#35 Sawteeth Mountain

#35 Sawteeth Mountain - Pure Adirondacks

One of the Adirondacks more iconic peaks, recognizable by a ridgeline that looks like the teeth of a saw, Sawteeth does not disappoint with the views from the top either. A great hike to do alongside Gothics or solo, it is a popular summer climb.

Trail Stats:

Distance 5.2 miles round-trip from base of trail at Lower Ausable Lake. To get to the lake you must hike in an additional 3.8 miles one way to the Lower Lake dam, making the round trip a total of 12.8 miles.
Elevation 4,120 feet
Ascent 2,355 feet

To hike Sawteeth, you will begin your hike at the Ausable Club’s watchman’s gate, where you will follow the West River Trail to your right. It will begin on a driveway, heading down to the river, which you will cross over on a bridge. Then the trail will take you for a gradual, rolling 3.8 miles to the dam of the Lower Ausable Lake. Once you reach the dam you will take a bridge over to the beginning of the trail up Sawteeth. There will be options to turn off onto other trails sooner, but these take you to Gothics and the Wolfjaws. One nice thing about Sawteeth is the option to hike the mountain in a loop, and we will detail here the hike up the steeper Scenic trail and returning via the Pyramid- Gothics trail – both begin at the same point at Lower Ausable Lake. We recommend hiking the route in this direction because the Scenic trail is steeper and involves some hand-over-foot moves (ladders and rock scrambling), while the Pyramid-Gothics Trail is more gradual and thus a better option for the descent.

To begin up the Scenic trail, you will begin from the bridge. Soon the trail will turn off to your left, and you will follow the trail meandering for a little ways before it heads steeply up to the summit over a number of miles. The trail will take you upwards towards a lookout of Rainbow Falls. The summit of Sawteeth via the scenic trail is 3.0 miles from the bridge at Lower Ausable Lake. Returning via the Pyramid-Gothics trail, you will descend down into a col between Sawteeth and Pyramid, and a trail to the left will lead up to Pyramid and Gothics. Continue to the right if you are headed down (or up to the left if you want to hike Gothics too!), and continue down for a total of 2.2 miles from the summit to the bridge at Lower Ausable Lake.


Trailhead Location

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.

Depending on the time of year, a hiker parking reservation may be required. Although it is referred to as a "parking reservation," regardless of whether you drove yourself, rode a bike, were dropped off, or walked, you will need a reservation to access hikes in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. See below for details:

⚠️ Take Note

Parking Reservation Required

No-cost reservations will be required May 1 through Oct. 31, 2023 for parking, daily access, and overnight access to trailheads and trails on AMR property.

Visitors can make reservations
beginning mid-April at www.hikeamr.org. Walk-in users without a reservation will not be permitted.

Reserve Spot

Keep it PURE

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.

46 Adirondack High Peaks

Roster of Peaks

The 46 of 46 Podcast

A docu-series chronicling one local hiker’s adventures in the Adirondack Mountains including his complete ADK 46’er journey, along with Summit Session conversations, Adirondack Campfire Stories, and more!

Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more.

Trail Conditions

Know before you go
Take The Pledge!


Each year, millions of people visit the public lands inside the Adirondacks. However you choose to spend your time here, we know the Adirondacks will hold a special place in your heart. We feel the same way. To Love Your Adirondacks is to protect the lands, waters, and communities we all know and love.

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I have learned so much over the years, and I continue to learn each time I go for a hike. I could go on and on about gear, trails, mountains, clothing, etc. A lot of it has been trial and error. I have spent a lot of time reading, looking at maps, learning more about weather, researching different gear… the list goes on.

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