McKenzie Mountain & Haystack Mountain
ElevationAscent: 3,811' 1,162 m
Descent: -3,811' -1,161 m
High: 3,861' 1,177 m
Low: 1,680' 512 m
GradeAvg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 68% (34°)
Popular hikes nearby
Haystack Mountain via Jackrabbit Ski and North Haystack Trails
5.6 mi 9.0 km • Out and Back • 1,004 ft Ascent 305.92 m Ascent
Floodwood Loop Trail
7.2 mi 11.6 km • Loop • 208 ft Ascent 63.4 m Ascent
Adirondack Great Range
21.0 mi 33.8 km • Point to Point • 7,334 ft Ascent 2235.5 m Ascent
Lower Wolfjaw Mountain
9.8 mi 15.8 km • Loop • 2,799 ft Ascent 853.04 m Ascent
Nippletop and Dial via Elk Pass
12.9 mi 20.7 km • Loop • 3,504 ft Ascent 1068.04 m Ascent
Giant's Nubble Out and Back
3.0 mi 4.8 km • Out and Back • 1,136 ft Ascent 346.28 m Ascent
“Two of the Saranac Lake Sixers, McKenzie & Haystack, make for a great double dip.”— Mike Biolsi
Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall
The shared part of the trail climbs gently, beginning at an elevation of 1670’. You'll hike along (and in) a brook for the first few miles. Changing from pine needles to rock, the trail increases in roughness as it progresses. Many of the man-made log bridges that were once provided to avoid muddy patches have decayed from years of trail neglect.
At 2.4 miles, the trail to Haystack (blue blazes) branches off to the left, while the trail to McKenzie (RED) continues on to the right. Though this fork in the trail is very well marked, it is not uncommon for people to miss it—Since the trail has become steeper, the average hiker is looking down and not seeing the signs.
Both trails provide a challenge from this point onward. Haystack is better suited for families and those with dogs. McKenzie is a great workout for those who appreciate steep uphill.
As routed, this hike climbs Haystack first to serve as a warmup for the strenuous hike up McKenzie. However, as said before, you can skip either peak and still have a pleasant experience!
Land Manager: NY DEC - Region 5 Office