If there is a hike in the Adirondacks that should not be missed, it is Giant Mountain. The 12th highest peak of the Adirondacks at 1410 meters (4626 ft), this hike is short but very demanding. While the trail itself is rugged with a steep climb, your efforts will be rewarded. At the summit, your view will extend from the valley to the majority of the 46 highest mountains in the region.
Without hesitation, Giant Mountain is one of C’est Notre Monde’s favorite hikes. This article presents you with the trail of this jewel of the Adirondacks via the famous Ridge Trail (also called Zander Scott Trail). Forest, lake and rocks await you!
Things to know
To enjoy your hike, you must:
Be equipped: Good shoes with soles that grip are strongly recommended. The trail is very hilly with long stretches of rock. Hiking poles are also recommended for the descent. This walk requires a sustained climb effort, do not neglect water (3L) and food. In winter, small hiking crampons are necessary. You will not pass the frozen stretch of rock without them. An ice ax may also be useful (although not essential) to stop falls and assist your climb on icy terrain.
Be informed: There are no Rangers stationed at the start of this hike. There is a billboard and registration kiosk with useful information for your ascent. We also encourage you to check the latest weather reports.
Before you begin, add your name to the register located at the Kiosk. Begin with the Ridge Trail (Zander Scott).
This trail starts to climb from the beginning and will not stop until the summit. Save your strength! The first part of the hike will be under the cover of forest. After about 1 km (0.62 mi.), you will come across a magnificent view of the surrounding mountainsides. A few meters further you will arrive at the lake “Giant Washbowl”. A beautiful waterhole in the heart of the forest with several wild camping sites. You will pass a small, rustic bridge and the climb continues. The path becomes more and more rocky and rugged. Many times you will have to use your hands to hoist yourself between the rocks.
Tip: if you wish to avoid crowds, start your hike early in the morning. Nothing is more satisfying than having the summit for yourself. Later departures will be faced with a large stream of hikers on the ascent and descent. If you are up for it, we suggest you attempt this hike in winter. The snow adds additional charm and challenge to this magnificent mountain
Gradually you leave the forest and after 3 km (1.9 mi.) the Ridge Trail joins the Roaring Brook Trail. Continue on Roaring Brooke on the right (the side that rises sharply). Be assured, yellow painted markers on both trees and rocks point you in the right direction from start to finish. In winter, when you leave the forest area, follow the cairns (made-made piles of stones). The final climb to the top is quite steep and narrow, so take your time. In winter, crampons will make all the difference. You will pass a final corridor of fir trees to reach the rocky summit of Giant Mountain where the Adirondacks will be unveiled before you. You may recognize the mythical peaks of the region such as Gothics, Marcy, Algonquin or Colden. An extraordinary view!
8.5 km / 5.31 miles
920 meters / 3018 feet
See on Caltopo (detailed)
See on Google Maps (basic)
Weather forecast: https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Giant-Mountain/forecasts/1410