Lake George

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

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cellar Mountain (3447') - Moose River Plains Wild Forest - 11/09/14

After visiting my son this morning in Long Lake, I had part of the day to go for a hike.  First I stopped to look at Buttermilk Falls, which I hadn't seen before.  Then I drove into Forked Lake Campground and explored the facilities there for a future camping/kayaking weekend.  I had heard good things about Forked Lake and it does look like great place.  Something to add to my kayaking list.

Next I decided to climb Cellar Mountain in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest.  At 3447', Cellar Mountain is on the ADK Hundred Highest list, but it's not a very long hike; perfect for this day, since it was now 12:30 in the afternoon.

 From just west of the Town of Indian Lake, I turned onto Cedar River Road and followed it past the trailhead for Wakely Mountain and past Wakely Dam and Cedar River Flow.  The road turns to gravel but it is in fine condition.  I don't believe it is plowed in the winter and it is used as a snowmobile route.

The gate at Wakely Dam and the Moose River Recreation Area

Hiker Register on the left and Canoe/Kayaker Register on the right 
The road changes names at this point and becomes Moose River Road; it also begins to climb.  I bean to see snow at 2000'.  By 2200' the entire ground was white. 

Moose River Road at 2200' 
I parked at the trailhead for Cellar Pond.  This is an old jeep road which is somewhat overgrown and can no longer be traveled by a 4WD vehicle.  The elevation here was about 2700' and there was about an inch and a half of snow on the ground.  It appeared that hunters and been walking in and old on this jeep road, but no-one was parked there when I arrived.  

The jeep road at the start
I was overcast with occasional snow squalls, but skies were forecast to clear somewhat as the day progressed.

I followed the jeep road for 1.1 miles to get to the NE shoulder of the mountain before turning left to begin my bushwhack.  I found it relatively easy to climb from the NE.  The only problem I was having was the 3" of wet snow on the trees made me wet in a hurry.  I was warm, so I was only wearing light pants and a heavy techwick.  I didn't want to wear my good shell for fear of it getting ripped in the trees.  I knew this was a short hike and since it was almost 40 degrees, I could suffer with being wet for a couple hours.  If need be, I had better warmer layers in my pack.

The bushwhack begins.  Rev takes the lead.

An early glimpse to the east.  Skies were beginning to clear.
As I got to the summit cone, Rev and I nosed around a bit.  Soon I found a ribbon on a tree and I headed for it, assuming it was the true summit; it did indeed appear to be.

I looked around and almost didn't see the little tag down low that was fastened to a branch with the word "Cellar" on it.  It was on a white piece of plastic and it blended in with the snow, plus it was at knee level.

The summit!
There were no views from the summit, but from the eastern edge of the summit cone there were filtered views eastward.

Looking east from near the summit

Another look east from near the summit.
From the summit I decided to descend via the SE slope.  It was a quick slip and slide down the face to regain the jeep road.  Walking out on the jeep road I could now see to the east, whereas I the way in, the clouds were blocking the eastern hills.

Eastern hills from the jeep road

Back at the car, 4 hunters had arrived in pickup truck and were preparing to head in for their afternoon hunt.  Rev and I were out at 3 PM after a successful hike in the snow to another ADK Hundred Highest peak.  

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  3 miles
Hike Time:  2 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 700'

The route (click image to enlarge)

The Nat Geo topo w/ the route shown


  1. My son, Jeff, and I climbed Cellar Mtn three days ago on October 27, 2016, and found at the summit the same tape on the tree and the plastic "cellar" plaque at about knee level. There was about 6+inches on the ground and snow was falling. The tangle and blowdown near the summit was ugly. Snow from the branches down my neck made for a damp body. Tore my pants going over deadfall. Had a wonderful time.
    Dick Sederquist

  2. Nothing better than clawing your way through some peaceful snowy woods! Glad to hear you enjoyed it like I do. Thanks for the comment.

  3. I climbed Cellar Mt. today, by your route, 1st visiting Cellar Pond. A tough wack! The little summit marker still there, but the lettering faded.A lot of cursing thru the blow down and thick spruce, but thoroughly enjoyable. Thankfully the descent was more open woods.