Snowshoeing and Breaking Trail to Indian Head!


First, Sorry For the Lack of Posts

What up Road Trip Warriors!? I didn’t forget about you! Unfortunately, I have been studying for the CPA exams and working which has kept me very busy. Thank you for your patience!

Snowshoeing Through 3-4 Feet of Snow to Our Favorite Lookout

Yesterday, we (my brother, best friend, and I) traveled back to the Adirondacks to snowshoe for the first time. Our plan was to visit Indian Head to see how she looked in winter conditions. We anticipated snowshoeing to be tiring, but we did not anticipate the depth of the snow, and having to break trail after snowshoeing three miles down Lake Road! Overall, it was an awesome day. I highly recommend visiting here in the winter as long as you have the proper attire and gear. I have a post that lays out the details for this hike in a prior blog post, Indian Head & Mount Colvin: Some of the Best Sights in the Adirondacks. I will still give a short summary of the trail and some signage that you will come across along the way.

Summary of Indian Head Hike

  • Difficulty (with snow): Not necessarily difficult…there was one steep section towards the end of the hike where the ladder was buried and the snow was loose. This made it very slippery causing about a 20 minute delay.
  • Length: 10 miles round trip
  • Hiking Time (with snow): It took us about 3 hours to reach Indian Head. It took us roughly the same amount of time to get back to the car. Having to break trail took some time.
  • Photo Opportunities: Plenty if you can get creative with snow and spruce trees. Obviously Indian Head is the most photogenic part of the hike, but you can get creative throughout the woods.

Parking & Starting the Hike

You’ll start the hike after parking in the hiker lot off Ausable Road. Walk up the road to the Ausable Club for a half of a mile. Then take a left turn between the two tennis courts. Walk down the road until you reach the road hut where you’ll sign in. Then walk down Lake Road for three miles. They ask that you wear snowshoes while on Lake Road and the lower parts of the trails. Please be courteous and do so. It helps maintain the road and the trails, keeping it safe for other Road Trip Warriors.

Hopping on The Trail

We took the trail that was the second sign that says “Indian Head.” It is about three miles down the road. Once we got on this trail, there was about two feet of fresh snow on top of the trail itself. That being said, we took breaks like this as needed!

Sitting against tree 3.1.19.JPG

The trail is well-marked, but if you are breaking trail, having a Garmin or a map and compass would be more than beneficial. We checked our Garmin once to make sure we were heading the right way.

The Actual Snow Depth

So I keep mentioning the depth of the snow. I want to put it in perspective with a photo. This is why it is extremely important to use snowshoes and avoid the bases of trees so you don’t get caught it a spruce trap.

Snow depth at Indian Head sign 3.1.19

That trekking pole is about three feet deep. It could have probably gone further down into the snow. Please be prepared for the terrain you hike in.

Indian Head

After getting stuck on a steep part of the hike for about 20 minutes, we made it to Indian Head about three hours after we started the hike. We were able to have this gem to ourselves to hang out and take photos. The rocks were icy in some spots, so we figured it was in our best interest to stay away from the ledges of the cliffs. It was a bluebird day and everything was still minus the slight breeze. Here are some of the photos we shot while up there.

Here I am at my favorite place in the Adirondacks. I live for landscapes like this.

alex-edit-of-me-at-indian-head-3.1.19.jpg

Here is a shot I took of my brother Alex. He likes to think he’s quite the outdoorsmen….funny thing is that he needed A LOT of help getting up the last little bit of the trail…

Anthony Edit of Alex at Indian Head 3.1.19

Last, but certainly not least, here is Sleez getting his shots in of Indian Head.

Sleez taking pics at Indian Head 3.1.19

Heading Back to the Car

After eating here and letting our hands go numb while taking photos, we decided to make our way back to the car. We were craving Noonmark Diner’s food (a must stop after any hike in Keene Valley). To get back to your car, just hike out the way you hiked in. Leave no trace and enjoy the adventure.

Dog-Friendly

This hike is not dog-friendly! Dogs are not welcome on the grounds of the AMR so please be aware of this.

Family-Friendly

This hike is family-friendly in any season, but winter. Trudging through three feet of snow would be horrible for any child or out-of-shape individual. Winter hiking always ups the difficulty due to the cold, the snow, and the ice.

Clothes Worn

  • Timberland Boots
  • Nike Compression Leggings
  • Long-johns
  • Athletic shorts
  • Adidas joggers 
  • Snow Pants
  • Underarmour
  • Athletic T-shirt
  • Athletic long sleeve top
  • LL Bean Jacket (rated for -20º F)
  • Beanie
  • Gloves

Gear Brought

  • 3L of water
  • Trail mix and peanut butter sandwiches
  • Extra layers (More UnderArmour)
  • Extra hiking socks
  • Knife
  • Paracord and two carabiners
  • Water-proof matches
  • LifeStraw (water filtration, costs about $20)
  • Adhesive body warmer
  • Hand Warmers
  • Balaclava
  • Trekking poles
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Snowshoes
  • Garmin inReach (satellite device that has a GPS, can send texts, send SOS, and has many other helpful features)

RTW Note

Thank you again for your patience. Writing these blogs and sharing these photos is one of my passions and your support is much appreciated. If you liked the photos and information in this post, hit the like button, comment, and hit the follow button too! I will  continue to update this blog and I look forward to sharing more with you all.

Me standing and smiling at Indian Head 3.1.19

-Ant 

Categories: Adirondack Park HikingTags: , , , , , ,

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