Monday, August 26, 2013

Cascade and Porter

Cascade Mountain from Porter Mountain
STATE: New York
TOWN: Keene Valley
DESTINATION: Cascade Mountain / Porter Mountain
ELEVATION: 4098 Feet / 4068 Feet
SUMMIT COORDINATES: Porter Mountain: N44 12.745, W73 51.235
SUMMIT COORDINATES: Cascade Mountain: N44 13.116, W73 51.606
TRAIL: Cascade - Porter Trail
DISTANCE: 6.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2220 Feet
HIKING TIME: 2 hours 30 minutes
SEASON: Late Summer
DATE: August 22, 2013
WEATHER: Sunny, clear, 75 degrees

PARKING: From I87 North take exit 30 for Keene / Keene Valley.  Follow route 73 for 22 miles to the Cascade / Porter trailhead on the left.  There are several parking areas within a short distance of the trailhead.

USGS QUAD: Keene Valley QUAD

MAP: (Porter Mountain)  (Cascade Mountain)



DESCRIPTION:

From parking on route 73 the Cascade - Porter trail descends a series of steps to a hiker registration kiosk.  According to the Adirondack peaks guidebook it states the trail is marked with red discs. I didn't see any markings but the trail is easy to navigate with no merges or junctions along the way.  It begins a moderate ascent over rocky terrain for approximately 0.5 miles. The trail ascends a short steep pitch then levels for a few hundred yards before it begins a steep rocky ascent. After approximately 1.5 miles pass a large car sized boulder on your right and the terrain transitions to alpine terrain.  After a short distance the trail crosses a granite slab offering your first set of views of the high peaks to the west before transitioning back to woods and reaching the Cascade / Porter trail junction at 2.3 miles.  From here Porter mountain is 0.7 miles to the east and Cascade Mountain is 0.3 miles north.  I chose to bear right at the junction descending a few hundred feet in a short distance then leveling out in the col before ascending a moderate grade pitch to the Porter mountain ridge.  The ridge was muddy in places mostly along wooded trails however did provide several good outlooks. The Porter Mountain summit is open offering 270 degree views to the north, west and south. 

Return the way you came descending to the col before a short ascend back to the Cascade / Porter junction and continue 0.3 miles to Cascade Mountain.  The last 0.15 miles is along an open ridge and can be treacherous during wet conditions. The Cascade Mountain summit is marked with a benchmark surrounded by 4 eye bolts that I assume belong to a former fire tower.  Cascade mountain offers spectacular panoramic 360 degree views.

TRAIL DISTANCES:

HIKING DISTANCES
DESTINATION
DISTANCE TOTAL DIST.
Parking - Cascade/Porter split 2.0 miles 2.0 miles
Cascade/Porter split - Porter Summit 0.7 miles 2.7 miles
Porter Summit - Cascade/Porter Split 0.7 miles 3.4 miles
Cascade/Porter split - Cascade Summit 0.3 miles 3.7 miles
Cascade Summit - Cascade/Porter split 0.3 miles 4.0 miles
Cascade/Porter split - Parking 2.0 miles 6.0 miles

HIKING TIMES:

HIKING TIMES
DESTINATION
TIME TOTAL TIME
Parking - Cascade/Porter split 55 minutes 55 minutes
Cascade/Porter split - Porter Summit 20 minutes 1 hour 15 minutes
Porter Summit - Cascade/Porter Split 15 minutes 1 hour 30 minutes
Cascade/Porter split - Cascade Summit 10 minutes 1 hour 40 minutes
Cascade Summit - Cascade/Porter split 10 minutes 1 hour 50 minutes
Cascade/Porter split - Parking 40 minutes 2 hours 30 minutes

NOTES / COMMENTS:

Cascade and Porter are two ideal mountains to use as a hiker introduction to the Adirondacks.  The hike is not overly strenuous and summits offer rewarding views of the surrounding high peaks.  Cascade Mountain has breathtaking panoramic views and the Porter mountain summit is worthy of a visit. Cascade and Porter are listed as the 36th and 38th highest points in New York. 
 Stone steps ascending the Cascade / Porter trail

 Colden (left center) and Algonquin Peak (right center)

 The final pitch to the Cascade summit.

 Porter mountain

The range in the distance consists of Gothics, Saddleback, Basin and Haystack

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