allen mountain.

let me begin by quoting from summit post's description of allen mountain.
"The twenty-sixth highest peak in the Adirondacks, Allen is touted as being the most difficult of the original 46 to get to. This is most likely because of the long hike in that is needed to get to its trailhead normally requiring at least an overnight stay. Allen also stands quite far from any other regular trail and has a rather obtuse route to the top due to most of the direct route residing on private land. Add to this the effects of clear-cut logging in that area and the devastating blowdowns from Hurricane Floyd in 1998 make for a most strenuous passage."
with this in mind, we knew this would be a ball-buster of a hike. i know that some folks on the path to becoming 46rs will wait until the end to complete allen mountain. i would advise everyone against that.
sign marking the beginning of the herdpath to allen mtn
(sign marking the beginning of the allen mountain herd path. photo taken by adam.)
to be fair, it is an interesting hike and there are good views from the summit. so much of the hike up allen mountain is approach, miles and miles of mostly flat approach. i began to wonder when we would finally start going uponce you start gaining elevation though, it is an unrelenting 2,000 feet in two miles mostly on a slide where running water and slippery moss making the going slow. that final two miles took two hours. 
slides on allen mtn
(a view down the slide climbed to summit allen. photo taken by adam.)
researching prior to the trip, we decided to hike in from camp at livingston point on flowed lands. it shaved a few miles off the distance, making our round trip about 16 miles. it also prevented us from having to ford the hudson and opalescent rivers without bridges and cross the slightly nightmarish lake jimmy "floating" bridge. what we didn't factor is that our approach via the hanging spear falls trail adds the descent & ascent of the falls into the trip. that ascent of the falls on our return to camp was extremely mentally and physically challenging. while it didn't bother me as much, adam was nearly brought to madness by the  portion of the maintained red trail between the allen herd path and flowed lands. it's overgrown, with alders and blackberry bushes as high as your shoulders crossing the path. adam chose to wear a sleeveless shirt and now looks as though he was whipped across the upper arms. the black flies, mosquitos and heat probably didn't help maintain sanity either.
from allen mtn
(one of the views from allen's summit. photo taken by adam.)
all in all it took us almost 12 hours, including a half hour stop on the summit and many, many short breaks. 
i could not be more happy that allen mountain is behind us.


  1. after climbing the cliffs of Basin I am seriously reconsidering ever finishing them all. that slide looks treacherous.

    1. don't give up! i think we're both just out of practice. it's always worth it in the end :)

  2. Difficult maybe but once accomplished, hiking up Allen can be quite fulfilling. At the least, you've conquered yet another peak :)