Hike Phelps and Tabletop Peaks

Rate this Adventure 12.6 miles 3300 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Timothy Behuniak

Hiking these two high peaks makes for a great overnight backpacking trip or day hike. The trail is very scenic and well-maintained.

The Adirondack Loj is a BEAUTIFUL place to go to, even if you do not plan on hiking. Located just ten minutes outside of the famous Lake Placid, you do not want to miss visiting this alluring Loj in the woods.

Starting from Lot number 1 from the Adk Loj, begin hiking the 2.1 miles to Marcy Dam. This trail is very well maintained and highly used throughout the year so you'll have no problem following it! Also, the trail is relatively easy with minor ups and downs along the way. Upon arriving to Marcy Dam, you will be greeted with a picturesque view of some High Peaks. If backpacking, here is where you can set up a tent at designated camp sites or if any one of the several lean-tos are open, you can set up camp there.

Once you're situated, get a quick snack and head back onto the trail! Continue to follow the path and signs, leading to Tabletop and Phelps. From Marcy Dam, the trail gradually gets steeper, but remains relatively easy.

After a little over a mile, you will reach the split to Phelps Mountain on your left. But, continue to follow the trail to Tabletop, as you'll want to see the more open view of the High Peaks from Phelps later in the day, which provides better lighting for photography.

The trail will continue to steepen, getting a bit tougher now. After about a mile, you will reach a sign marking the split off of the trail for Tabletop Mountain. Tabletop is known as one of the few "trail-less" High Peaks. But, since it's so often hiked, the trail is very well defined although it can be narrow and steep in some sections. Follow the trail up to Tabletop. A little less than a mile of hiking will bring you to the summit which is smaller and wooded, but still offers great views of the Great Range and Mount Marcy, New York's tallest mountain.

After a snack or lunch, spending time on top and photographing the view, head back down to the split for Phelps. From this split-off, the summit of Phelps is a mile away. This trail is a bit steeper than that of Tabletop's, but still very doable by hikers of any age and skill. Getting closer to the summit, don't forget to turn around! You will start to see beautiful views of the surrounding High Peaks and Avalanche Lake. Once at the top, your breath will be taken away by gorgeous views of the Adirondack mountains and High Peaks.

If you make this trip into an overnight, although it is very doable as a day trip, be sure to rent or buy a bear canister. They are required in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks. Also, open fires are not allowed, so make sure you have a camping stove!

After your hike, be sure to walk past your car and head towards the Information Center and be sure to check out the Adirondack Loj and Heart Lake!

This hike is great in any season and you can visit many other mountains and High Peaks from the Adirondack Loj. If camping in a tent or lean-to doesn't appeal to you, the Loj offers rooms to sleep in along with meals, for a small fee!

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