Snowy is one of the more demanding hikes in Hamilton County and is also one of the 100 highest highest peaks in the Adirondacks. Its steep trail and rugged terrain will make you earn every bit of this mountain's elevation. At 3,899 feet in elevation, Snowy Mountain is just shy of being an Adirondack High Peak. Though tough, it is a very popular destination.
In 1909, a fire observation station was established on Snowy Mountain. The steel structure standing today was built in 1917.
Snowy Mountain is also part of Hamilton County’s Adirondack Fire Tower Hiking Challenge.
How to get there
From the intersection of Route 28 and Route 30 in Indian Lake, follow Route 30 toward Speculator. Continue for just over 7 miles to the trailhead on the right; parking is on the left and the trailhead is on the opposite side of the road.
By the numbers
- Distance: 3.9 miles
- Elevation gain: 2,100 feet
- Mountain elevation: 3,899 feet
From the trailhead, you will be surprised at how mellow the trail is. It remains mellow, only gaining about 270 feet in elevation over the first 1.2 miles. You will soon start to hear Beaver Brook to your right and then eventually see it. You’ll cross the water, but the brook crossing may be confusing so pay careful attention to not stray from the path. After crossing the brook, the trail becomes steeper before mellowing out again before once again crossing Beaver Brook.
The terrain gets steeper as you go and only lets up on occasion. As you near the top, you will come to a very steep section with tough footing and then a plateau area. At 3.2 miles, to the right you can walk out to a tall ledge and have an outstanding overlook, but be very careful here, especially with young children. The trail continues past the plateau and very steeply climbs to the true summit where the fire tower sits.
There is no view from the summit floor; you will need to climb the tower to get any decent views. From the tower, you can see the High Peaks on a clear day. Blue Mountain sits due north.
Snowy Mountain in winter
Parking and trailhead location to not change in winter.
This is a great snowshoe if you are looking for a challenge, but is not recommended for beginners. While packed out regularly and rather quickly after a good snowstorm, the steep terrain still makes this a tough winter ascent. Additional traction devices should be carried for the steeper sections.
Due to terrain, the trail is not recommended for cross-country skiing.