Lake George

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

Monday, September 11, 2017

Buck and Bear Mountains - Dix Mountain Wilderness - 9/4/17

On Labor Day, Leesa and I were pondering where we wanted to go for an enjoyable hike.  I thought about Buck and Bear Mountains in the Dix Wilderness.  I described the hike to Leesa and she said perfect, let's do it.  Last time I went, it was on the verge of winter and it was a blustery cold day with a little snow up high.  This time, it was still blustery, but it felt nice on such a warm day.

Perhaps the easiest way to access these two is via the West Mill Brook access.  We had our jeep with us and we were easily able to drive in the 1.1 miles to the gate.  The water depth at the Schroon River crossing was only a couple inches deep.

After we got started, we only walked on the West Mill Brook woods road for less than a half mile before we exited the trail on the right.  Rather than climb in the draw to a col, we sidestepped the unnamed hill to the southeast of Buck.  It has quite a stone face (as seen in the picture below.

Leesa contouring the unnamed hill and massive rock wall SE of Bear.

The woods throughout most of this entire area is light density for the most part and moderate density at worst, mingled with slabs of rock. 

An early view

We poked around and climbed steadily towards Buck Mountain watching Rev zig and zag towards things that caught the interest of her nose.  When we topped out on Buck, Leesa was quite impressed with the view of the Dix Range, Giant & Rocky Peak as well as lower peaks in the area.

Rev observing part of the Dix Range (Macomb, South Dix and Wyman) from Buck Mountain. 

Wyman in the center with Grace on the right and South Dix on the left.

Some "lesser" Dix Wilderness peaks

Me... looking at familiar territory.

Giant Mountain in the back right.

Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge
Leesa was game for more so after some time on Buck, we continued on to Bear Mountain.

Ah yes, some early fall colors

Buck from Bear

Views from Bear

Buck from Bear again
We got to Bear and it wasn't quite as open as I remembered it, but still a nice peak.  I gazed at the "igloo", the stone wart on the east side of Wyman, but we didn't head that direction on this day.  Leesa was content with our 2 peaks so we meandered about before dropping off Bear to return to the West Mill Brook woods road.

a foot bridge leading to a camp

Rev was OK using this bridge.

We made a short stop at a watering hole.  It was too cold to swim, but we stuck our feet in.

The start of the West Mill Brook woods road at the gate.

The sign at the entrance to the West Mill Brook Access

This area is full of great peaks.  Even at 2000'-3000' they offer great views and nice terrain.  We're do for another trip to the igloo, so we'll be back.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  5.6 miles
Hike Time:  5 hours, including stops
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 1700'

The route...

The route on the Nat Geo map

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