Monday, August 20, 2018

Scarface Mountain (Saranac 6/6), New York, August 12, 2018

Scarface Mountain (3,088') via Scarface Mountain Trail (trail #100), August 12, 2018

Mileage:  7.4 miles (RT)

Elevation gain: 1,500'+

Trailhead: The trailhead is on Old Ray Brook Road in Lake Placid. On Route 73 heading north go left at the fork onto Old Military Road eventually turn left onto NY 86W. In three miles turn left again onto Adirondack Park/Old Ray Brook Road and drive .1 miles.  Trailhead parking is on the left.   

Hiked BMS* today. After dropping Rich off at the airport I drove the two-plus hours to Lake Placid.  It was still early (11:30) so I headed to the Scarface trailhead. 

This would be my sixth and final Saranac Six peak.  I was excited.  

Trail markers are red discs.

The path starts out flat and soon a clearing reveals railroad tracks.  The trail crosses the tracks and beyond is a rustic bench to honor Scott McKay, who died on this mountain several years ago.

Bench in honor of Scott McKay.  

There's no end to the cool things you come upon on this stretch of trail.  To cross Ray Brook there's an elevated bridge.

Bridge. Planks are spaced a little tricky.

View from the bridge. Scarface in the distance.

Path is not without a few obstacles.

The old foundation is still there about a mile in.  You can see some other stuff strewn about.

Building foundation

At 1.5 miles there's a left turn.  An old road continues straight ahead, don't go there. Much is written about making sure you go left!  There's alot of indication to turn so it wasn't an issue. 

Clear signage. Go left here.

I went left onto a path deep with pine needles, soft, inviting.

I just want to curl up in these soft pine needles!

Trail parallels the brook.

Then crosses it - pretty low right now!

After the brook crossing things get serious - well, as serious as they are going to get on this sweet hike! 
Easily negotiable scrambles.

lt's a Sunday afternoon and people are out and about. Still I only met a handful, all friendly, happy.  As the trail rises up there's a lovely view on the ledge.

I can see why some only go this far, it's a nice rock for a lunch break: sunny with pretty scenery. 

From here the path narrows and meanders.  Many times I wondered which way the trail went. There are discs fortunately but it's subtle up here: no big corridors, just smaller paths.

Path heads up a rock slab.

I wasn't quite sure how long it would be from the viewpoint to the true summit (books says about .6 miles) and kept wondering, is this it? Is this it?

This clearing with the overturned tree isn't the summit.

Tree across but it's definitely the path..

Fortunately I met another hiker who confirmed I hadn't yet reached the summit.  A few minutes later I was on the top, standing in the woods in front of the summit disc.

Summit area. Disc is on a tree on the right.

It's not the end of the trail, though.  There's a path that continues just to the right - as you face the summit (I am told there are views over there).  

In solitude I grabbed a snack, took some photos then headed down.  Several on their way up also asked the whereabouts of the summit.

Down was easy and fun; the sun was out, a beautiful afternoon to be in the woods.  

Excited that I'd completed all of the Saranac Six, I jumped in the car and drove to Saranac Lake to ring the bell at Berkeley Green!

Link to other 6er trip reports: Ampersand, Baker, Haystack, McKenzie, St.Regis, Scarface.

* by myself

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