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A long, rugged out-and-back with one particularly tricky rock scramble
This was a Plan B hike for me that turned out to be a major win. The Adirondacks are so popular, it’s always good to have a Plan B!
This hike begins from the northernmost Rooster Comb trailhead on Route 73. Stitching Rooster Comb into this hike — which I highly suggest you do, because the views are stunning — will add an additional 1.2 miles to your hike plan.
This route passes over the very quiet Hedgehog Mountain and then begins a long grind up the northeastern face of Lower Wolf Jaw.
Please Note: I was stopped in my tracks about 10 minutes from the summit by a very intimidating rock slab scramble that, on one side, was sopping wet — and, on the other, dangerously exposed to a cliff. My notes on the scramble are behind a paywall but it’s something you should know about if you decide to take this route — it’s this one short section that earned this hike its place on my list of Hardest Hikes.
Lower Wolf Jaw is part of The Great Range, and is normally tackled via those routes. However, the trail from Route 73 is not unpopular. In my case, this trailhead was a Plan B Starting Point because another trailhead was full.
I had thought about going out to Upper Wolf Jaw too but, honestly, by the time I got to the summit of Lower Wolf Jaw, I was was beat! Still, I was very happy to have clocked another ADK 46er.
Lower Wolf Jaw Hiking Trail
The Lower Wolf Jaw hiking trail from Rooster Comb includes…
- Moss, silver spruce, birch, fir
- Long quiet sections of pine forest that smell amazing
- Sub-summits and steep cols (much undulation)
- Sketchy AF rock slab at 4000’
- Several peekaboo views
- One crackerjack view
- Distinctive molar-shaped summit boulders
Lower Wolf Jaw from Rooster Comb Trail Notes & Gallery
For the first short section of this hike, refer to the Rooster Comb trail guide. That will get you from the trailhead on Route 73 to the junction for Hedgehog and Lower Wolf Jaw mountains.
At the junction where you can turn right for Rooster Comb, you can also turn left for Hedgehog and Lower Wolf Jaw.
Follow the yellow blazes — and prepare yourself for an endless climb.
But the trail also has many very beautiful sections…
Keep an eye out for bears, LOL…
Hedgehog Mountain Summit
The summit of Hedgehog is wooded-in and unremarkable except for a not-very-comfortable small boulder you can try to sit on for a minute.
Here, the trail takes a sharp right and is, finally, flat for a short distance — and really lovely — before descending into the col ahead.
To Lower Wolf Jaw
In the col, you will pass through a junction which leads down the W.A. White Trail which connects with trails to Snow Mountain and the Ausable Club and Route 73.
Pass by this junction, and begin climbing Lower Wolf Jaw’s northeastern ridge. After passing over a sub-summit, you will begin your final climb — until you are confronted, at about 4000’, with this…
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This hike was difficult and incredibly scenic (because it included Rooster Comb).
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The parent mountain for this hike is Lower Wolf Jaw.
If you do this hike, LMK how it went…
Trailhead Info for this Hike
Medium lot, very popular.
Google Maps Location: 44.185634, -73.786484
The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead
Cell service was available for a lot of this hike, but there were definitely a lot of patches where it wasn’t. My network is Verizon. YMMV.