Giant Mountain - ADK High Peak #8
On Saturday December 12, we headed up to Keene, NY where we planned to hike Giant Mountain - a 6 mile roundtrip hike that climbs just about 3,000 ft of elevation. We reached the trailhead at 7:30 am. The trailhead to Giant via the Ridge trail can be found right off 73 (not a parking lot like some of the other high peak hikes). We knew that this day was going to be abnormally warm for a December day - so it was a perfect opportunity to fit this hike in our 2020 hiking adventures.
For some reason, my fiancé and I have talked about Giant mountain SEVERAL times. We just were looking forward to doing this one, probably because we could see the trailhead signs off the road every time we ventured to Lake Placid this summer - and today we would finally conquer it!
The trail starts off meandering through some small scrambles in the woods and then across a stream. After about a .5 mile of climbing rock scrambles you'll reach the Giant's Washbowl.
This is a beautiful section of trail, where you cross a small wooden bridge to continue on the hike. By this point, we had already stopped and put on our micro spikes because of ice on the trail.
After the washbowl, the trail continues up the entire remainder of the hike. It's consistent scrambles in and out of the trees. With some fun slab sections that over look views of the Dix range.
There's a trail split about half way in that points up to Giant summit or to the Nubble.
We continued up to the summit continuing to climb up rock scrambles. After around 2 miles, there's a small trail sign that says "around the bump", you can opt to go for an "easier" (it's still climbing vertical) route that goes around the bump of the mountain or you can choose to go over it directly. It was clear the majority of people went around because I couldn't even see footsteps leading to over the bump.
At this point in the trail, we were in the clouds. No views but still a gorgeous hike terrain - weaving in the lightly dusted pine trees.
Right before the summit there is a sign on your right pointing to Rocky Peak Ridge. We knew that we weren't going to add this peak on today - but that we would prefer to do this hike come spring 2021 - just because we had seen how icy the cole was between Giant & RPR and we didn't feel quite ready for that having not done much winter hiking.
After 3 miles we reached the summit at right around 11 am. No views, snowy & chilly, but we sat for a bit, chatted with other hikers and had out lunch. After a few minutes we started getting cold and decided to head back down. The way down was great! The snow really makes it so much softer on your joints and was super fun climbing down this peak.
We were back to the car right around 1 pm. A great December hike in the high peaks and I was on a high. I'm not sure what it was about this peak, I felt like I hiked one of my top performing hikes and it just was an awesome mix of terrain. I really love scramble hikes and this was a work out, a fun hike and a great day in the woods.
8/46 - only 38 to go!