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Phelps Mountain

North Elba, NY 12946


Phelps Mountain is the 32nd-highest of New York's High Peaks, with an elevation of 4,161 ft.

This hike is 10 miles long and will take approximately 9 hours to complete. 

Phelps Mountain is named after Orson Schofield Phelps, also known as "Old Mountain Phelps," who created the first trail over Mount Marcy.  Phelps is a great mountain for beginners or kids and is an extremely easy climb. Just before the summit is reached,  the trail does get steep, but not in excess. 

At the Van Hoevenberg Trail, take Mount Marcy Route, which will take you to Marcy Dam.  Take a sharp left and you will see the sign marked Phelps Mountain. There are great views of the ridge formed by Tabletop, Yard and Big Slide.  There is a partial view of the Great Range and Giant can be seen as well. 

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2 reviews from our community

I'm going to have to agree with the other hikers post on this comment. Not too hard but not one bit easy. Marcy seemed much easier then phelps. My gps read 1.3 miles for this trip. This was a very vertical mile. Just about every person I passed on the way down asked "are we almost there?" Each out of breath and red faced. I didn't get any of that on Marcy. I enjoy a challenge so I did like the climb but, the view isn't as rewarding as others. I would not bring my 7yr old on this hike. He has done Marcy and loved it.

I wouldn’t call this an “extremely easy” climb. Yes, in the context of the 46, it is an “easy” climb but the “extremely” modifier is unnecessary and, quite frankly, a bit irresponsible. Some couple with young kids, say, vacationing in Lake Placid, who are unfamiliar with the High Peaks may see this and not prepare for the rather unrelenting final mile … a very long mile which begs you to question their measurements. I’m blessed with long limbs for bounding over exposed tree roots and rock so it was a feasible ascent for me. Imaginably, If you have small kids, I would expect to bring your “hoisting” game. There were some tricky white rock segments to negotiate. The view at the top is definitely worth it. It (basically) starts with Big Slide; Giant looms in the distance; much of The Great Range; Marcy front and center; Colden and Avalanche Pass; then Algonquin off to the right — in fact, you are afforded the best view of the MacIntyre range once you begin your descent (or look behind you on the ascent). So, yeah, there’s plenty to see at the top. Before the turn-off for the rather strenuous final mile, the trail is easy with moderate grades, a lot of rock hopping; Marcy Dam is along the trail, whatever is left of it, it’s as if it just got through a lengthy divorce with Irene and was left with nothing. You, later, have two options of crossing Phelps Brook, one of which is a neat bridge. So, yes, this is one of the easier 46s — but the point I wish to emphasize is please don’t expect it be a walk in the park if you are out of shape and/or are tagging along small children. It will be easy for those among you with good stamina and experience climbing high peaks. Cascade, in my opinion and the opinion of many, is an easier family hike — partly for the reason that there isn't an approach.

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