Dial is a pretty quick hike when starting from the Ausable Club’s Lake Road. It’s a pretty easy out and back, unless you’d like to pair it with additional peaks. If you are to make the hike a loop and include Bear Den and Nippletop (which we recommend as it makes sense to snag Dial and Nippletop in one go), keep in mind that it requires a significant amount of climbing and descending. Check out our description of Nippletop for more details on this hike.
Distance: 9.4 miles round trip if you are only hiking Dial and including the distance hiked along the Lake Road Trail. (It is 3.8 miles one way to Dial from the Lake Road Trail)
Elevation: 4,020 ft
Ascent: 3,400 ft
If you are not a member or visitor of a member of the Ausable Club, you must sign in at the Watchman’s Hut at the entrance of the Lake Road and take the trail that follows along the lake road to the trailheads of the various peaks. We recommend (and will detail here) doing a loop that includes both Nippletop and Dial (see our description of the hike up Nippletop here). To hike Dial, you will follow the Lake Road trail for .7 miles until you reach the trailhead for Dial. The trail will turn left off the Lake Road Trail and climbing moderately for .9 miles. It will continue on for another .2 miles, at which point the trail will open up to a view of Noonmark Mountain. Continue on for .5 miles to the west summit of Noonmark. The trail will swing sharply left here and descend to the col between Noonmark and Bear Den. The trail then climbs out of the col for .5 miles to the top of Bear Den Mountain. Enjoy the summit of Bear Den before following the trail downhill another .5 mile to the col between Bear Den and Dial (if you hadn’t yet noticed, this hike has a fair bit of up and down, with 3 solid summits in it!). The trail then begins a nearly mile long climb to the summit of Dial at 3.8 miles from the Lake Road. The view from Dial is sweeping and beautiful and somewhat unique. If you plan on continuing on the Nippletop, please see our description of that hike here!
To get to the Ausable Club, you will drive down route 73 from Keene Valley, taking a right on Ausable Club Road ~3 miles from downtown Keene Valley. Follow this road a short ways to a parking lot on your right. You will then have to walk ¾ of a mile along the road up to the watchman’s gate at the Ausable Club.