Hiking to Marcy Dam

Hiking to Mt. Marcy Dam

When I arrived a the trailhead, it wasn’t snowing. After I went inside to register and pay for parking, I came back out and could barely see my car due a very heavy snowfall that had swept into the valley. Thankfully, the storm didn’t last long but it did turn everything pristine white. With a 60+ pound pack on my back and snowshoes on my feet, I headed up the 2.3 mile trail to Marcy Dam where I planned to tent for the night.

When I got to Marcy Dam it was beginning to get dark so I pitched my tent and then went looking around to see if there was anyone else in the area. No one! Not a soul! I was all alone on the side of the mountain. Not often that you can experience that at this popular Adirondack Mtns site. My hiking partner was scheduled to arrive from Toronto about 7PM but, as the night ticked on, I decided to hike back down to the parking lot (another 2.3 miles but downhill) in the dark with just my head lamp for lighting. Part way down, I met a skiier coming up, but not Tom, so continued on to the parking lot. As I arrived at the parking lot, about another dozen hikers and back-country skiiers arrived, each with their own headlamps to light their way. Very interesting to see that many twinkling headlights moving along the trail and off into the darkness. Tom had encountered three hours of tougher than expected snowstorm driving conditions coming from Toronto so was happy to be eventually arriving and changing from business attire to alpine trekking attire.

The trail was well marked and had been well traveled so there was very little chance of getting lost even though it was late in the day and daylight was diminishing. At this time of the year skiis or snowshoes are mandatory on trails in the High Peaks Region.

Crossing a foot bridge over a small mountain creek on the trail to Marcy Dam.

Although cool (about -15C), snowshoeing supplied lots of body heat so the hike back to the dam was pleasant. By the time that we got back to Marcy Dam again, I was tired and slept soundly despite the -15C or so temperature outside of my tent. Tom and a couple of others decided to share the available lean-to and another chap dug a spot in the snow for his tent to be sheltered. (Lean-to photo by Tom the next morning).

For the Friday – 3 trips between parking lot and dam = 6.9 miles.

The next day.

About Ron

Ron has long had an interest in photography and traveling and, in recent years, has had more time to devote to both activities. Long a Pentax user, Ron switched to Nikon gear when he went digital. The advent of the digital SLR camera, and the ease of the internet blogging process, has provided a venue for sharing his photography and travel experience at the local, national and international level. More about Ron
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