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Pharaoh Mt - Treadway Mt loop?

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  • Pharaoh Mt - Treadway Mt loop?

    I'm planning to camp for 2 nights at Pharaoh Lake next week (October).
    On the middle day I want to hike a loop that would include Pharaoh Mt, Rock Pond and Treadway Mt. - on trail only ( route is fairly obvious on a map, I think).
    Would this be a very difficult day hike? By way of comparison, I have hiked the Lake Arnold-Skylight-Marcy Loop from Marcy Dam. I am guessing this hike would be easier, but are there things I don't know? Are the trails very rough or difficult to follow? Or longer than they appear?
    I would appreciate any information on the trails I would be using.

  • #2
    Sounds like a pretty long day to me but certainly doable for a strong hiker. You may want to consider bringing your gear with you, as you’ll be passing some nice places to camp, but that’s just me. I just hiked Pharaoh Mountain from Crane Pond this past weekend and was pretty whooped, but I’m just getting back into fall hiking shape. Trails are pretty easy to follow for the most part, but there are some large open patches on the way up Treadway where you’ll need to pay attention to occasional cairns & paint blazes marking the way. You may be crunched for time but if you can, be sure to drop down from the summit of Treadway towards Pharoah Lake a bit. The view of Pharaoh Lake down there is awesome! Pharaoh Mountain has a few different lookout spots around the summit as well. Nice views of the high peaks too. Hope you get good weather, good luck.


    • #3
      I agree with Justin- that's a pretty big day. Looking at the Nat Geo maps and adding up the mileage, assuming the shortest possible route it'd be just over 20 miles. It's definitely doable if you're in good hiking shape. But a few tangential considerations:

      One thing to keep in mind is that the trails in the Pharaoh area tend to not be very flat. There's a lot of little ups and downs especially that don't show up on the topo maps- and these do tend to add up to considerable added elevation gains over longer distances. Don't get me wrong- it's not exactly like the area is super rugged or anything- but it's also not uncommon for folks new to the Pharaoh area to find that they end up hiking at least a little bit more slowly than they'd anticipated.

      Another consideration: Your loop will be taking you past multiple points of phenomenal scenery (lakes, ponds, summits) but your itinerary will leave you little time to enjoy any of them. Pharaoh is chock full of good places to just sit and enjoy what is in front of you, and you may find that a shorter itinerary that gives you more time to relax and partake in the scenery will be more fulfilling. (But to each their own.)

      With 3 days/2 nights, I might suggest that you consider backpacking this loop instead- and camping at 2 different locations along the way. I've done a variation on this loop as a 3 day backpacking trip every year for the past 7 years.

      BTW: It sounds like you're possibly planning this trip for Columbus Day Weekend? You should be aware that the Pharaoh area (Pharaoh Lake and Crane Pond especially) is super popular. Expect that most bodies of water in the area will likely fill to (and even beyond) capacity with overnight users on this weekend (especially if the weather is nice). I think Pharaoh Lake might even rival Marcy Dam and Lake Colden for the title of "most popular backcountry camping destination in the Adirondacks."

      Justin's info is good, too. I'll ditto what he said concerning views- make sure you spend a few minutes poking around the summit of Pharaoh (there's ledges with views in just about every direction but some are a bit tricky to find). And yeah, the best views from Treadway can be had by bushwhacking a few hundred feet south from the summit, towards Pharaoh Lake.


      • #4
        If those two posts don't convince you it might be too much it's unlikely I will, but I will add it's October and daylight is waning.
        Another option if you're not interested in backpacking would be do a hike to Pharaoh Mtn. one day and Treadway the other by going past Grizzle Ocean.
        If it's clear you're definitely going to want to hang out frequently, I just couldn't fathom taking a quick glimpse of this view and moving on.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Thanks for the information, folks!
          You have convinced me that my plan is over-ambitious, and that I will have more fun doing a more modest loop from Pharaoh Lake. This will be my first time in the area.

          Thanks for the tips on Treadway, Justin. May have to save that info for next time.
          DSettahr, thanks for giving me a feel for the lay of the land, and for reminding me to slow down and enjoy. Fortunately, I have three week days for the trip, so will be able to avoid the weekend crowd.
          Beautiful photo, Banjoe. I'm guessing that is Pharaoh Lake as seen from Pharaoh Mountain?
          Hope everyone has a wonderful Fall.


          • #6
            Banjoe's photo is Pharaoh Lake as viewed from Treadway Mountain. Pharaoh Mountain (the peak on the right-hand side of Banjoe's image) actually doesn't really have a great view of Pharaoh Lake- much of the lake is blocked by the shoulder of the mountain. But Pharaoh Mountain does have a phenomenal view of the High Peaks, as well as the central Adirondacks, and the Green Mountains in VT.


            • #7
              I had a wonderful three days in the Pharaoh Mountain Wilderness. What a great place!
              On my long hike day, I made a fairly modest loop over Pharaoh Mountain, around by Oxshoe Pond, and back to Pharaoh Lake.

              DSettahr, there is an excellent view of Pharaoh Lake from Pharaoh Mountain, from the south-most ledge at the top of the mountain (the first ledge you come to ascending from Pharaoh Lake).