The easiest of the high peaks – a great starter peak.
Cascade Mountain is the 36th highest peak at 4,098 feet, with a 2.2 mile trail and 1,940 feet elevation gain to an open summit with 360-degree panoramic views of other High Peaks.
Trailhead (2.2 miles to summit –1,940′ elevation gain) The trailhead begins just north of Upper Cascade Lake on Route 73. From the road, the trail dips briefly before starting the ascent to the summit.
Once the trail begins climbing, the trail consistently gains elevation the entire hike up. Just before the summit (0.2 before the summit) there is a trail junction, with a trail heading to the right for Porter Mountain. Keep left for Cascade’s summit.
The final push to the summit is on exposed rock. The summit was originally wooded but one of the massive fires of 1903 burned much of the area and the soil eroded away.
Return the same way. Hiking Time: 2-3 hours due to the elevation gain. Less if you are comfortable hiking at such a steep grade.
- Consider taking the side trip to the less-visited Porter Mountain. It is an extra 1.4 miles roundtrip, but you are already near 4,000 feet, so the elevation gain is much less.
- No camping or fires allowed above 4,000 feet.
From South: Take State Route 73 through Keene/Keene Valley towards Lake Placid. Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes will be on your left near the summit of the four-mile uphill drive out of Keene. Just past Upper Cascade Lake the trailhead is on your left.
From East/North East: Take 9N towards Keene, then head north on Route 73 (Keene) from towards Lake Placid. Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes will be on your left near the summit of the four-mile uphill drive out of Keene. Just past Upper Cascade Lake the trailhead is on your left.
From West (Lake Placid): Take Route 73 out of Lake Placid towards Keene. You can follow signs for Mount Van Hoevenberg. The trailhead is 1.3 miles after the main entrance to Mount Van Hoevenberg on the right. If you reach Upper Cascade Lake you went too far.
GPS Address: Latitude: 44.218, Longitude: -73.887
No designated sites along the trail or on summit. Create a legal site in the woods if you wish to spend the night (150 feet from trail and water).
The hike is reasonably long and steep, but has few difficult scrambles and cliffs. Most active kids should make it to the top if taken slowly.
Bring them. It is a moderate hike with few cliffs and scrambles. Please leash your dog for this one, particularly on a popular weekend day. Expect to see other people and dogs.
What to bring
Water, lunch and a jacket for the summit.
The summit is very exposed. Extra wind protection and crampons are suggested.
If you have anything to add, please leave it below. Feel free to ask a question too. Happy Journeys!