Backpacking Mount Redfield

I have my first official backpacking trip behind me and it was awesome. On Friday, my best hiking friends Brendan, Jenna, her boyfriend and their friend Greg headed to the Upper Works IMG_2098trail head in Tahawus. Our plan: hike in our gear to a lean-to in the Flowed Lands, get up the next morning and hike high peaks Cliff and Redfield.


With heavy packs we started down the Calamity Trail. We hiked for a little over an hour. We passed a good looking tent site on the right of the trail next to the Calamity Brook and decided to set up camp there versus setting up our camp in the dark since it was another 2.5 miles to the lean to. It was a really good decision!


My little Kelty Grand Mesa 2 tent worked perfectly!

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We could hear the rushing stream all night–relaxing! However, despite being comfy and cozy in my tent, I had trouble sleeping. I thought I was hearing voices all night (probably from the camp sites a few miles away) and wanted to bad to sleep. Eventually around 3 or 4 I think I finally dozed off.


We got up around 7, made breakfast, packed up and hiked the 2 miles to Calamity lean-to, dropped our overnight gear off, and headed left toward Lake Colden. On our way we stopped briefly at the Henderson Memorial, the spot I missed when I was last here to hike Mount Marshall.

Calamity Pond
Henderson Memorial

I didn’t do that great of a job keeping track of time/distances on this trip. It was long.


I think it was only about a mile or so from Flowed Lands to Lake Colden. We crossed the suspension bridge to start the trail to Uphill lean-to, where the herdpaths to Cliff and Redfield begin.

Lake Colden and Mount Colden

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The trail to the Uphill lean to was amazing. All along the left were amazing waterfalls, cascades and swimming holes. It was getting hot and the water was tempting.





We reached the Uphill lean-to at around 12:00, ate lunch, and headed up to Redfield. It was rocky and muddy, but didn’t have too many crazy steep sections. It was just long and felt like forever.


We reached the summit at around 2:00pm.


At least there are some great views!



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We only stayed up top briefly–it was crowded, a large group of kids and their parents were up there as well. I didn’t feel the usual sense of awe and accomplishment on top of this mountain-I just wanted to get down, which was rare for me. I was dreading the descent. I like to relax and enjoy mountain summits, but for some high peaks it’s just checking them off a list–that’s how I felt for Redfield.


Some views on the descent


We arrived at the junction for Cliff at 4:00PM, a little too late since we were not camping out a second night. We evaluated and decided to orphan Cliff, unfortunately. It was a tough decision but knew it was the right one. We were tired and didn’t want to risk hiking out for too long in the dark. On the hike down we stopped at the bank of the Uphill Brook to soak our tired feet. We left there at 5:30 and still had about 6 miles left of hiking to the car.



Back at the Flowed Lands

We stopped briefly at Calamity lean-to to grab our gear and chatted with the family that was staying there. Then on we went.


The sun started to go down, but thankfully we got back to the car without having to take out the head lamps. The sky was looking magnificent! Despite feeling like death, after hiking about 18 miles, this trail is still one of my favorites. The tree peepers were out, one of my favorite sounds!


We arrived back at the car at 8:40PM–phew. I couldn’t wait to change out of muddy clothes and take my boots off. Cliff, I’ll be back for you.

Mount Redfield
Total Distance: ~16-17 mi RT from Upper Works
Total time (Saturday): 12 hours
Elevation: 4606′

Gear used: Kelty Grand Mesa 2 backpacking tent (sleeps 2), Coleman sleeping pad (amazing), Kelty Tuck 22 degree sleeping bag, Gregory Amber 34 pack, Kelty treking poles, White Sierra hiking shorts, Oiselle tank, Smartwook hiking socks, Keen Durand hiking boots


Mount Adams Firetower

It had been over a month since I last went hiking (I KNOW!)-so last Sunday, Brendan, Jenna and I decided to check another Adirondack Fire Tower off the list. Mount Adams!

The trail to Mount Adams starts at the same trailhead as Allen Mountain, one of the high peaks. I hiked Allen back in September of 2014 with Christine, and it was one of the most epic hikes I’ve done to date. ¬†Anyway, it was nice to be back in this part of the Adirondacks, because I really loved the first few miles of that hike. To get to Mount Adams, you hike the same trail to get there, but it’s a lot shorter!

The trail loops around Lake Jimmy. You can see the remains of an old bridge that had gotten washed away. This is one of my favorite spots–it is so pristine and untouched!

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After about a mile, we passed the old caretaker cabins, a creepy sight even during the day. But a little further along on the left is where the trail for Mount Adams starts.


It was a bit chilly, but at least the sun was out! Ice has started to form in some spots. We brought along our microspikes and used them for a little bit, but it was annoying to keep taking them on and off.


The last mile and a half gets a little bit steep. It was just challenging enough for a short hike! It was like hiking a high peak, but without the long miles.


After 2 hours of hiking, we reached the top! But the catch is you have to go up into the tower to get an amazing view of the surrounding high peaks. There is no view from the ground, since the summit is wooded.


Climbing up to the top is worth it, though.


There is a fantastic view of that beast, Allen (the one in the middle under that big cloud).



And the Santanonis.


And Mount Marcy, covered in cloud.



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What a great view. It was a nice hike! After warming up with some hot chocolate and eating a snack, it was time to head back down. Soon enough we were back at Lake Jimmy, but the sun was hiding this time.


Crossing the Hudson.


Mount Adams Fire Tower
Distance – 5 MILES RT
Elevation gain – 1,800′
Summit elevation – 3,520′

On the way out we stopped for a minute at the Old McIntyre Furnace. It sits on the side of Upper Works Road not far from the trailhead parking lot.





It is a lot bigger in person. It was cool to see and to learn some of the history behind it. Apparently it was built in the 1850s and only operated a few years mining iron. It is worth checking out if you are into Adirondack history.