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Adirondack High Peaks
High Peaks Wilderness
Santanoni Peak at 4607 feet stands as the fourteenth highest peak in the Adirondacks, is the highest in the Santanoni Mountains and is the highest peak west of the Hudson River in the Adirondacks. This hike demands good back country navigation skills with map and compass. Santanoni Peak is an ADK 46er. Santanoni Peak does have an open face that offers views of Panther and Couchsachraga. Both of these mountains are also part of the ADK 46ers and are usually hiked in conjunction with Santanoni Peak.
Like Dix Range, the Santanoni Mountains is also very isolated, remote and secluded. You will be hard pressed to find anyone else in the area, even at the best of times. Due to its isolation and the long cross county distances involved in getting to the peak, it is best done as a two day hike, although it can be done in one very long day hike of 12+ hours.
The normal route starts at about 0.3 of a mile south of the Santanoni Lean To at a beaver dam, cross the dam and follow a survey line that climbs sharply over rough terrain until it peters out into a herd path going in a westerly direction. You will then reach a brook descending from the Panther-Santanoni ridge. Head up this brook and after about 0.5 of mile of rock-hopping another herd path is reached. Head up this herd path and after about 0.5 of a mile reach the main ridge.
This spot is called “Time Square” and from here one can easily reach all the peaks in the Santanoni Mountains. To get to the summit of Santanoni from this point head south along the herd path on ridge up and over a small col, then through a dense spruce forest and finally a long assent up a ridge for well over 0.75 of a mile. Watch out here, as there are about 10 to 15 false summits along the way.
Directions to the trailhead: Take NY 28N, the access road (County Route 25) is reached after about 7.3 miles north of Aiden Lair or about 5 miles east of the Town Hall on Newcomb on the N side of the road. After about 6 miles of going north on this road it forks with the main road continuing straight across a bridge over the Hudson River to a mine. Turn left here on a narrower road marked with a sign “Marcy and the High Peaks”. At 2.0 miles from this turn, there is a large parking lot about a 100 yards back from the road the trail starts from here.
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