Mt. Marcy Summit and Camping

Last couple steps

In the heart of the Adirondack Mountain Range you’ll find Lake Placid which is best known for being a host to the Olympic games and is still an Olympic training center. Mt. Marcy, the highest mountain peak in New York State, is located close to the training facility which seems very appropriate since it’s a challenging climb. Follow along as we climb this Presidential Mountain (Theodore Roosevelt) for a long day of hiking and overnight camping on this beautiful mountain.

While this is a very safe hiking for people of all levels, note the warning sign when you get near the top:  “Warning, weather subject to severe change. Do not proceed beyond this point without proper gear.”  Near the top of this mountain conditions are similar to big mountains where weather can change quickly (High winds, bad storms, etc) so come prepared just in case.

Location: Lake Placid, NY
GPS Trail Head Coordinates: 44.182, -73.964 (High Peaks Information Center)
GPS Waypoints: GPX CSV KML Google maps
Duration: Full Day Hike or Overnight.
Season (video): Summer
Weather Conditions (video): Partly Cloudy
Trail (video): Van Hoevenberg Trail
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 14.8 miles (23.7km)
Peak Elevation: 5,344ft. (1,629m)
trong>Elevation Gain: 3,600ft. (1,097m)
Views: Adirondack mountain rages, Phelps Brook, Mt. Marcy Dam, Indian Falls, Mt. Marcy, Phelps Mountain, Table Top Mountain
State Park: Adirondack State Park
Access: Drive to the High Peaks Information Center for Parking ($10/day, 2011).

Recommended Supplies: Enough water for a strenuous full day hike (stream water also an option if you bring filter or Water Purification Tablets), full meal, Energy Bar, map, Compass, First Aid Kit
Other:  Hardened Bear canister
Common Wildlife Encountered: Bears
Safety Direction (if lost):North



  25 comments for “Mt. Marcy Summit and Camping

  1. John
    August 10, 2011 at 9:23 am

    where did you camp?

    • admin
      August 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      We ended up camping a bit higher and closer to the trail then we should have. I think we were off Mt. Marcy and definitely well into the forested area. If your planning on going up definitely check out which hiking trails your supposed to use to get to designated camping areas because short of the one sign (at low elevation) noted in the video we did not find any other info on the trail as to anywhere you can camp.

      • Jan
        March 30, 2013 at 8:22 pm

        Great video!

        • Jan
          March 30, 2013 at 8:23 pm

          Not sure I’d be able to wait 4 hours to drink more water after putting the purifier in the bottle. Did you have a back up bottle while you were waiting?

          • admin
            March 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm

            Great question Jan, yes I usually try to time it so I haven’t yet ran out of water whenever possible.

  2. John
    August 10, 2011 at 9:23 am

    also very nice video looks like you had great weather

  3. Don
    August 31, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Enjoy the hiking video. Must’ve been a tough climb with all that camping gear!

  4. Rich
    July 7, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Hey, about how high was the last water source? Thanks for the video guys.

    • admin
      July 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      Hi Rich, glad you enjoyed the video. It was a couple years ago so I unfortunately do not recall the specifics. I can only tell you we filled up our water containers and didn’t have a water problem doing the over night. I did have a 3L water blader and 2 1Liter bottles if that helps. We used the water quite liberally for drinking and cooking. Happy Hiking!

  5. Cindy
    March 13, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Where exactly did you park your car to start the hike, we want to do it in April and are coming from ontario thanks Cindy

    • admin
      March 14, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Hello Cindy. I parked at the High Peaks Information Center parking lot
      GPS Trail Head Coordinates: 44.182, -73.964
      Have fun!

  6. June 11, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    nice video guys. i was wondering if this hike could be done in one day and how long would it take. i hiked up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. It took I think about 6 and half hrs total. Also would you recommend this hike only for teenagers and adults? My son likes hiking and camping but he is 10 would it be to hard for him. thank you for your reply

    • admin
      July 7, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Glad you enjoyed hte video Chris. Some people do the hike in 1 day. If you start out at dawn and move at a good pace (pack light) all day you can be back out before dark. Many also setup camp low on the mountain the night before and hike up the next day with only minimal gear (leaving most gear at base camp). Not sure if this hike it the best place for a 10 year old as it’s pretty intense but I guess much of that depends on how he deals with long hard hikes.

  7. jodi
    July 31, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Hey Chris!,, great video! Was there a place to camp at the bottom of the blue trail? Planning on an August hike, wanted to camp and then wake early to hike the summit. Any thoughts? 🙂 jodi

    • admin
      August 5, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Hello Jodi, glad you enjoyed the video. I don’t recall the exact locations of the designated camping areas but I can tell you their relatively low on the mountain. Enjoy the hike!

    • Chris
      August 6, 2014 at 9:15 am

      I remember seeing a few signs for lean-to spots. One was by the dam. I think all the camping spots are before the 3 mile sign. If you do camp on the mountain you have to get a bear canister. You can I think rent one at the adirondack Loj. You can also camp at the loj too. That’s what me and my son did because the trail begins right there. We hike it in one day it took like 9 and half hrs total. We started at 6 am

  8. Myles McPartland (@ChakraDoc)
    February 24, 2015 at 7:38 am

    great video production! I’ve been going up to Marcy Dam since 1976 and will be there in 2 days for a winter assault!

  9. Caleb Christopher
    April 22, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Hi. My friends and I have been planning a backpack trip in the adirondacks. We were wondering if we could camp on top of Mount marcy? Also where did you park when you went?

    • admin
      April 23, 2017 at 7:11 am

      Hi, no you cannot camp at the top. There are designated camping areas relatively low on the trail. We parked at some sort of store at the head of the trail. You can get assorted supplies in that store including a bear can if they have them in stock.

  10. Lynn
    June 27, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Are there outhouses?

    • admin
      July 1, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      There are bathrooms at the store at the head of the trail

    • Cindy fulton
      July 3, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Showers and washrooms at Loj, there are privys at the lake, not sure of name , other than that, the great out doors!

  11. September 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    What time does parking area open at mt marcy

    • admin
      October 17, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      We arrived before 7am but I didn’t get the impression the parking lot closes.

  12. Jolynn
    April 9, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Do you have to make reservations at all for a campsite or do you just camp anywhere ?

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