The Longest Hike – Allen Mountain

Saturday was the perfect September day! My day started out VERY early at 4:00 AM. Christine is on her way to finishing her Adirondack 46 this month and  only has a few more high peaks to hike. I joined her for one of the longest, Allen Mountain. We arrived at the trailhead for Allen at the East River parking lot at about 7:00am. The sun had been up for only a few minutes. We wanted as much day light as possible because this was a doozey of a hike. About 18-19 miles round trip and an estimated 12 hours of hiking. I was game because I like walking and I like being outside. I also like mountains.

The first five miles of the hike are on old logging roads and a trail that meanders through some rivers and over some lakes. It was a gorgeous sight. (Again, the moose is missing from these photos. Where are they?!)

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We crossed the Hudson almost immediately entering the trail and there was a brand new bridge !

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Shortly after we came to the trailhead for Mount Adams, which was on our left, followed by some old caretaker cabins. The bridge, Mt. Adams trailhead and the cabins were later going to be our checkpoints on the long walk back to the car.

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Inside the creepy cabin.

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More ponds.

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A view of some neighboring mountains.

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The trail then comes to a gate along the Opalescent River. The trail goes around the gate, but straight down the road. We first made the mistake of crossing the river too soon and had to bushwhack to look for the trail on the other side. When we didn’t find it, we realized we had crossed the river too early. We crossed again, back to the main trail, and then followed it to a cairn marking the REAL crossing further down. I can now check bushwhacking of my list of things to do, and I don’t particularly want to do it again any time soon!

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Leaves are already changing up North.

Five miles and a few grassy fields later, we came to the actual trail register for Allen Mountain. The trail is unmarked, but some trees do have some disks on them as unofficial trail markers. The herd path to the summit is obvious. There were maybe 11 total people on the trail yesterday, three of which Christine and I hiked with almost the whole way, which made the time pass by fast and made it much more enjoyable.

What they say about Allen is true. It’s slippery and wet. The hike up the slimy slides was atrocious and I fell a number of times. I was sliding down a wet rock face, clinging to roots. But, I made it.

7.5 hours after parking at the trailhead, we summited Allen!

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Yellow disk AKA summit marker.

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We enjoyed our lunches on top at one of the lookout points. Not a bad lunch spot.

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AANNND we only had 9 miles to go back to the car. Easy! At least I had to tell myself that or I would have gone crazy. I will say that going down Allen was MUCH easier than coming up the slimy slides, where I was crawling on my hands and knees. And it went much quicker. By the time we got back to the Allen register, the sun was beginning to go down and I knew the last half hour or so of hour hike would be done in the dark, something that will probably always make me uneasy!

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Back at the Opalescent river!

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The walk out was a walk in the park, but the sun did go down and headlamps came out. At one point we made a wrong turn next to Lake Sally and upon realizing we hadn’t been that close to the lake on the way in, we turned back around and headed into the right direction–to the car.

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The trailhead for Mt. Adams came up on our right and I was very relieved we were walking in the right direction. We probably only hiked about 35 minutes in the dark, but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. Despite the darkness, I felt great the whole day, was only a bit sore after spending 13+ hours walking in the woods with a pack on my back. And I can check Allen off my list for the quest for 46!

Allen Mountain
~18 miles RT
Elevation: 4340′
Ascent: 2540′

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