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Pharaoh Mountain – A Summit with a Multitude of Views

Elevation: 2551 ft

Ascent: 1390 ft or 1470 ft

Distance: 6.8 miles or 4.9 miles

Location: Pharaoh Rd off of Beaver Pond Rd off of NY 8 east of Brant Lake.

Alternate Location: Crane Pond Rd off of Alder Meadow Rd off of US 9 north of Schroon Lake.

High Peak from Pharaoh

Pharaoh Mountain is the dominant mountain in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. The summit is somewhat unique in that there are four or five distinct (maybe more) view points with somewhat to completely different views. Herd paths crisscross the main trail in the summit area leading to each of the views.

Starting at the southern trailhead, it is possible to drive a high clearance four wheel drive vehicle the first 1.1 miles, but of course you would be driving in Wilderness area which goes against the wilderness ethic. After this "road” walk the rest of the trail into Pharaoh Lake is a very easy walking tote road. After crossing the outlet of Pharaoh Lake the trail become a foot path. It is about 1.6 miles along the lake, sometimes closer, sometimes further back to a junction where one way leads around the north end of the lake and the other way climbs 1390 ft in 1.6 miles to the summit. The climbing begins in earnest about 0.3 miles from this junction. From that point on, it is more up than not. This route is 6.8 miles each way.

There is another shorter trail from the north that starts either at the parking area on the wilderness boundary followed by a road walk of about 2.0 miles back to Crane Pond where the trail begins. Again if you don’t mind driving in the wilderness, you can drive back to Crane Pond. The trail from there to the summit is 2.9 miles for a total of 4.9 miles instead of the 6.8 miles each way from the south.
Eastern Guide and MapNote: For a more complete description of the trail, please see Adirondack Mountain Club: Eastern Trails (4th ed.), pages 44-45.
This trail can also be found on the ADK/National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map for the Lake George Great Sacandaga region (map No. 743).
Have a great hike!
Bob Goodwin
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