Highest Point in New York: Mount Marcy Hike and Summit in Photographs

by Mark and Kristen Morgan
Man standing on distant rock for perspective to show to scale of views from the summit of mount marcy the highest of the high peaks in adirondacks new york near lake placid

In order to stand on the highest point in New York you must hike to the summit of Mount Marcy near the charming town of Lake Placid in the stunning Adirondack Mountains.

Thousands of hikers climb Mt Marcy each year throughout all four seasons to soak up horizon stretching views in all directions, as far as Montreal Canada and the Green Mountains of Vermont.

We visited Lake Placid during peak Fall foliage and hiking Mount Marcy was top of our wishlist. The hike is a long 15 mile roundtrip trail, which means a very early start in total darkness is recommended.

The Adirondack Mountains High Peaks are renowned for changeable and extreme weather conditions. We were fortunate enough to have a relatively calm day, albeit overcast and cloudy.

Our photographs from the trail will show you exactly what you can expect from hiking the to the highest point in New York.

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Hiking to the Highest Point in New York

Mount Marcy is the highest of the Adirondack Mountains ‘High Peaks’. But to reach the highest point in New York and enjoy rolling hills in all directions, you have to work for your rewards.

The most popular route to summit Mt Marcy is by parking at Adirondack Loj and hiking the Van Hoevenberg trail. Sections of flat, easy forested boardwalks and long, gradual inclines along rocky paths lead you up the famous mountain.

Eventually you break the canopy and walk out into an exposed final section, before a scramble up rocks to summit the highest peak in New York.

Stunning colors leaves on the ground in a forest trail in adirondack mountains ny

Stunning Fall foliage leaves in trees and on the trail near Adirondack Loj parking lot

Woman standing on tree with peak design backpack in a forest

Fallen tree in the path

Man hiking up a narrow trail rocks and blowers in adirondack mountains ny

Trail transitioning from small boulders to slick flat rock faces

Hiking trail in adirondack mountains ny woman on wet path

Wet leaves along slow forest ascent

Woman walking through narrow hiking trail surrounded by trees to the summit of mount marcy the highest point in new york

Breaking through the canopy to open terrain

Sign showing the route to Mount Marcy summit in adirondacks

Old signposts could do with a new lick of paint

Huge boulders to climb in order to summit mount marcy and stand on the highest point in new york

Steeper sections of the climb changing up the difficulty levels

Muddy trail colorful leaves through forest in mount marcy hike adirondacks

Picturesque forest walk perfect for the dog

Wooden walkway boards through yellow wet grass

Long wooden boardwalk dissecting waterlogged flat sections

Stream and plunge pool on mount marcy hike to the highest point in new york

One of many views upstream throughout the hike

Indian Falls marks the half way point along mount marcy hike in lake placid ny

Indian Falls is the most popular halfway marker when hiking to the highest point in New York

Woman walking on boulder trail hiking to the summit of mount marcy and the highest mountain in new york

Long sections of boulder hopping require careful foot placements

Long slow gradual climb on narrow rocky hiking trail through forest to mount marcy summit the tallest peak in new york adirondack mountains

Expect to see this very scene for miles of hiking

Mount Marcy Summit

Mount Marcy trail could take anywhere between 3 and 5 hours to summit. You can see the top from quite a distance below and there are no false summits to crush morale!

A final steep and slippery section can cause problems in bad weather but it’s worth the effort to soak up spectacular views ranging in all directions.

Weather will play a huge role in how enjoyable the hike is and the quality of your view from the highest point in New York.

We were grateful for a dry day but it was very cloudy and dull. Fall colors on the surrounding hills were unable to radiate under sunlight and we certainly could not see as far as Canada or Vermont with any clarity!

Summit of mount marcy from far below with clouds

Mt Marcy summit view from a long way back on the trail

Mount Marcy summit the highest point in the state of new york

Highest point in New York getting closer and closer

Womans hiking boots with rocks and views from the summit of a mountain in new york high peaks

Sheltering from the wind behind a huge rock

Woman with arms outstretched celebrating reaching the highest point in new york mount marcy adirondack high peaks

Celebrating hiking to the highest point in New York with outstretched arms

Cairns piles of rocks marking the trail to Mount Marcy summit and the highest point in new york with clouds and views of rolling hills

Cairns and rock markers near the summit

Fall foliage colors just about visible among the grey misty clouds from the top of adirondack mountains ny

Distant Fall colors just about visible but lacking in vibrancy

Gorgeous colors in the valley below mount marcy near lake placid in adirondacks new york

Rolling hills as far as the eye can see under grey sky

Mount Marcy summit top of the mountain with views over hills as far as the eye can see

Hills, clouds and trees in all directions

Plaque of mount marcy showing history first climbers year first climbed at the summit of adirondacks highest mountain

Mount Marcy summit plaque – the highest point in New York

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We hope this photography guide to the highest point in New York inspires you to hike Mount Marcy!

Have you been to the Adirondacks? Where are your favorite places to visit? 

Please let us know if you have any questions or need any help planning your visit.

-Happy Snapping-

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