Whiteface Mountain Hiking Trail Guide: Map, Trail Descriptions, Pictures & More

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Article Categories: Hiking

Whiteface Mountain is a 4,867 foot peak located in The Adirondack Mountains of New York State. It is ranked fifth in height, of the the “46ers”, and first in development. The memorial highway is a paved road that can be accessed by car during the on-season for $16 per person. Many hikers pair Whiteface with Esther Mountain

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Trail Options | Trail Map | Directions | Winter | Weather | Photos

Height –  4,867 feet (1,483.5 m)
Elevation Gain – 3,578 feet (1,090.6 m)
Distance –  9.3 miles roundtrip (14.97 km)
Duration (book time) – 6 to 7 hours
Difficulty – Strenuous

 

Trails

Wilmington Trail (Primary Trailhead): Begin at the Atmosphere Science Research Center trailhead parking area. Start your hike on the Wilmington Trail, until you reach the summit of Marble Mountain after a steep climb. From the top Marble Mountain, there will be an intersection, make a right turn here. The terrain will flatten out for about 1.5 miles until you come across a large cairn at an intersection. This the herd-path to Esther Mountain, continue straight as the trail climbs steeply up an open ridge with incredible views. You will reach the summit of Whiteface Mountain shortly after. To descend, simply retrace your steps back to the trailhead parking lot where you began.

Distance – 9.3 miles round trip
Duration – 6 to 7 hours
Elevation gain – 3,618 feet 

 


 

(Secondary Trailhead) – Begin your hike from the Reservoir Road trailhead parking lot, a 4.7 mile one-way hike to reach the summit of Whiteface Mountain. This route is slightly easier grade than the primary trail, with more elevation to gain. From the trailhead you will hike through an open forest for about 1.2 miles where the trail begins to steepen a bit until reaching the summit of Marble Mountain. From the top Marble Mountain, there will be an intersection, make a right turn here. The terrain will flatten out for about 1.5 miles until you come across a large cairn at an intersection. This the herd-path to Esther Mountain, continue straight as the trail climbs steeply up an open ridge with incredible views. You will reach the summit of Whiteface Mountain shortly after. To descend, simply retrace your steps back to the trailhead parking lot where you began.

Distance – 9.4 miles round trip
Duration (book time) –  7 hours

 


Whiteface Landing Trail (Third Trailhead) –  From the trailhead at Connery Pond, begin your hike after passing by the gate. It is 5.7 miles to reach the summit, one-way. The hike begins along an old gravel strewn woods road, and the footing is tough in spots due to rocky terrain. Continue until you reach Whiteface Landing. From Whiteface Landing, take a sharp right turn towards the Whiteface Brook Lean-to. The trail is  flat most of the way to the lean-to, but begins to climb steeply shortly after. The final push before the summit is rocky, extremely steep, and rugged. Continue climbing until you reach the summit of Whiteface Mountain. To descend, retrace your steps the way you came until you reach the trailhead parking lot where you began.

Distance – 11.4 miles round trip
Duration (book time) – 7 hours


 

Trail Map

On the map below, in red, we have denoted the starting point for each of the trail options we mentioned above.

Mount Whiteface NY Trail Map

Directions

Primary trailhead  – From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86, follow Route 86 toward Wilmington. Drive into Wilmington and take a left onto Route 431 (Whiteface Mountain Road) Follow the road for 2.4 miles to the Atmospheric Science Research Center Road which will be on your left. Follow the road around the one-way roundabout, past a dirt road where the trail begins. The trail is not labeled with a sign.

Secondary trailhead  – From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86, follow along Route 86 into Wilmington. Make a left turn onto Route 431 (Whiteface Mountain Road) and continue driving for 0.6 miles to Reservoir Road which will be on the left hand side. Drive to the end of the road and park here. Directions here.

Third trailhead – From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86, follow along Route 86 into Wilmington. Drive for roughly 3 miles to reach the Whiteface Trailhead on the left. Park here and begin hiking. Directions here.

 

Hiking In Winter

Whiteface Mountain a popular ski resort with the greatest vertical east of the Rockies. It is a popular mountain to visit in the winter, by foot, by ski, and by board. The most popular winter trailhead hikers can access is via the Wilmington Trail from the Atmosphere Science Research Center. This is a 7.2 mile hike round trip that takes roughly 7 to 8 hours to complete in winter conditions.

*NOTE* Be aware of heavy winds and frigid temperatures on the summit and along the upper ridgeline. It is advised that hikers are prepared with a full face mask, snowshoes, and foot traction to manage the icy sections.

 

Weather

Here is a detailed weather forecast for the next four days:

Wilmington, NY

Tonight
Partly cloudy, with a low around 40. West wind 13 to 17 mph.

Sunday
Rain showers likely after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 51. Southwest wind 12 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Sunday Night
Rain showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46. Southwest wind around 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Monday
Rain showers before 4pm, then showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 50. Southwest wind 17 to 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Monday Night
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 44. Southwest wind 22 to 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Tuesday
Rain showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49. Southwest wind 14 to 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Tuesday Night
Rain showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 42. West wind around 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

 

Additional Photos

Whiteface Mountain Trail Views

 

Andrea Davis
Andrea Davis

Andrea is a writer, hiker, and adventurer from New England. She enjoys snowboarding, sunrise hikes, winter, night hiking, traveling, and photography.