I had a day off from work today and my choice for a hike was Henderson Mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. This is one of the ADK Hundred Highest peaks. Henderson rises to an elevation of 3752'. There is no trail to the summit, but the bushwhack is less than one mile from the trail to Bradley Pond.
I parked at the trailhead for Bradley Pond and the Sananoni Range. Most of this hike would be a trail hike. In fact, I stayed on the Bradley Pond trail for 3.5 miles, to the height of land before turning right to access the southern ridge to Henderson.
As expected, the two broken bridges along the trail portion are still broken. Resources just aren't available to keep up with trail repairs.
|A newer sign at the Santanoni Parking area.|
|Broken Bridge #1|
|Broken Bridge #1|
Once I began the bushwhack up the southern ridge, I was immediately in moderately thick spruce. Travel was slower than I had hoped for, but then again, I only had to go less than a mile to the top. As I approached a false summit, I had my best view of the day, a view of Santanoni, Panther and Bradley Pond.
|The first view|
|A zoom view of Panther|
Travel got even thicker at the false summit. My dog Rev was not having any problems, but I had to pry way way through a lot of trees. I had also passed 2 cliff bands that I had to find seams in the rock to work my way up.
|A look at the summit.|
|Somebody's way of marking a route.|
Finally after a lot of clawing, I made it to the summit. My 0.9 mile bushwhack route had taken an hour and a half and it felt even longer than that. There were no views from the actual summit and I didn't linger. The forecast was for scattered thunderstorms and I didn't want to get caught in one during the bushwhack portion of the hike.
The easy part of going down is that I can usually just follow Rev and she backtracks following our scent. It saves me time from orienteering on the way out. I just do an occasional check to make sure she is still on track. The downhill bushwhack felt better and only took an hour.
Once back on the trail I started to hear thunder and it rained lightly on and off, but it didn't matter at that point, and I stayed dry under the tree canopy. An hour march on the trail and jeep road and I was back at the car by 1 PM.
|The best view of the say from near the false summit.|
Hike Distance: 8.9 miles
Hike Time: 5 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~2000'
|The route (click image to enlarge)|
|The route on the National Geographic map|