign out on Route 9 marking the start of the trail.  If you have a vehicle with a high clearance, you can drive the first mile or so.  You have to cross the small creek pictured below almost immediately.  It is often just a couple inches deep.  This is the only water crossing on the route.  We wore water shoes across, then left them on the other side to pick up on the way out. 

An early water crossing

The old jeep road is on private property in the beginning, but the state has a trail easement to access the wilderness area.  The jeep road follows West Mill Creek on the south side.  It is a pretty walk.   There are a couple nice cascades on the creek, and some nice water pools to cool off in the summer months.

looking SW from the shoulder of Camel's Hump

From the West Mill Brook Trail, many nice open peaks can be reached by a bushwhack of an hour or two:  Camel's Hump, Buck, Bear, Wyman, Saunders, Old Far and Little Far Mountains.  All of them are quite nice.
From L to R - Macomb, South Dix (Carson), East Dix (Grace), Wyman, Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge

Camel's Hump is perhaps the most dramatic.  And if you don't want to bushwhack too far, the shoulder of Camel's Hump is just as nice.  In fact, that's as far as we went on the trip.  The shoulder has lots of open rock and all kinds of things to look at.


It was such a nice day that Leesa wanted to stay on the shoulder of Camel's Hump and just enjoy it and not go any further.  We had lunch, explored and just had a good time.

From Camels' Hump shoulder I surveyed the far side of the Niagara Brook Valley.  There is mostly hardwoods leading up the eastern flank of Sunrise and Macomb Mountains.  I noticed that there is a nice open rock shoulder between the two peaks.  It is just south of a marked countour elevation on the map of 1068 Meters.  It is about 1 mile northeast of Sunrise Mountain.  I've added it to my list of future bushwhacks. 

 It was about 1:30 by the time we decided to head back.  We took a straigher course back by bushwhacking at a compass reading of 45 degrees to get back to the West Mill Brook trail.
A zoomed in look at a waterfall across the valley

Once back to the West Mill Book, we returned on the trail the way we came.  We did stop to stick our feet into the water near a nice cascade.  It was cold, you wouldn't want to leave your feet in the water for more than about 15 seconds, but it was refreshing on the feet. 

The true summit of Camel's Hump as seen from the shoulder

Once we had our boots back on, it was about a 30 minute walk back to the car.  We again used our water shoes to cross the creek and then we were back.  This was a nice combinatin of a trail along a stream followed by an short bushwhack to an open ledge. 
Rev is king of the hill

A zoomed in look at Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge


Buck and Bear Mountains in the foreground

Our route for the day (click image to enlarge)

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  8.3 miles
Hike Time:  5 hours (including stops)


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