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Exploring the Beauty of Dix Mountain: A Guide to Hiking in the Adirondacks

Table of Contents

Hiking Dix Mountain in the Adirondacks

Introduction

Dix Mountain is the sixth highest peak in the Adirondacks and is located in the Dix Mountain Wilderness. It offers stunning views of the surrounding high peaks and is a challenging hike for experienced hikers. If you’re up for the challenge, read on to learn more about how to get there and what to expect on the hike.

Getting There

There are two main trailheads for Dix Mountain: the Elk Lake Trailhead and the Round Pond Trailhead. The Elk Lake Trailhead is the more popular of the two and offers a shorter hike to the summit, but requires a 3.5 mile walk on a private road to access the trailhead. The Round Pond Trailhead offers a longer hike, but eliminates the walk on the private road. Both trailheads have limited parking, so it’s best to arrive early to secure a spot.

The Elk Lake Trailhead

To get to the Elk Lake Trailhead, take exit 29 off the Northway (I-87) and head west on Blue Ridge Road for about 13 miles. Turn left on Elk Lake Road and follow it for about 5 miles until you reach the Elk Lake Lodge. Park in the designated hiker parking area near the lodge and follow the private road for 3.5 miles until you reach the marked trailhead.

The Round Pond Trailhead

To get to the Round Pond Trailhead, take exit 30 off the Northway (I-87) and head west on NY-73 for about 19 miles. Turn left on Round Pond Road and follow it for about 1.5 miles until you reach the marked trailhead.

The Hike

The hike to the summit of Dix Mountain is a challenging 15.4 mile round trip with an elevation gain of 4,856 feet. The trail is steep and rocky in places and requires a good level of fitness and hiking experience. You’ll start out in a forested area and gradually make your way up to the open rock face of the mountain. From there, it’s a scramble to the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

Safety Tips

As with any high peak hike, safety should be your top priority. Here are some tips to help ensure a safe and enjoyable hike:

  • Wear appropriate footwear and clothing for the conditions
  • Bring plenty of water and food
  • Be prepared for changes in weather and carry appropriate gear (rain jacket, warm layers, etc.)
  • Carry a map and compass, and know how to use them
  • Let someone know your planned route and expected return time
  • Follow Leave No Trace principles and pack out all trash
  • Be aware of your limitations and turn back if you feel unsafe or unwell

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