Hiking Project Logo

Mt. Marcy via Van Hoevenberg Trail

 4.8 (20)
Zoom in to see details
Map Key


14.0 Miles 22.5 Kilometers

3,101' 945 m


-3,101' -945 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (30°)

5,181' 1,579 m


2,160' 658 m


Shared By KC93 Ci



Getting forecast...

The most common route to the highest point in New York State.

KC93 Ci

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

$10/day for parking at the ADK lot.


Enjoy great views, a well-maintained trail, and the highest point in NY (5,343')! While it may not be an incredibly difficult hike, it is a long one, so make sure your stamina is up.

Need to Know

There are a few stream crossings throughout the hike, so prepare for wet feet.

As with the rest of the Adirondacks, it can get muddy, so make sure you walk through the mud and not off the trail to minimize impact.


Park at the ADK lot and start your journey. Follow the Van Hoevenberg Trail to Marcy Dam which proves an easy and oft-traveled trail. When you get to the dam stop and look around. The views are great!

From the dam, hike downstream to the bridge and continue left following the signs to Mt. Marcy. From here it is 0.7 miles to Phelps Mountain Trail, which surprisingly takes you to the summit of Phelps Mountain (4,140'). Continue past this trail and pass Indian Falls where you'll encounter a stream crossing. This area is the steepest and most difficult of the entire hike.

After this steep stretch, follow the trail for about 1.2 miles to an intersection that will take you down to Bushnell Falls. Continue straight, beyond the treeline threshold, and push to the summit. Enjoy the view!

History & Background

The highest peak in New York State, Mt. Marcy stands at an impressive 5,343' above sea-level.


You & This Featured Hike

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Your Check-Ins


Oct 6, 2018
Geoff Pleiss
Sep 18, 2018
Jan E
Sep 15, 2018
Marie M
Sep 15, 2018
Adam Kittler
Aug 27, 2018
Jack Cunningham
Long downhill hike from the top of Marcy!
Aug 1, 2018
John Gunkel
Jul 29, 2018
Jeff Fredrickson
Jul 18, 2018
Christopher Gleason
Great hike but it was crowded! 14.1mi

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 20 votes


  4.8 from 20 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in New York


569 Views Last Month
17,612 Since May 26, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Aayush Ganesh
Croydon, GB
Aayush Ganesh   Croydon, GB
I did this hike on Monday. I started at 7:15am and summitted at 12:50pm. 5 hours 35 minutes. I was back down at the trailhead by 6:25pm having left the summit at 1:40pm. Till Marcy Dam the trail was fairly normal and what I was used to. Not particularly difficult. It stayed that way pretty much till the split fork for Phelps Mountain. Beyond the Phelps fork, the trail became progressively more rocky and significantly steeper. While this in itself wasn’t a challenge, the sheer height of the rock steps while not being steep enough to scramble was a major issue. Weather was excellent on Monday despite the thunderstorm forecast. Descent was MUCH harder. This is where my ankle support became particularly helpful due to the numerous slips I had due to poor judgement which would have twisted my ankle had it been unsupported. Ensure that your shoes are a comfortable size (ideally 1 higher than your normal size) so your toes don’t smack as hard into the front of the shoe. Cut toe nails are also helpful. It helped decrease impact pressure. This is something I seriously missed that made the descent extremely painful. There is a reason this climb is recommended for experienced hikers only. This was my first big mountain hike and I had been running 5k’s in 28 minutes earlier. So my fitness wasn’t particularly bad. And it was still incredibly difficult for me. You need to be at a very high level of fitness to even consider this hike as anything but a significant challenge. It is however still easier than Algonquin as it isn’t as steep though the final summit scramble is still a significant challenge if you haven’t scrambled before and aren’t in shape. I feel I got lucky on this part because I didn’t find it that difficult considering I had been hiking for 5 hours by the time I reached it. In conclusion, if you’re at a solid level of fitness and have completed 3-4 hour hikes with decent elevation gain before, Marcy will be a challenge but achievable. Having slightly upsize shoes and cutting your toenails will make the descent far easier and less painful. Do NOT skip ankle support. You’ll regret it when you twist your ankle. Aug 9, 2018

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking