Orenda Landscape


The Adirondack Park boasts thousands of amazing hikes from overnight to day trips.  Orenda is located in an amazing section of the park where you will find both difficult mountain terrain to rolling valleys lush with lakes and ponds.

These are a few of our classic hikes that we recommend and are all within a very short drive from Orenda.

Crane Mtn Pond   Elev: 3300ft    Hiking Time 3.5hrs    Distance: 4 miles

Crane Mtn pond is a great hike for all levels.  This short 4-mile hike is a great way to break into Adirondack hiking.  Crane Mtn has a one of the best views in the lower Adirondack Park looking towards the High Peak Region. A short ride from Orenda, we will enjoy a drive down a seasonal use road through a lush river valley.  At arriving at the trailhead, you will be able see a turn of the century barn that has been rehabbed through the Crane Mt Co op.   The Hike begins with a .3-mile walk on an old logging road to where we encounter a junction in the trail.  There is a choice between a 1.4 mi. hike to the Pond around the base of the Mtn and a ascent up a dried out river bed, littered with Glacial Boulders.  There a two ladder sections that quickly, safely ascend you up a rock face.  The other route is a .5-mile, aggressive ascent up the side of the Mtn face.  Your rapid ascent quickly gets you above the surrounding mountains to vistas that provide amazing views. Once at the first section of the Hike, you will be rewarded with a postcard view of an amazing mountain pond being shadowed by the mountain peak. And on to the summit.

Peaked Mtn at 13th lake. Elev: 2919ft          Hiking Time: 2hrs       Distance: 3 miles

Peaked is a modest sized mountain perfect for the beginner. A 30 min drive from Orenda, along the Hudson River, to Thirteenth Lake where we will begin our hike walking along the beautiful shoreline. Just before the creek, the trail turns away from the lake and follows up the stream valley though lush forests, along a string of beautiful beaver meadows.  In about 1.5 miles the trail reaches the shore of Peaked Mountain Pond.   Here you will be able to see Peaked Mountain in all its glory.  With a short walk around the pond we will begin a steep final ascent.   Once on the summit the views are sensational.

Snowy Mtn  Elev: 3899           Hiking Time: 6hrs            Distance: 7.5 miles

Snowy Mountain is recommended for the person who is looking for a challenge and wants to get deep in the mountains. Snowy mountain is the highest peak in the lower region and offers some of the most breathtaking views of the park.  At the Summit, there is now the newly repaired fire tower, thanks to the hard labor of many. A 50 min drive from Orenda, we begin our ascent walking through a rolling forest valley for 2 miles.   We will reach an old riverbed and begin out final ascent to the summit.  Here you will be challenged with loose rocks and steep flat rock slabs.  After scrambling up the rocks for about a 1.2 miles we will reach the summit.  By climbing the fire tower, for an additional 50 ft, it will make sense why you chose this hike. Today there remain but five fire towers in Hamilton County, on Blue, Owls Head, Pillsbury, Snowy and Wakely mountains.

Pharaoh Mtn Elev: 2556ft       Hiking Time: 5hrs     Distance: 6.7 miles

The 6.7-mile trek up Pharaoh Mountain starts at a flooded beaver pond on Crane Pond Road. Follow a detour trail around the flood area and then continue along the road (past the Blue Hill Trailhead) to the trailhead for Pharaoh Mountain at Crane Pond. About 1.2 miles in stay right on the Pharaoh Mountain Trail as a route to Gidden Marsh shoots off to the left. Here, the route traces the north end of the marsh, then continues deeper into a mixed forest of hemlock and conifers. Around mile 2, the trail begins to get rockier as the grade steepens. The trail gains over 1,000 feet in the next 1.5 miles, challenging with rock slabs and exposed roots, Continuing on, gaps in the trees offer views of Schroon Lake and the Dix Range to the west. At mile 3.4, the trail reaches the grassy plateau summit of Pharaoh Mountain. Herd paths wander out to several rock outcropping overlooks. Head to the south summit, the most sheltered summit and the best bet for lunch on a windy day. From here, look south to Pharaoh Lake and east to Vermont’s Green Mountains and Lake Champlain. Not far off, the west summit offers outstanding views of Adirondack peaks beyond Schroon Lake. At the north summit, check out the 4,000-foot