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Dix Range from Elk Lake to RTE 73?

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  • Dix Range from Elk Lake to RTE 73?

    Hey. I'm new here and have a question. I would like to hike the Dix range from Elk Lake starting with Macomb and then out to Round Pond on 73. Anyone else do this or have information? I have a ride for drop off and pick up. Distance? Difficulty? Planning on this Thursday. Thanks. Tim

  • #2
    Distance and vertical are as described in the ADK guidebook. Not as hard as the Great Range, but a pretty substantial hike.

    The paths on the Dix range are pretty good, but can be a little narrow and scratchy, so you won't necessarily move as fast as you would on a marked trail.

    Places to be careful:

    >Coming off Macomb heading to South Dix, I have seen people miss the path up South Dix and mistakenly continue downhill on a branch of the Lillian Brook path form a ways, before they recognized their mistake.

    >Also, be careful along the way from South Dix to Hough, as there are multiple paths in some locations and also a junction with another branch of the Lillian Brook path.

    >Try not to get demotivated on the long scratchy walk out to Grace and back.

    >Know that you may not have cell phone signal once you get down in the valley, so it may be hard to call for pickup; it's also hard to guess timing. So whoever is doing the pickup might want to bring a good book, in case they have to sit for a while. Or, if you have Garmin Inreach or some other device that allows you to send a satellite "pick me up here" message, that might be helpful.

    Have fun! It's a beautiful range.

    Comment


    • trailtim46
      trailtim46 commented
      Editing a comment
      I was thinking anywhere from 11 to 13 hours, if I don't take a wrong turn. Is this likely to be an empty stretch of trails on a Thursday?

    • Hear the Footsteps
      Hear the Footsteps commented
      Editing a comment
      11-13 hr sounds ok to me. Conservative even. Was on Macomb, South, Grace today from Elk Lake. Conditions excellent. Dry as you heard. Might rain Wed so some muddy spots might persist into Thu but not many. You will see people on the hike for sure.

    • trailtim46
      trailtim46 commented
      Editing a comment
      The full traverse and exit to 73 took 11 and a quarter hours and I felt like I was really moving, except up Dix when I thought I had bricks for feet. Weather was good, looked stormy until about 10:30. The only real surprise was that there were only two parties of hikers I ran into all day.

  • #3
    Top off your fluids before starting up Macomb's slide. Unless things have changed with the recent rains, once up on the ridge the range is dry until you are going back down the other side of Dix in the area of the slide.
    Enjoy, challenging and very rewarding.
    35er #3133
    46er

    "Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds"
    Zarathustra

    Comment


    • trailtim46
      trailtim46 commented
      Editing a comment
      I've heard that, thank you.

  • #4
    This is a gorgeous hike, and its challenging in all the right ways. My advice is please pack a map and compass, know your route in advance, and do not rely on AllTrails. Somebody else tried to traverse this range while relying on tech not too long ago and it didn't pan out well for him. Or the local salamander population.
    My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

    Comment


    • #5
      The sarcastic reply : Hi, I am new here. I am planning a hike in a few short days and I have no idea how hard it is and I am not going to provide you with any info about myself to help you help me do this hike.


      The nice reply: It order to correctly give the correct response to your request for information we need to know about your level of fitness and hiking experience.
      Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
      ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

      Comment


      • trailtim46
        trailtim46 commented
        Editing a comment
        I see your point but I thought I was more likely to elicit a helpful response without a long winded summary of myself. I'm 39 and in pretty good shape from running and haven't really been wiped out from any of my 15 high peaks to the point where I didn't feel up for another the next day. Enjoyed Algonquin, Iroqious and Wright in June with Street and Nye the following day. I've read hundreds of posts on the Dix Range but I haven't come across much information for the hike I'm considering. Most are the loop from Elk Lake and a few are and out and return two miles from each other. I am hiking alone again (mentally used to that). I have two different maps, compass and alltrails of course. If anything I overpack gear just in case. I bring extra clothes and rain gear no matter what the weather is at the trailhead as well as a wool hat.
        The trek that came close to kicking my butt was Gothics, Armstrong, and the Wolf Jaws in a day hike. Thanks for anything useful you can give me.

      • Bunchberry
        Bunchberry commented
        Editing a comment
        Great! Now we can relax a little and give better advice!

    • #6
      Do NOT, I repeat DO NOT eat any salamanders for the duration of this hike. The population along this route is still recovering.

      Thank you.
      ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 271/552
      Photos & Stuff

      Comment


      • trailtim46
        trailtim46 commented
        Editing a comment
        I read about that-no worries there.

