Lower Great Range via Weld Trail

Hiking the Lower Great Range is one of the great Adirondack challenges.

Hike Length: 15.0 miles (24.14 km)

Total Ascent: 5,400ft (1,646m)

Intensity: Hardest Adirondacks Hike

Route Type: Loop

Includes: Blazed Trail, Unmarked Trail, Rock Scrambles, Road Walk, Stream Crossing

Parent Gothics

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Lower Great Range in the Adirondacks

View from Gothics

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 A long-long, difficult, rugged loop.

Nestled within the heart of the Adirondack Park in Upstate New York, a Lower Great Range hike offers a dramatic landscape of steep cliffs, dense evergreen forests, and a series of imposing peaks that define the essence of Adirondack wilderness.

This trail guide will take you on an exhilarating journey through this extraordinary mountain range, known for its challenging terrain and breathtaking vistas. The Lower Great Range hike boasts an array of prominent summits, including Sawteeth, Pyramid Peak, Gothics, Armstrong Mountain, Upper Wolf Jaw, and Lower Wolf Jaw—each offering its own unique character and stunning panoramas.

As you venture deeper into this rugged terrain, you’ll discover a pristine wilderness where the echoes of the past blend harmoniously with the whispers of the forest. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker looking to conquer new heights or a nature enthusiast seeking solitude among the peaks, the Lower Great Range hike promises an unforgettable Adirondack experience. So, lace up your boots, prepare for the ascent, and let the Lower Great Range captivate your spirit with its untamed beauty and untold stories.

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Lower Great Range hike via A.W. Weld Trail

This Lower Great Range hike includes…

  • Classic Adirondack long walks in and out
  • One of the toughest ridges in the Adirondacks
  • Incredible scenery, particularly from Pyramid and Gothics
  • Very steep trails
  • Over 5000 feet of elevation gain
  • Tricky rock scrambles and sheer slab sections
  • Descent down a tall, steep mountain ladder
  • A lot of mud, especially on Armstrong
  • An optional side quest to Rainbow Falls
  • Optional access via the amazing Indian Head if you want to include it

Allow 10-14 hours for this hike. A full breakdown is provided in the trail notes below, with 30 spectacular photos.

Lower Great Range in the Adirondacks
Gothics seen from Pyramid Peak

Lower Great Range Permit

From May 1 until Oct 31, advance reservation is required to park at the AMR lot. This is the only way to access this hike. Visit hikeamr.org for full details and to secure your parking reservation.

Lower Great Range Parking

See the bottom of this page for precise location information and a Google Map link.

Lower Great Range Hike Notes & Gallery

Hiking this route was a very challenging yet immensely rewarding experience. It was an opportunity to push my limits, connect with nature, and relish in the sense of accomplishment that comes with conquering these remarkable peaks in the heart of the Adirondacks. The view from Pyramid Peak was the highlight. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.

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Similar Hikes

In the Adirondacks, there are big day hikes like this: the incredible Dix Range, Rocky Peak Ridge from New Russia, or Giant Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge together.

In the Catskills, we have The Devil’s Path and the Burroughs Range Loop.

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The parent mountain for this hike is Gothics.

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Large parking area that May through October requires advance reservation via hikeamr.org.

Google Maps Location: 44.149847, -73.767882

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

Extremely intermittent, even at elevation. My network is Verizon. YMMV.