* Compared to the other 46ers this peak is a little more difficult due to distance and the steepness of the trail over the last 2 km.
Dix is located on the Eastern edge of the High Peaks region and is the tallest peak of the Dix Range at 1480 m, it is also the sixth tallest mountain in the Adirondacks. It is a relatively long hike at 22 km roundtrip, but traverses some beautiful terrain and offers some interesting sections of steep trail for those slightly more advanced hikers. For those who wish to climb Dix but find a 22 km day trip a bit daunting there is a lean-to at roughly the half way mark and camping available in a couple of spots. This is a highly worthwhile trip.
To reach Dix you’ll be following blue trail markers. The trail initially follows Route 73 for about 10 minutes, so it takes a little while to feel like you’ve escaped civilization, however on the return trip the sound of vehicles can be a cause for a minor celebration as it means the end of your day is close at hand. The trail is relatively flat until you reach Round Pond, the first major landmark at km 1, roughly ½ hour into your hike. The trail follows the shoreline of Round Pond until its Western edge at which point it starts a steady climb towards the junction with the trail to Noonmark Mountain shortly before the end of your 4th km. The trail now levels out and follows the Boquet river more or less continuously for the remainder of the trail to the Boquet River lean-to which is located 6.8 km from the trailhead. At the lean-to the trail crosses the Boquet River, this is normally achieved by crossing on stones protruding from the water, however, after heavy or prolonged rainfall, and especially during the spring melt this river may not be safe to cross. This is important to keep in mind when choosing to climb Dix from the Round Pond trailhead. After crossing the brook the climbing starts again, you’ll cross over numerous small brooks as you make your way to the base of a large slide on the lower flanks of Dix. You’ve now traveled a little over 9 km, with only 2 km remaining, but this is where most of your energy will be expended as you must gain almost 500 m to reach the summit. Once you’ve reached the base of the slide you have two courses of action: 1) continue to follow the trail which crosses the slide to the left side and parallels the slide for several hundred meters, or 2) head straight up the slide and bushwhacking back to the official trail after 100 m. If you’ve never completed this hike before you’d best choose to stick to the trail, if you have been here before or have a sense of adventure the second option can be quite entertaining. Once regaining the trail near the top of the slide things become quite vertical and the trail becomes quite rough. You’ll reach a junction with the Hunter Pass trail at about km 10 and from here the summit is gained quite quickly. The summit of Dix is mostly bare with some short stunted trees scattered about, the views are plentiful and awe inspiring. With many great rocks for basking in the sun on hot days and the great views this is one of the nicer summits in the Adirondacks. Depending on the time of year you can expect to take between 5 ½ hours (winter) to 3 hours (summer) to summit Dix.
Round Pond trailhead:
From the West take Route 73 East from Lake Placid for 40 km to the Round Pond trailhead. The parking lot is located on the right side of the road roughly 50 m North West of the trailhead. From the East take Interstate 87 to exit 30. Turn right onto Route 9, after 3.5 km you’ll come to a split in the road, to the right is Route 9 and straight ahead is Route 73, go straight and take the 73. The parking lot for the Round Pond trailhead is 5 km after the split on the left.
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