    • #7
      If I were planning a hike such as you are doing, with a pickup at the end, I would instead do a dropoff at the beginning and leave my car at the end.
      Mike

      ADK 46r #8003; 6W
      2nd round: 16
      SL6r #596
      Catskill 3500 21/39; 11W

      Comment


      • trailtim46
        trailtim46 commented
        Editing a comment
        My father wants to check out Lake Placid area so he is both dropping me off and picking me up at the two different trailheads. fingers crossed.

    • #8
      This is super elementary but this thread references it so I thought it would be okay to ask. Sorry TrailTim46, can anyone just comment on where the Elk Lake trailhead is? Is this an exit 29 thing? Dix Range is on deck for me as well. I simply have no idea where it is. Route 73 starting point looks like unneccesary pain.

      Comment


      • salt
        salt commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks FF&B

      • MTVhike
        MTVhike commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, it's an exit 29 thing. Go west from Exit 29 to the sign for Elk Lake Lodge and turn right; go all the way to the parking lot just before the lodge. On the way you will pass the overflow parking lot, to which you will have to return if the main lot is full.

      • salt
        salt commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks MTVhike. Much appreciated

    • #9
      Since you're being dropped off, the whole "parking lot is small and on private property, you'll probably have to arrive at 5am or plan to walk an extra 3 miles" can be saved for the next advice seeker . Google "Elk Lake Lodge". you'll be dropped off a hundred yards or so before the lodge. It will be super obvious when you're at a little 20 car parking lot with a trailhead.

      This is a GREAT hike. We did the range from the Slide brook LT site clockwise, up Dix via beckhorn then backtracking and bailed at the col between S Dix and Macomb then did Macomb separately. So there are a few miles of your proposed hike that we haven't done.

      Macomb Slide is loose footing but beautiful open views. As you reach the top the loose gravel becomes more slabby. Exit is on the left hand side of the top. Right hand side is a dead end.

      Up South Dix is spectacular and open. Out and back to Grace is super easy and Grace has some wonderful views. I don't remember Hough or Pough too much. The col between them is a bit of a jumble because of the old illegal camping areas being present and the Lilian Brook HP. I do remember a couple of nice lookouts along the way up Dix. You'll avoid the big step near the top of the beckhorn trail. Dix down to 73 is back on marked trail so should be a bit easier to follow at least. Once I'm done with the list maybe I'll go back and give that a try. Folks seem to like that trail.

      Comment


      • FlyFishingandBeer
        FlyFishingandBeer commented
        Editing a comment
        Dix from 73 is a very easy approach/return as long as the river is crossable.

    • #10
      OP, one other thing I forgot to mention: once you complete your out-and-back to Grace the trail naturally steers you to the right towards a cutoff trail while tagging S. Dix's summit for the second time. You'll descend a very tight and scratchy but easy trail down to the the S. Dix - Pough col. Then its a fun little ascent up to Pough, then down into the Hough-Pough col. Hough/Pough = Huff/Puff BTW; you'll be doing lots of that. Once you navigate across the short tangled mess of old campsite remnants and manage to not continue downhill via the Lillian brook trail, you'll begin your short ascent up to Hough proper. Right before the summit you'll come to an odd rock formation, parts of which look like a ladder or misshapen stairs of sorts. Ascend here. Ignore the newly formed mess of a completely unnecessary bypass that continues back around this rock formation to its [climber's left] side. That little work-around has stayed more or less hidden for years and was originally created by and for people's dogs, but for some reason folks have taken it upon themselves to redirect the foot traffic this way and its become another unsightly area of erosion.

      Edit: link to map of that section https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.0...407&z=16&b=mbt
      My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

      Comment


      • #11
        FWIW, I found what you are contemplating to be tougher than a day hike of Gothics, Armstrong, & Upper WJ without the mindless tromp on the Lake Road. You will want an early start and good weather. It's certainly easier to get a bit turned around on the approach to Hough but it's a great hike.
        Orono Stewie

        Comment


        • #12
          Yes. I agree. It really was more difficult. I hit a wall heading up Dix and the descent felt like days. Being solo I was a little worried about missing a turn so I didn't stop and enjoy the views for more than a few minutes. It was a bit over 11 hours and I've never been more beat. I don't think it would take much for someone to put an arrow on a tree in a few places.

          Comment


          • #13
            Thank you for making my decision to just hike Macomb, South Dix and Grace feel even better! Old slow hikers like myself need all the moral support they can get! I left the parking lot and never caught up to anyone that left minutes before me and got passed by quite a few. Your post makes me forget all that!

            Congratulations on completing such a tough hike.
            Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
            ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

            Comment

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