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A hidden gem in Wilmington, NY, offering unique views of the popular Whiteface Mountain and its region. Bear Den Mountain is also part of the Lake Placid 9er Hiking Challenge if that's anything you're inspired to do.The bottom portion of the trail is also a mountain bike trail to be mindful of riders if you pass them. This hike enjoys switchbacks throughout and will certainly test your aerobic conditioning as it continuously goes up without many breaks. There's a great summit outlook, giving you a close-up of Whiteface and the slides.
Trailhead: From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86 in Lake Placid, follow Route 86 toward Wilmington. Continue for 9.2 miles to the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center. Turn into the center and follow the road around to the right and to the Bear Den Lot.
Remember to Leave No Trace! Buy a physical map, read it, plan, and prepare. Think about the NYS Rangers and medical personnel that exhaust themselves for a rescue that could have been avoided. Pack out your trash. Use a bear canister when primitive camping and cook away from where you’re sleeping. Do the rock walk to help reduce the impact on fragile alpine vegetation. Camp at designated campsites and never camp on or near summits.