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  • Sawteeth

    It seems that many choose to hike Sawteeth in a clockwise direction. What are the main advantages doing it this way?
    Also, if a loop hike is not important, is there an advantage to an out and back? Which trail would you take for this type of hike?
    I'm bringing my daughter and wife along on this hike with me. The combination of easiest/most enjoyable will make for a better day for all of us!

  • #2
    From what I hear, the Scenic trail has some steep, exposed sections. As a solo hiker afflicted with mild vertigo, I tend to stay away from those. But I would definitely try this with someone. Most people find it's easier to go up rather than down this type of trail.

    But there is nothing wrong with the Weld trail as an out and back - it's probably quicker too. Rainbow Falls are a nice stop.


    • gebby
      gebby commented
      Editing a comment
      The Scenic Trail kicked my ass. The exposure wasn't that bad. Lots of lookouts to see the lake that are quite beautiful. The problem I had, being vertically challenged, were some of the steep ups and finding hand and foot holds to get up! Lots of cramping in the thighs that day!

  • #3
    I don't recall anything on the scenic trail as being particularly exposed, apart from maybe a couple viewpoint ledges if you go to the edge. There are ladders, which I guess make some people uncomfortable. I would consider the scenic trail more pleasant, but it is both longer and steeper than the weld trail. Out-and-back via the weld will be a bit shorter (+/- .75 mi?) than a loop of the scenic & weld, but you will miss out on a lot of views. As far as loop direction, clockwise gives you the option to continue onto other peaks, and avoids descending the steeper of the 2 trails to sawteeth.


    • #4
      The Scenic Trail is pretty steep and a little scrambley, whereas the Weld trail from the Saw-Pyr col down is about as mild as it gets for a trail at elevation in the ADK. A very comfortable descent. IMO Clockwise is the way to go.
      My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.


      • #5
        If you have bad knees, the Scenic trail can hurt coming down it. Some folks like it better to go up.


        • #6
          The scenic trail doesn't look long on paper, but oh my lawd is it rough. Probably took me about 3x as long as the Weld trail. The thing about the scenic trail is that it goes up and down each one of the "teeth" of Sawteeth, so it's like climbing 4 peaks instead of one.

          If you're looking for a challenge, and a long day, then the Scenic trail is for you.

          If you want a short, easier hike with a view, then take the Weld trail out and back.

          If you want a loop regardless, I'd go up the Scenic trail and down the Weld. It gets the rough part over first, makes for an easier exit, and gives you views of the Ausable Lakes while the morning sun is still hitting that valley.


          • FoulHooked
            FoulHooked commented
            Editing a comment
            It's definitely more strenuous, but another reason it can take so much longer, is there is so much more to look at.

          • ndru
            ndru commented
            Editing a comment
            That's also true. The OP stated that he's looking for the "easiest/most enjoyable" hike for his wife & daughter though, so my reply was with that in mind.

            The Scenic trail is, in fact, very scenic if that's what you're after!

        • #7
          Not sure there is a combination that is both easiest and most enjoyable. The Scenic Trial is what its name suggests. It's also tougher and longer. The Weld Trial is far easier and the views from the summit are the same, pretty spectacular. I think you've got enough information to make an informed decision knowing your capabilities. Descending the Scenic Trail always seems endless to me on tired legs. When you get down to the lake, you are still quite a while from the road and the trail is still rocks and roots.
          Orono Stewie