Editors Choice Rocky Peak Ridge

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Rocky Peak is the 20th highest mountain in New York State, with an elevation of 4,420 ft. The length of the climb depends on which trail you take. From New Russia it is approximately 13.4 miles round trip, We went in from the Route 73 trailhead via the washbowl and it was 6.5 miles round trip, with 3527’ of elevation gain, plus the 700’ on the return to the trail junction with Giant Mountain for a total of 4227. This was a huge leg day for me, plus I had company.

My friend Justin and I signed in at the trail register at 6 am under headlamp. The trail takes on a completely new perspective in this regard. The first part of this trail, up to the washbowl is sparsely marked and can be difficult to follow under headlamp, just need to pay attention to rock scraps and dirt. The switchbacks help with the 650 plus feet in elevation gain in just over half a mile. While climbing this peak, there are many spectacular views all along the way, the first being the ledge just before the washbowl. This view prominently presents the Great Range along with the northeastern side of the Dix Range.

From the washbowl up it is a steady climb with several steep sections. The trail offers a variety of obstacles to navigate, boulder fields, switchbacks, ledges, slabs, blowdowns, and mud.

We arrived at the junction with the Rocky Peak ridge trail at 11 am. After a quick break, We were on our way to Rocky Peak. The trail drops around 700’ in .3 miles to the col. I probably spent more energy avoiding a fall than I did climbing up out of the col on our return. The drop in elevation can be discouraging, but the trail from the col up to the summit of Rocky Peak is a pleasant climb gaining around 600’ in just over a half-mile.

We arrived at Rocky Peak at 1:30 pm. The summit was not what I had expected. Based on photos from other hikers. I was led to believe the summit was rocky and had a large cairn on it. While there were cairns and it was somewhat open and rocky, it just was not what I had expected. It was a pleasant surprise. The summit has a long, bare ridge, a result of a forest fire in the region in 1913.

We laid down and relaxed in the sun on the summit enjoying the views, and even came close to falling asleep. After about a half-hour, we started our trek back. The climb back up to the trail junction was easier than the climb down. I took a quick break at the junction, while Justin tagged Giant (I previously had climbed Giant before). We made our way back down to the car arriving at 7 pm.

We would have several people pass us today as we made our way up the mountain, we did not mind, we were hiking our own hike. It is nice to meet new people, especially those who enjoy and respect the great outdoors. One of those who passed us was a 78-year-old man; I believe he also mentioned this was his 104th time climbing this mountain, and he was number eight or nine on the Adirondack 46er Grid list. Respect.

7.2 miles round trip
4227’ elevation gain
Start time 6 am
End time at 7 pm

About author
Craig
I'm just an average hiker blogging about my adventures. Some people enjoy reading the narrative of stories, while others just want the pictures; I'll post both.

Everyone hikes differently at their own pace and limits; my posts are about mine. My blogs should be used for reference purposes only.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog; feel free to leave a comment or rating.

Hike/Camp/Repeat.

Comments

Spectacular day on the trails! Great to join an old friend for another high-peak adventure.
I consider this a "blessed victory hike" with Craig. It was special to be there and see him on the trail in his glory after he had conquered and overcome significant obstacles over the past many months.

This was a more difficult hike than expected, as Craig mentioned, but still outstanding overall. It's been a while since I've been able to summit an adk high peak. RPR was surely impressed with the views and summit area. It made the rigorous adventure from the junction that much sweeter! Also, it was a nice bonus to tag two peaks on this run.

We maximized every moment of daylight, making the pace just right in the end and a great adk adventure for the books.

Great day, great hike, great peeps!
 
J
This is a great hike. It definatley makes you work for it.
 

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