Cascade Mountain is arguably the most popular 46er in the Adirondacks. It has an extremely accessible trailhead and consists of a moderate climb that can be done in 4 hours. It fits perfectly into a day trip to the area and is a great introduction to the High Peaks.
Because of all of this, it is usually a hike we would try to avoid on a busy holiday weekend. On these weekends the cars line up and down Rt. 73 and the crowds on the summit can be epic.
However, with a friend in town and only 4 hours to spare we decided to give it a go. And we are glad we did! It turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day, the type of day that would make it worth wading through crowds to get a view… but luckily, for whatever reason, the crowds turned out to be manageable too.
It was also a good excuse to test out the new camera.
This hike is on a wooded trail and your first view doesn’t come for awhile… but it is a good one, and always a nice place to take a break.
Shortly after that first overlook, you run into the junction with the Porter Mt. trail (.7 mile side trip, and worth the effort) and just pass that you get your first glimpse of Cascade’s bare summit.
From there it is a fun scramble to the top following blazes and cairns.
Jess on the home stretch. The green background is the slope of Porter Mt.
A good shot of Porter Mt. The summit is the highest point on this ridge.
On popular peaks like Cascade, the crowds have had a negative impact on fragile alpine vegetation. Efforts are underway to protect and allow this vegetation to regrow.
An “island” of alpine vegetation (in bloom!) that is hanging on. The rocks that outline the vegetation are meant to deter hikers from entering the area.
A good example of how beautiful this vegetation can be on an Adirondack High Peak. To help protect Alpine Vegetation, remember to stick to established paths when on a summit and only walk on bare rock.
A view from the summit. Algonquin, Colden and Marcy can all be seen in the distance.
This was our friend’s first 46er! Congrats!