Monday, April 27, 2009

PHARAOH MTN HIKE (The "Summer in April" Hike)

I hiked Pharaoh Mountain from Crane Pond Rd. My hike began at the ford on Crane Pond Road in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. I decided not to try to cross the ford and hiked the .3 miles to Crane Pond.

Where the road ends a trail crosses Crane Pond on a wooden bridge and begins down an old woods road.

After about 1/2 mile I reached a trailmarker indicating a right turn to ascend Pharaoh Mountain. I met a couple of nice DEC Forest Rangers doing trail maintenance here, and thanked them for their hard work. They were the only people I met all day on the trail.

This guy caught me by surprise as I trodded down the path, he was right next to the trail at a stream crossing.

These yellow violets were in bloom, as I ascended the mountain on this unseasonably hot 80 degree April day.

After some difficult steep climbing I reached the top. There wasn't a 360 degree view from the summit, but I enjoyed excellent views from several outcrops around the summit, this one is looking east over Pharaoh Lake.

I always enjoy finding a survey marker from Verplanck Colvin, his work as a surveyor in the late 1800's paved the way for the present Adirondack Park to be established. Colvin is a rather unnapreciated part of Adirondack history, and I think should have the recognition that the likes of John Muir get.

There was once a firetower on the summit, but it was destroyed by fanatical environmentalists who didn't believe in having structures in Wilderness areas. Even without the tower the views to the northwest of the High Peaks were superb.

After some photos and a snack I descended back down to the lowlands and a more gentle grade.

I stopped as the trail passed Glidden Marsh and took this panoramic photo of Pharaoh Mountain accross the marsh. There are many small ponds in this area, with campsites and lean-to's.

As the sun fell in the sky and the light became softer I passed back over and took one last look at Crane Pond before returning to my car for the ride home.

On the drive out, I located this nice waterfall along Crane Pond Road that I couldn't resist to snap some photos.
This was my second trip into the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness and it won't be my last, it's a remote and beautiful area with plenty of hiking, fishing and camping opportunities.

EveryTrail Guide To Pharaoh Mtn