Off to Whiteface Mountain

I have climbed mountains in Iceland and volcanoes in Guatemala, but nothing was as treacherous and as hard as climbing Whiteface Mountain. This 12 mile hike was a testament to mine and my husband’s physical health and our teamwork.

Work has been super slow lately and I have A LOT of down time. I was perusing Airbnb and I came across an adorable cabin. I have been wanting to go camping for the past two years but between planning our wedding and working to pay for it, my husband and I have been too busy. Since things are calmer, figured it was the perfect time to get away. I found an adorable cabin in the Adirondacks so I sent the link to my husband with the suggestion that maybe we go on a weekend trip to see the foliage and to hike Whiteface Mountain. He loved the idea, so I booked the cabin. Fully equipped with a kitchen, bath, grill and fire pit – I was so excited to call this place home for two days and enjoy some fresh air.

That Friday we took the five hour scenic drive upstate. Driving through desolate Adirondack towns in mid-fall is pretty creepy but that added to the fun of the trip. We kept ourselves entertained on the drive with my favorite podcasts, like Morbid: A True Crime Podcast and Canadian True Crime.

Hudson River

When we arrived, we were blown away by how cute the cabin was. Tucked away but not too isolated and only a 35 minute drive from Whiteface Mountain. Our host let us know that there was some reported snowfall atop the mountain that day but not enough to worry about. We settled in for the night and got some rest in preparation for the hike the next morning.

The Cabin Near Whiteface Mountain

The next morning, we enjoyed a huge breakfast, packed some snacks and hit the road. I did just a little bit of research prior to our trip and found a trail to Whiteface from Marble Mountain. Road. What I did not see in my research though, is that this path was the longest and most difficult path

At first it seemed we were way overdressed, sweaty and hot within twenty minutes, but the higher we climbed the chillier it got.

About an hour up we noticed snow. It seemed to be melting and we thought it was nice to see the abrupt difference in weather. We thought this must have been the snowfall our host was talking about.. We were wrong.

The amount of snow we were encountering got steeper with each change in elevation. The higher we got the more grateful we were about our clothing choices because it was beginning to look like a winter wonderland on the mountain. White snow covered EVERYTHING.

Up onWhiteface Mountain

At one point, we got to a road and we thought our hike was over, but we discovered another peak to climb up.The road before the peak had a beautiful overview of the mountains – we attempted to just walk up the road to the summit but this was harder than climbing because with each step, our feet would fall completely through the snow causing a lot of pullback.

We abandoned the road idea and got back on the trail. This part of the trip was the snowiest and seemed to require the most climbing.

When reaching the top, there were quite of few hikers, taking photos and having lunch. Of course, we too had to document completing this excursion to the top of Whiteface Mountain.

Since the hard work was done (and our legs were jello at this point), on our descent so we hopped off the trail and took the road down. Descending the road was easier because there was less snow on the descent until there was none at all. It was really something to witness two seasons in a day.

In total we hiked 12 miles. According the 46er’s Club, it was supposed to take 8.5 hrs – our hike was done in 6! Could not have done this without my husband because there were a few times when I wanted to quit and vice versa.

Hiking in October up a snowy mountain was a new experience but here are some tips I picked up along the way.


  • PLAN YOUR MEALS. I specifically picked a cabin with a functioning kitchen to save $$$ on buying food and dining out.
  • CHECK THE WEATHER. The weather stated it was nice to hike but also stated that temperatures dropped to sometimes lower to 25 degrees F in October. Pack thermals because the temperatures can get frigid.
  • BUY SOME HIKING SHOES. You’re not getting up the mountain safely in running shoes or any shoe that does not have grip. I saw only one person on the trail with running shoes and the poor guy was really struggling.
  • PACK SNACKS. Six hours hiking on nothing but protein bites, apples and water was doable but a sandwich would have been a better choice. Make sure you have food to keep your energy. According to my husbands phone, at 12 miles walking, we burned over 2,000 calories. 
  • START EARLY, FINISH MIDDAY. You need to give yourself time and daylight to comfortably finish this hike. This is obvious but as the sun lowers, it gets colder on the mountain. We started around sunrise and finished with about 4 hours of sunlight left.
  • TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES. There are 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks, why climb the same one twice?

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