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, and many hikers use Snowy as a warm up for the 46 High Peaks that go above 4,000 feet. Even though tough, it is a very popular destination for those visiting Hamilton County.
Snowy Mountain is also part of the 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.
From the trailhead you will be surprised at how mellow the trail is, and for quite some time. You will soon start to hear Beaver Brook to your right and then eventually see it. Soon you will make a hard left and start climbing up through a shallow pass, crossing the brook on a couple occasions. 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. 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 moderately 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. The views are very nice from the tower.
Trailhead to the summit = 3.9 miles
Approximate time round trip
Family with Young Kids: 3.5 hours to summit
Experienced Hiker: 2 hours to summit
Out of Shape Hiker: 3 hours to summit
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.
The trail is not recommended for cross-country skiing.
Snowy Mountain, at just under 4,000 feet in elevation, is one of the tallest peaks in the Indian Lake region. Snowy is also one of the more challenging endeavors for winter climbing and snowshoeing in the area, and should not be taken as a quick afternoon jaunt. If you seek a challenge, this might be the trail for you.
The trail starts out quite mellow, with a slight incline, and stays like that for a ways. You will soon start to hear Beaver Brook to your right, and eventually you'll cross it a few times along the way. At about 2 miles the terrain gets steeper and only lets up on occasion.
The further in you go, the steeper the trail gets, and as you near the top you will come to a very steep section with tough footing. In snowshoes this final section, which brings you to a plateau, can be quite tough. To the right you can walk out to a tall ledge and have an outstanding overlook, be very careful here, as the drop is dangerous. The trail continues past the plateau and moderately climbs to the true summit, where the fire tower sits. There is no view from the summit, so you will need to climb the tower. Be sure you do — the views from that perch are outstanding.
Distance Round Trip:
Approximate Time Round Trip:
- Families with Kids: Nor recommended
- Experienced Snowshoers: 4 to 5 hours
- Out of Shape Snowshoers: 5 to 6 hours
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.