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Best short/easy sunrise/sunset hikes

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  • Best short/easy sunrise/sunset hikes

    Im heading up to the ADK again Sunday 2/10 through Wednesday 2/13 to bag some more peaks. For the main hikes were targeting Whiteface/Esther and Giant/RPR. Weve got a good plan in place for those, but were looking for very short hikes that we can sunrise/sunset hike on our first (sunset) and last (sunrise) day up there. Obviously these wont be high peaks or anywhere close but thats fine.

    Preferably something with a decent view of the sunrise/sunset and that is minimal distance/elevation gain. Definitely no more than 2-3 miles and ~500 feet of gain as we wont have much time for them and dont want to do four days of real hiking in a row. Weve considered Cobble Lookout and Owls Head (finally up on a weekday, so would love to hike it) as options, but its hard to judge what direction the views face and whether theyd work for our purposes.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Wondering about Belfry Mt Fire Tower. It is short. But it is a structure and might be a problem. You know, Murphy's Law situation.

    Mt VanHoevenberg might exceed your distance/vertical criteria. It'll get you the sunset.

    Cobble Lookout has a big unobstructed view. Been a lot of snow.

    Probably not an issue; but, there's been a lot of snow. Might be worth a drive by to the trail head in order to make sure the trails is broken out.

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    • #3
      Does it have to be in LP? Last winter I hiked the Tupper Lake Triad with my father in law in January. A bit unplanned, we ended up on Coney for sunset. It was spectacular! Coney is also the shortest and the least elevation gain hike out of the 3.
      46/46 as of August 1st, 2014!

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      • Learning The Trails
        Editing a comment
        I'm pretty sure Coney is spectacular any time of day (or night)!

    • #4
      The biggest bang for the buck is the parking lot behind the Crown Plaza on the hill in Lake Placid. Effortless to get to and great views of the high peaks, but probably only sunrise.
      Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

      Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
      Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
      Past President Catskill 3500 Club
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      • #5
        Originally posted by NY_Adventure_Photog View Post
        We've considered Cobble Lookout and Owls Head (finally up on a weekday, so would love to hike it) as options, but it's hard to judge what direction the views face and whether they'd work for our purposes.
        Here's today's sunrise/sunset in Keene from the vantage point of the summit of Owls Head. Screen grab from https://www.suncalc.org/#/44.2483,-7...2.05/17:04/1/3



        That corresponds to this view from the summit of Owls Head with the sun setting about where Route 73 runs right of center. You're looking at Porter, Cascade, and Pitchoff in the path of the setting sun depending on when you get there. Not sure what time you'd need to hit it to see it setting behind those mountains.



        And the sunrise view to the southeast (the left half of the picture). Sun would be rising toward Hurricane and Giant...

        Last edited by Makwa; 02-05-2019, 09:32 AM.

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        • Hear the Footsteps
          Hear the Footsteps commented
          Editing a comment
          No memory of the view from Owl's Head that I've done just once. Thanks for the picture.

      • #6
        Understanding that you want to hike all four days, there's another option. Have you considered making Giant a sunrise hike and Whiteface a sunset hike? Each is respectively ideally located for this. Giant, the second most easterly high peak, really isn't any more challenging to ascend in the dark and you'll have daylight to descend. Whiteface, with its clear view to the west is awesome for sunsets, and gives you the option of walking the toll road back down to the ASRC (yes, still "counts") so you don't have to worry about descending the trail in the dark.
        My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

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        • #7
          Originally posted by FlyFishingandBeer View Post
          Understanding that you want to hike all four days, there's another option. Have you considered making Giant a sunrise hike and Whiteface a sunset hike? Each is respectively ideally located for this. Giant, the second most easterly high peak, really isn't any more challenging to ascend in the dark and you'll have daylight to descend. Whiteface, with its clear view to the west is awesome for sunsets, and gives you the option of walking the toll road back down to the ASRC (yes, still "counts") so you don't have to worry about descending the trail in the dark.
          Personally this would have been my choice, but one of my hiking partners has limitations with his vision and isnt comfortable attempting a high peak in the dark currently as far as I know. He may go for whiteface because of the toll road option if the weather looks cooperative.

          Ill offer it as an option but Im not sure hell go for it, and I want to make sure everyone is comfortable with our plan.

          Owls head seems to be a pretty good view for the effort and I think well definitely lean towards hitting it for a sunrise.

          Thank you you all for taking time to respond. Once I get home later Ill check out all the options offered.

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          • #8
            I would second Cobble Lookout for the sunrise hike. It's only just over a mostly flat mile, which should have seen some use since the last snow. It will be "firm" after this week's thaw followed by the colder temperatures this coming weekend. For a sunset hike, Pitchoff Boulders would be good. I know that trail has also seen some traffic recently, so it should only require some good traction to make the climbing descent. If anyone is thinking of a summer sunset/sunrise hike, I always recommend Owl Head Lookout on the North Trail to Giant. This time of the year that 2.5 mi. mostly easy climbing will have a great sunrise view, but the sunset would be blocked by Green Mt. Summertime, however, the sun sets to the north and that is a clear view.

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            • #9
              Why not cut it to three hikes and hit the Nubble for sunrise en route to Giant RPR?

              Edit:

              Easy alternative location #2 - Take the trail from ASRC to Marble for sunrise. Continue to Esther & Whiteface.

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              • #10
                Originally posted by TFR View Post
                The biggest bang for the buck is the parking lot behind the Crown Plaza on the hill in Lake Placid. Effortless to get to and great views of the high peaks, but probably only sunrise.
                Good call. When I showed my elderly mother the Adirondacks I just brought her up there. Killer views and definitely the best bang for your buck. I always thought it would be funny to camp out in the parking lot there, hahaha Such good views!

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