Backpack the Dix Range

Dix Mountain Trailhead

Complete five High Peaks with an overall amazing view of the High Peaks region.

Day 1

The trail begins about a mile past the intersection of Rt. 73 and Rt. 9 just east of a bridge over the North Fork Boquet River. Note: this trail is unmarked, so be sure to have an accurate map of the area. I recommend going to The Mountaineer store in Keene Valley and asking one of the clerks about this trail. They are very knowledgeable about the area and will be able to provide you with maps and advice. Park your car wherever you can and look for a herdpath heading south into the woods. The trail crosses back and forth over the river several times, so be on the lookout for cairns (small piles of rocks) that mark the path. There are several nice, flat campsites along the trail to spend your first night at, I stayed at the one slightly hidden off the trail by Lillypad Pond.

Day 2

Prepare for a hard day of hiking with a large breakfast. Continue along the trail until you come to an open field where the river widens and slows. You will see Grace Peak rising up in the distance. The trail can be hard to find here, so be alert. You will start your steep ascent up Grace Peak soon. Fill up all your water containers now, as this will be one of the last places to do so. The path will start to run parallel to the Grace Peak Great Slide. If the slide is dry, feel free to hike up it, it is an amazing experience. However, if it is wet, the granite rock will be VERY slippery, so be extremely careful. Continue up the trail to the summit of Grace Peak (formerly known as East Dix). The trail meanders over to South Dix, with it's wooded summit. Just to the south of the true summit are a few open ledges from which there are great views of the surrounding wilderness. You will soon come to a three way intersection in the trail. Leave your packs here, and grab your water bottle before hiking up Macomb Mountain. Your third 400-foot peak of the day, Macomb has one of the best vistas of Elk Lake and the Colvin Range. If you look right while on the summit, you can see the immensity of Dix Mountain. When you've finished admiring the view, turn around and head back to the intersection. Now begins the hardest part of your hike: Hough Peak, then up to the false summit of the Beckhorn, then finally to the highest point of the trip at the summit of Dix Mountain. This part of the trail is steep and seems to be never-ending, but the views from Dix are incredible. After reaching the summit, you should follow the trail north and follow the blue blazes to the Boquet River Lean-To, and sleep soundly after a huge day of hiking.

Day 3

The final day of your journey consists of following the blue blazes to the Round Pond trailhead, which will put you about two miles north of your car on Rt. 73. Walk back safely along the road to your car.

Pack List

  • Pack with good support and medium volume
  • Enough food for 2-4 days on the trail
  • Tent and sleeping bag OR hammock and light blanket
  • Extra layers
  • Matches and/or lighter
  • Water containers and filter
  • Map and compass
Show More
RT Distance 17 Miles
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Technical, Steep, and Beautiful

This is a great trek. My only suggestion is for people coming on from NYC Hostel Friday night Elk lake entry Saturday really early. Make camp at Lillian brook. (cat campground) Macomb early as you can Saturday. Sunday dix, hough, south dix, east dix. Make sure you are descending the Lillian brook trail a good hour before dusk. Good guide, fun trip


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