Adirondack High Peaks

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The Adirondack High Peaks is the name given to 46 mountain peaks in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, USA that were originally believed to comprise all of the Adirondack peaks higher than 4,000 feet (1,219 m). However, later surveying showed that four of the peaks in the group are actually under this elevation, and one peak that should have been included was overlooked. Due to tradition, no mountains were removed from or added to the group as a result of the revised elevation estimates.

All except four are located in central and northern Essex County, primarily south of Lake Placid and Keene Valley. The others are just to the west in Franklin County. All the summits are on land owned by New York State as part of its Forest Preserve. Thirty three are in a vast tract of nearly 300,000 acres (1,200 km2) known as the High Peaks Wilderness Area, subdivided into eastern (twenty six peaks) and western (seven peaks) zones. Others are in the adjacent Giant and Dix wilderness areas. Whiteface, which has a downhill ski area and a toll road to its summit, and Esther are set slightly to the north, in Wilmington.

The Adirondack Forty-Sixers is a club open to all who have climbed, or intend to climb, all the peaks and have registered with the Adirondack Mountain Club. Neither Mount Marcy nor Algonquin Peak, the two highest, require technical skills, but Algonquin Peak is regarded as the more challenging climb. Gothics has one of the steepest ascents. Twenty peaks have no official trail to the top, although rough informal routes, commonly referred to as "herd paths," have developed over the years and no true bushwhacking is required on any of the peaks, although some are still quite primitive.

Atop the highest peaks, above the tree line, there is a total of 87 acres (35 ha) of extraordinarily fragile alpine ecosystem; the amount of this ecosystem is constantly changing due to variation in the climate from year to year.

The region contains many alpine lakes and meadows, wetlands, streams, and forests. Unfortunately, the high number of visitors is degrading the natural beauty of some of the more heavily travelled areas of the region, and it has been necessary in recent years to more strictly regulate access and use. The Eastern High Peaks Wilderness area is the most regulated area. Fires are not permitted; dogs must be leashed; overnight groups are limited to eight people and day groups to fifteen; and Bear Resistant Food Canisters are required from April through November.

The High Peaks[edit]

Mountain Height (ft / m) Rank
Mount Marcy 5,344 / 1,629 1
Algonquin Peak 5,114 / 1,559 2
Mount Haystack 4,960 / 1,512 3
Mount Skylight 4,920 / 1,500 4
Whiteface Mountain 4,867 / 1,483 5
Dix Mountain 4,857 / 1,480 6
Gray Peak 4,840 / 1,475 7
Iroquois Peak 4,840 / 1,475 8
Basin Mountain 4,827 / 1,471 9
Gothics 4,736 / 1,444 10
Mount Colden 4,714 / 1,437 11
Giant Mountain 4,627 / 1,410 12
Nippletop 4,620 / 1,408 13
Santanoni Peak 4,607 / 1,404 14
Mount Redfield 4,606 / 1,404 15
Wright Peak 4,580 / 1,396 16
Saddleback Mountain 4,515 / 1,376 17
Panther Peak 4,442 / 1,354 18
Table Top Mountain 4,427 / 1,349 19
Rocky Peak Ridge 4,420 / 1,347 20
Macomb Mountain 4,405 / 1,343 21
Armstrong Mountain 4,400 / 1,341 22
Hough Peak 4,400 / 1,341 23
Seward Mountain 4,361 / 1,329 24
Mount Marshall 4,360 / 1,329 25
Allen Mountain 4,340 / 1,323 26
Big Slide Mountain 4,240 / 1,292 27
Esther Mountain 4,240 / 1,292 28
Upper Wolfjaw Mountain 4,185 / 1,276 29
Lower Wolfjaw Mountain 4,175 / 1,273 30
Street Mountain 4,166 / 1,270 31
Phelps Mountain 4,161 / 1,268 32
Mount Donaldson 4,140 / 1,262 33
Seymour Mountain 4,120 / 1,256 34
Sawteeth 4,100 / 1,250 35
Cascade Mountain 4,098 / 1,249 36
South Dix 4,060 / 1,237 37
Porter Mountain 4,059 / 1,237 38
Mount Colvin 4,057 / 1,236 39
Mount Emmons 4,040 / 1,231 40
Dial Mountain 4,020 / 1,225 41
Grace Peak 4,012 / 1,223 42
Blake Peak 3,960 / 1,207 43
Cliff Mountain 3,960 / 1,207 44
Nye Mountain 3,895 / 1,187 45
Couchsachraga Peak 3,820 / 1,164 46

Some surveys list MacNaughton Mountain at 4000 feet (1219 m), and some argue that it should be included in the high peaks. However, more recent surveys list the mountain at 3983 feet (1214 m), and members of the 46 er club are reluctant to change the list because of tradition.

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External links[edit]