Crane Mountain Hike: Adirondack Mountains
Mileage: 4.8 miles Directions 43.537476, -73.968114
Rise: 1512 ft Facebook
Hike Time: 5 hrs with 3 kids (9,5,3) The Fire Tower Page
Here is some of what you need to know: The hike description starts from the trail head at Ski Hill road. Their is another parking area (see the little tail that leaves the loop on the map) but it is on private property and the road that leads to it is in rough shape. Please use the Ski Hill road Trailhead.
1. Scroll the mouse over the altitude line to see where it lines up on the map
2. Click on the flags for more information
3. Click on the pictures to make them large
From the trail head we turned right; going in this direction you will climb up the ladders instead of down. Follow the RED blazes.
Over the next 0.8 miles you will rise about 800 feet in elevation. The trail here is rocky, steep, and wet. The black flies and mosquitoes were a constant presence. Along this stretch we found some cool rocks to climb on and a place to catch some views. The mountains in the distance were obscured by the clouds unfortunately, but it was a great place for a quick break.
At 2.1 miles you are given another chance to avoid the upcoming ladders and head down to the pond. You will see the pond on the back side of the loop so don’t be afraid of missing something.
The final stretch to the summit is more level but their are two steep spots with ladders, the higher of which is about 20 feet. Both ladders felt safe.
When we first hit the top of the mountain the fog was so thick we could not see more than a couple of hundred feet. Pretty disappointing after a 4 hour drive to get here, but after 45 minutes the sky cleared. Thank god we waited because the view was incredible, the mountains went on and on. I was told on a clear day you can see the high peaks in the north but I was not able to pick them out.
To continue the loop you will want to follow the rock face, their are no markers for about 0.3 miles but the trail was well defined. The red markers resume when you start heading down hill again. It is about 1/2 mile to the pond and you will drop about 500 ft in elevation.
If we were going to go swimming in the pond we would have picked these big rocks in the picture, the trail runs right past it.
At 3.5 miles the trail leaves the lake; if you look at the map you will see it is at a spot where the lake drains. This is where the blue markers begin. From here you are about 1.2 miles to the first intersection. It starts out smooth but it quickly turns into a steep rocky descent dropping 800 ft in elevation over 0.6 miles. Once at the bottom you will come to an intersection; make a left and follow the Red blazes back to the parking area.
Their is a ton of stuff packed into 5 miles of hike making this one awesome Adirondack adventure. The kids did such a great job they made it look easy. It is very close to Schroon Lake and Lake George giving you easy access to more fun. Just don’t forget the Deet, we donated enough blood on this trip to start a whole new generation of Black Flies.