Big Slide via The Brothers


Topographic map courtesy of


October 2006


Let me begin by saying this is one of my favorite hikes in the Adirondacks. It is family friendly, and offers some of the most rewarding views you can get, with such little effort. Of the 46 high peaks, only Cascade has a better bang-for-the-buck ratio. Luckily, we timed this hike just right, during peak fall foliage, and on a sunny day.

We left the Garden parking lot in Keene Valley before dawn, and hiked with head lamps for 45 minutes, before the sun came up. We watched it rise while climbing the first and second Brothers, (the Brothers is one long ridge line, comprised of 3 “peaks”, or Brothers, as they’re called). They offer views of Blueberry Mountain, Porter, Keene Valley, Giant, and all of the great range. The third brother is the highest, and unranked, but 3720 feet high.

Then we ascended Big Slide, (27th, at 4240 ft.). The last 0.3 of a mile climbs 700 feet, but it really wasn’t nearly as tough as that sounds. There was a section of log ladders, but they weren’t that steep. My dog didn’t have any troubles here. The summit is wooded, with an excellent open rock cliff that faces southeast, towards the entire great range. The view was spectacular! You can see a 180˚ panorama, from Giant, all the way to Algonquin.

If you hike around the back, you can see the village of Lake Placid, and Whiteface off in the distance.

I cannot say enough about this wonderful hike. I give it my full recommendation. All in all, the 6.6 miles (round trip), took us roughly 6 hours at a leisurely pace, with lots of photo breaks.

Big Slide’s summit, as seen from the second Brother, with the moon almost ready to set.

(Part of my Original 46er quest)