Discover the Adirondack High Peaks

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This guide is currently out of print. We are working to create an improved and even more authoritative Discover series, but this is a painstaking process that will take time to complete.

A new edition is tentatively scheduled for Spring 2016.

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Sprawling over 200,000 acres, the High Peaks Wilderness is hands down the largest wild area in the northeastern United States. It is also one of the most popular. Thousands of hikers descend upon these mountains every year, sampling the alpine scenery and tasting the outdoor lifestyle. All of them come for the challenge of some of the most difficult—and most rewarding—hiking anywhere.

The attraction for hikers is obvious: the largest mountains in New York State, an elaborate trail system, and superlative hiking. Massive slides guide your eyes into the shadowy valleys, and high-elevation lakes fill the gaps between towering cliffs. The terrain could not get any more rugged than this! Come and get hooked on these mountains—but if it's wilderness solitude you're looking for, be willing to be flexible. Human use is disproportionately high in the High Peaks compared to wilderness areas in other parts of the Adirondack Park, so the people who visit these mountains have an obligation to minimize their impacts on the wild resource—lest an irreplaceable treasure be lost forever.
Discover the Adirondack High Peaks is the inclusive guide to both the eastern and western management areas of the High Peaks Wilderness. While the eastern zone is the mountainous heart of the Adirondacks, the western zone is a place apart. Except for the approaches to the Seward and Santanoni ranges, here you will find a true wilderness where man is merely a visitor that does not remain. It encompasses the entire stretch of the Cold River—and enough trail mileage to accommodate a week's worth of backpacking.

Also featured in this guidebook is the northern half of the Dix Mountain Wilderness, including the entire Dix Range. Numerous trails—marked and otherwise—will guide you along the headwaters of the Boquet River to these lofty peaks.

What makes Discover the Adirondack High Peaks a unique guidebook? It is the only hiking guidebook to cover all the routes—not just the marked trails, but the unmarked routes, the best slide climbs, and many bushwhacks. In these pages you will discover not only the summit of Mount Marcy, but such obscure places as the Colden Trap Dike, Railroad Notch, and the Wallface Ponds. You will find notes on the natural and human histories of the forest, and updated information on the regulations pertaining to the High Peaks Wilderness.

Will I need to bring a bear canister? What is the best approach to the “Great Slide” on East Dix? Discover the Adirondack High Peaks covers all this and more.

A topographic map printed on water-resistant Tyvek paper covers all of the routes described in this guide. It can be purchased separately or in a specially priced guidebook-map bundle.

For additional High Peaks coverage, check out these titles: