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Hiking the Adirondack Great Range

On our Great Range traverse in the fall of 2012, team PureADK hiked Saddleback, followed by Basin, and after a quick stop at Little Haystack, finished with the prominent and remote Haystack. A quick jaunt beyond Basin, we made the trip over to Little Haystack, only to discover that we still had a way to go before reaching Haystack’s broad and open summit.  We could see the steep last stretch of the trail to Haystack’s summit, infamously called the “Devil’s Half Mile” (even though is technically actually three-quarters mile).  After a tiring last ascent, we had made it to the top of our third High Peak of the day – the third highest 46er, at 4,961 ft.  The views from the bare rock summit of Mount Haystack are absolutely incredible.  In addition to being able to see the peaks that you just came from, this mountain offers an amazing view of the backside of Mt. Marcy.




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Pillsbury Mountain
Pillsbury Mountain

On a beautiful Sunday morning, Evan and I made our way to Speculator in search of another Adirondack fire tower to hike. After hearing many good things about Pillsbury Mountain and the amazing views from its fire tower, we were excited to make the 3.2-mile round trip trek.

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Sunrise from Phelps Mountain
Sunrise from Phelps Mountain

The forecast called for clear blue skies, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to catch a sunrise from the top of one of the Adirondack Peaks.

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Backpacking Avalanche Pass to Lake Colden
Backpacking Avalanche Pass to Lake Colden

From Heart Lake, you’ll stroll through aromatic pine forests, travel past Marcy Dam, clamber over wooden planks along Avalanche Pass, stroll next to expansive Lake Colden, and eventually pitch a tent along the Opalescent Brook. Overall it’s a circa 12-14 mile round-trip out-and-back, with some different routes returning around Lake Colden.

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