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Dix Mountain- Best Approach?

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  • Dix Mountain- Best Approach?

    Hi guys,

    Me and a friend are planning on hiking Dix this weekend (just the main peak). I noticed there are two main approaches, one that starts at Elk Lake and heads up from the South, and another that starts at Chapel/Round pond area and comes down from the North. I'm curious for anyone who has done both, which do you prefer? I've read the Elk Lake approach is slightly shorter and easier (less elevation), but I always see people posting about the round pond approach. I would prefer to avoid route 73 this weekend if possible (I'm sure parking will be nuts) but I'm not sure if Elk Lake will be any better. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, if anyone has hiked Dix recently, would love to know current conditions.

    Thank you

  • #2
    The best way to Dix's summit is by helicopter. The DEC frowns upon it but that's just because they're party poopers.

    For Dix by itself I prefer the out and back from Rt. 73 option, but either way you're going to have issues with parking. The Round Pond TH is very small and will probably be full by 6am on Saturday and possibly Sunday as well. If you approach from Elk Lake, you can expect to find the lot full by Friday night, but you may just get lucky. If The Elk lake lot is full there's a small parking area a few miles back down the road; may want to consider bringing a bike so you can drop your crew off, go back and park, and pedal back to the TH.

    EDIT: I really can't stress enough that it's going to be BUSY up there. Expect record traffic both on and off the trails, and I personally will not be going anywhere near the villages of SL or LP (I actually head away from the ADK on holiday weekends).

    And welcome to the Forum! There's beer in the fridge and snacks on the table in the back.
    My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.


    • #3
      Last I knew there is plenty of overflow parking from the elk lake end of things like FFandB said, even further out is a state land lot (I had to park there 2 years ago cause clear lake lot was full also). I have never seen the small lot all the way in by Elk Lake not full.
      However, my vote for Dix will always be the loop from the stone bridge on 73 up the Boquet Valley, up Grace Peak (preferably up the Great Slide), then up and around to Dix and out to 73 with a road walk. Did this route this summer and is in my top favorite hikes. There was no problem with parking by the stone bridge this summer every time I went by there by 7am. Just do your research if you go Boquet Valley, plenty of info on here about the possibly confusing route, and the consequences of not being prepared (RIP innocent salamanders).
      35er #3133
      46er #11779

      "Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds"


      • #4
        Yeah, Charibdis or Scylla parking-wise. I've only ever did the Beckhorn trail, which is great, but I hear the Round Pound option is also great and it's definitely on my to-do.

        Both approaches have one of the Dacks steepest mile (>1500' elevation). The Northern approach seems to have a bit less milleage but a bit more elevation gain.

        p.s. I heard the gate to Elk Lake will close on Oct 21 and the trails would close from Oct 26 to Dec 8 (for hunting)


        • #5
          Parking is definitely easier on the Round Pond end. At Elk Lake, once the little lot is full (and it will fill up early), the overflow parking is way (2+ miles) further away from the trailhead. At Round Pond, you are past the end of the state's idiotic "no parking" area, and there is plenty of room to roadside park, worst case no more than a couple hundred yards from the trailhead.
          Last edited by tcd; 10-10-2019, 06:08 PM.


          • #6
            If going from Elk Lake I recommend going up via Hunter's Pass and down by the Beckhorn Trail. It's just silly doing one trail when you can do both. See more of the mountain!