This trail begins at the Garden parking lot in Keene Valley and traverses 3 High Peaks: Haystack, Basin, and Saddleback (often referred to as HaBaSa).
Distance: 17.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 4300 feet
Our Time: 13.5 hours
Trailhead: Garden Parking Lot, Johns Brook Rd, Keene Valley, NY 12943
First things first: parking. The Garden Parking lot is not built to handle the amount of traffic seen in the Adirondacks these days and will fill quickly on peak days (like summer weekends). We arrived at 5:45AM on an early-September morning and received 1 of 3 open spaces. You will pass John’s Brook Lodge in the first few miles. Also, stop at Bushnell Falls on the way, about 5 miles in. The trail is rather gradual leading up to Haystack with the notoriously steep “Devil’s Half Mile” located shortly after you take a left away from Marcy and approach Little Haystack. Overall, this was a rather difficult hike up to Haystack, but eased up a bit after that. The Saddleback cliffs are the steepest portion of trail I have experienced in the Adirondacks so far, but clearly marked to show the right way to ascend. I attribute my success on this portion of the trail to: keeping three points of contact, maintaining forward momentum moving up the mountain and and not ever looking back down!
USA Topo Overlay:
Views Along the Way: