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A tricky bushwhack with amazing views.
Jay Mountain Ridge stands as the most rewarding and memorable hiking experience I had in 2022. With its stunning views and rugged terrain and this route is a must-visit destination for any hiker looking to test their limits and explore the natural beauty of the Adirondacks.
The Jay Mountain Ridge route is a difficult hike, and not for the faint of heart. But for those who are up to the challenge it offers an unforgettable experience. With its rugged beauty, challenging terrain and panoramic views, this trail is a testament to the majesty of the Adirondacks.
From the trailhead, the route features a challenging ascent with steep inclines. East of the western summit there are rocky scrambles — but the effort of hiking this ridge is more than worth it for the panoramic views on offer.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking to get in touch with nature, Jay Mountain Ridge is a must-visit destination that will leave you awestruck and inspired.
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Jay Mountain Ridge
The Jay Mountain Ridge route includes…
- Rugged trail between the two summits of Jay Mountain
- No trail markers / this hike is a bushwhack
- Exposed ridge
- Rock scrambles
- Incredible scenery
Jay Mountain Ridge Notes & Gallery
The first section of this route (from the trailhead to the lookout and the Jay’s western summit) is described in Jay Mountain. This post covers and describes the route from Jay’s lower, western summit to Jay’s upper summit in the east.
The distance between the two is approximately 1 mile with 600 feet of elevation gain. This doesn’t sound like much but keep in mind that it comes after the trailed portion of the route which is 5¼ miles with 2000 feet of elevation gain.
So this is very much an optional add-on to the main hike. Please considering turning around if you do not have the correct gear, skills, timing or weather window. This is particularly important in cold conditions, as this route is exposed with very little protection from the elements.
There are trail markers and blazes on the route to the western/lower summit of Jay Mountain. However, once you hike east of that summit, you are on your own. There are a few cairns, but no blazes. Strong backcountry navigation skills are mandatory.
Do not rely on your phone to guide you on this tricky, rugged route.
But those views…
On the way to the first summit, you’ll get a view of the valley below and of Saddleback Mountain ahead — not the ADK High Peak Saddleback, just lower ADK peak with the same name, but very beautiful…
In the distance, across the valley, you’ll see Hurricane Mountain and several Adirondack high peaks.
Once you get away from the lower summit, it’s not long before the entire ridge opens up before you…
Epic Ridge Views
Looking south into the glen below, I mean, I don’t even know what to say…
The Jay Mountain Ridge hike is an exceptional hiking route that offers some of the most breathtaking and rewarding scenic views in the Adirondacks.
From here, return to the lower summit and make your way back down to your car.
There’s no denying it: Adirondack hikes have killer scenic views. But even by those high standards, this is an absolutely outstanding Adirondack mile.
If you can handle it, you’ll love the Nun-Da-Ga-O Ridge loop hike.
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The parent mountain for this hike is Jay.
If you do this hike, LMK how it went…
Trailhead Info for this Hike
Smallish roadside lot.
Google Maps Location: 44.315773, -73.720641
The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead
I had decent cell service for most of this hike once I got out of the hollows. My network is Verizon. YMMV.