The Wolfjaws are said to have received their name from the painter Alexander Wyant, who began summering in Keene in 1869 and from a vantage point on Noonmark Mountain he painted the mountains with this representation in mind. Lower Wolfjaw has a better view than Upper, and can be hiked solo or en route to Upper Wolfjaw, Armstrong, and Gothics.
Generally climbed alongside Lower Wolfjaw, Armstrong, and Gothics, Upper Wolfjaw is not the most remarkable of the four peaks. That said, it is often a good and quiet stopping point for lunch as it’s close to the middle mark if you’re climbing all four. While the summit is somewhat treed, there are a number of side trails leading to various lookouts near the top that provide good views of the neighboring peaks and great places to pause and eat your lunch.
Known (and named) for the rock slide on its south face, Big Slide is one of the less challenging high peaks and offers incredible views from the summit to boot. It can be hiked as an out and back or as a loop, hiking over two smaller peaks on one leg of the trip.
Allen Mountain is definitely one of the more remote Adirondack High Peaks, with a long hike in and an unmaintained trail (herd path) to the top. As a result, it’s not as popular as some of the more accessible peaks, although it does boast some beautiful views from its summit, something that many of the other unmaintained peaks cannot say.
Mount Marshall is named after Robert Marshall, who drafted up the original list of the 46 peaks with his brother George. He was also the first to summit all 46ers alongside Herb Clark.
Named after William Henry Seward, a New York Governor and Secretary of State in Lincoln’s cabinet, this mountain is often climbed in the same trip as Donaldson and Emmons, the three mountains together making up the Seward Range.
Named after Thomas Armstrong, a local lumberman in the 1800s, Armstrong isn’t one of the most popular peaks in the area and is often hiked in conjunction with the Wolfjaws and Gothics.
Couchsachraga (pronounced “Kook-sa-cra-ga” and affectionately called “Couchy” by locals) is the lowest of the 46ers (and not actually above 4,000 feet), but don’t let that fool you – it is a trailless peak that is in a remote location, making it challenging despite its low elevation.
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.
The first of the “trailless” high peaks to have a well-marked herd path, TableTop Mountain is quite accessible from Adirondack Loj, making it also one of the more popular of the trailless Adirondack 46ers. Additionally, the start from the ADK Loj means the mountain is quite easily traversable in the winter—you can ski as far as the herd path, which is then usually broken out by snowshoes the rest of the way.
The tallest of the trail-less peaks, Gray is often climbed in conjunction with Skylight and Marcy, and was named by Verplanck Colvin for the botanist Asa Gray. The summit is somewhat filled with trees, but with stunted growth, so there are still great views to be seen from the top towards Skylight.
One of the best views in the Adirondacks but not the easiest to get to, Skylight is a great pick for hikers looking for an adventure. Providing one of the closest views of Marcy, Skylight’s open rock face offers incredible views of the neighboring 46ers, so get your Instagram ready.