Whiteface Mountain is the fifth highest peak among the 46 high peaks of the Adirondack region, standing 4,867 feet above sea level. Whiteface is separated from 44 of the other high peaks, standing seemingly alone to the northeast of Lake Placid. Only Mt. Esther, the 28th highest peak standing at 4,239 feet, sits in the shadow of Whiteface.
The peak of Whiteface Mountain is accessible by hiking trail or by road, providing a challenging climb for cyclists or simply access to others who would not traditionally be found on the top of a mountain. It is the only developed Adirondack high peak, containing a visitors center on top as well as a ski resort.
What Makes It Great Because of its location, a clear day on the peak of Whiteface provides spectacular views all around. Lake Placid, the lake and the town, as well as the other 44 high peaks are visible to the south of Whiteface. To the east, a person can see Lake Champlain as well as the Green Mountains of Vermont. On the clearest days, the White Mountains of New Hampshire may also be seen.
What You’ll Remember As with many bald mountains, the views from the top of Whiteface will prove to be the greatest reward. Many hikers also choose to complete their 46er on Whiteface for the ease of access for family members and friends to be there to celebrate with them. Hikers should be patient with some of the more touristy types at the peak who may not understand some of the basics of trail etiquette.
Who is Going to Love It< Just about anyone can and will enjoy Whiteface Mountain. For hikers, the climb is challenging but rewarding with plenty of views along the way. Cyclists looking for a great climb will appreciate the challenge of biking up the mountain and those just looking for something to do will appreciate the views from the top.
Parking, Trailheads, Hours The primary trailhead is located along Marble Mt. Road. The parking here is free. From the trailhead, the trail climbs steeply up Marble Mountain for about a mile before coming to an intersection. The trail for Whiteface is to the right, and hikers will climb for another mile and a half before coming to a large cairn signaling the herd-path to Mt. Esther. This trail to Esther is about a mile long and very easy. It is necessary for those completing the 46er. Returning to the cairn, the trail to Whiteface continues with gradual climbing for another mile and a half before reaching the peak.
Those hoping to drive or cycle to the top should expect to pay $16 for a ticket. Once at the visitor center, those who took the road can choose to take an elevator located in the heart of Whiteface to the top or hike about a quarter mile to the peak.
Your Experience Have you ever made the trip to the top of Whiteface? Share your adventure in the comment section below!