Added by Janet Thomas
This is a great day hike beginning along the beautiful Gill Brook through cascading waterfalls and flumes with amazing and close up views of the Great Range and Ausable Lakes from the summit!
Mount Colvin and Blake Peak are located along the Colvin Range in the High Peaks Wilderness. Mount Colvin is number 39 on the 46er list, at 4,057 feet. Blake Peak is is number 43 on the list, at 3,960 feet, although new surveying methods discovered this summit just short of 4,000 feet, tradition keeps it on the list and the peak still ranks as one of the 46 high peaks.
From Saint Huberts parking area off from route 73 in Keene Valley, this is a 7.3 mile hike out and back to Colvin and Blake (14.6 miles round trip). The parking lot is located across the road from Giant Mountain, Roaring Brook Falls parking area, and fills up quickly on nice days. Side note - dogs are prohibited on Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) land so this is not considered a dog friendly hike. Lake Road is a private road and only public foot traffic is permitted through here.
Blake Peak is often paired together with Colvin due to both being along the same ridge, and located only 1.4 miles past Mount Colvin. There are a couple different ways to hike to Colvin and Blake, however, this is the most direct and scenic route with a maintained and marked trail to both summits.
You will begin the hike from the St. Huberts parking area at the Ausable Club, along a gravel road through the Ausable Club Golf Course. From the golf course, there is nice view of Giant Mountain to the right...turn and look back! At 0.5 miles you will turn left onto Lake Road (look for the hikers sign), passing between the tennis courts, which brings you to the Wooden AMR Gate and trail register at the gatehouse, at 0.6 mi. from the parking area. Once you sign the register and pass through the gate, you will continue along Lake Road road for approximately 2.5 miles before taking a left as you head southwest onto the Gill Brook foot trail marked Gill Brook, Colvin and Indian Head. This is just past the trail head for Beaver Meadow Falls and Gothics, on the right side of the road. Not far up along the foot trail (blue trail), you will pass by a nice waterfall. The trail is very scenic as it follows along the left side of the bank of Gill Brook, with many waterfalls and flumes along the way. I was lucky enough to see a River Otter swimming in the Brook on this hike!
The Gill Brook foot trail starts off as a moderate climb and continues to get steeper as you hike along the brook, through the scenic trail section (this section of the trail stays left and right alongside the brook, passing by many waterfalls.)
At 1.2 miles you will reach the jct. meeting up with the shorter trail from Lake Road. Continue along (blue trail) for 0.6 miles until you reach the jct. for Indian Head trail. Continue to follow the trail to Colvin crossing over the brook and passing by a couple of designated campsites. Once you pass the campsites, the climb begins to get steeper as it separates from the Gill Brook, and comes to the jct. for Colvin, Nippletop and Fish Hawk Cliffs (left) and Indian Head (right) at 1.1 miles. Here you will continue towards Colvin, as you pass by views of Nippletop on the left and more steep climbing as you reach the jct. for Elk Pass and Nipletop (left) and Colvin (right). Stay right to continue on the Colvin trail (blue). There is a lot of steep climbing once you pass this last jct. before reaching Colvin’s summit. During winter months, and late fall/early spring this can be very icy, requiring the use of microspikes and crampons, especially due to the steepness of some sections of the trail. Icy trails here make for difficult climbing, so make sure you are prepared!
At 2.9 miles, the summit of Mount Colvin is on the right and offers amazing views of Lower Ausable Lake, and close up views of the Great Range, Sawteeth and Nippletop Mountain and it’s slides. Just past the summit to the left, there is another ledge (on the right) with fantastic views of Blake Peak, Upper Ausable Lake, Allen Mountain and the Great Range.
After taking in the views from Mount Colvin you will continue along the ridge (red trail) as you descend into the col of Colvin and Blake. Blake Peak is in sight straight ahead as you hike down into the col. There are a couple of long ladders on some of the steep sections of the trail. The 1.4 mile hike to Blake Peak is very steep and rugged. At 0.9 miles from the summit of Colvin you will reach the trail jct. for Blake Peak (0.5 miles) and the Pinnacle and Elk Lake - Marcy Trail. Stay left as you make the final ascent to Blake Peak.
The summit of Blake Peak is wooded offering no views, which makes this a popular hike mainly for aspiring 46ers, however, there are some nice views along the round trip to Blake Peak so I would recommend doing it! Look up for a dark green sign marked Colvin and Ridge to Pinnacle, with a red foot trail marker on it. You have reached the summit of Blake Peak!
Continue back down into the col of Blake and Colvin on the foot trail as you climb back up to summit Colvin, following the red foot trail. The return route offers some nice views of neighboring peaks in the distance and Colvin straight ahead. Once you have reached the summit of Colvin again, you will continue back down the steep descent (blue trail) to the jct. of Elk Pass and Nippletop. Stay left to continue back to the jct. for Colvin, Nippletop and Fish Hawk Cliffs and Indian Head. From here, you will take the trail straight back to the Lake Road along the Gill Brook Trail, finishing your hike along Lake Road back to the parking area at St. Huberts.
- Filter to filter water if you do not carry extra water
- Backpacking First Aid Kit
- Headlamps and extra batteries
- Extra Layers, Socks, Wind and Rain Shields
- Microspikes (fall through spring)
- Crampons (fall through spring)
- Snowshoes (winter)
- Hat and Gloves
- Bug Spray (spring and summer)
- Snow gear and boots (winter and colder months)
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